Google ‘Possum’ Algorithm Update
Google ‘Possum’ Algorithm Update
Digital marketers have again tied their shoelaces as Google has launched its new algorithm named “Possum,”. For those who are wondering what this new update is all about, Possum is a local algorithm update released on September 1, 2016. This update is aimed to impact ranking in the 3-pack and Local Finder, i.e. Google Maps results or the local results. In addition, its main aim is to prevent spammy and duplicate results and diversify the local search for people searching for a local business or service.
Below are discussed four major changes this update is expected to bring. Read on to learn whether SEO companies in USA will benefit from it or not.
Preference to Local Filter
It seems like Google’s local filter is functioning independently from its organic filters. This is quite clear with the fact that Google is filtering out of its index those local search results with a link to a website. For instance, if Possum update considers a page as duplicate and decides to filter it out of its SERP, a local result with that same page related with the listing can still be returned.
Moreover, businesses now will have the opportunity to get ranked twice in the 3-pack while earlier one of the two listings were be filtered out. This means that top SEO companies have two opportunities to present in a 3-pack for both a “www” version and a non-“www” version of their website. With this, it is clear how local filter operates independently from the organic filter and that they are less connected than before.
If a company’s physical location is outside the city’s periphery, but most of its clients are within the city, then it is possible that Local Packs have not necessarily aided these businesses earlier. Local Packs are exhibited within Google’s SERP that offers searchers with relevant business information.
Earlier, local algorithms were used to filter out local profiles, which shared either a phone number or domain eliminate duplicates in the Local Pack. However, after this new update, it seems like another dimension has been added to the filter – the address.
While this isn’t a problem as it is nearly impossible for businesses to have duplicate addresses, for certain industries, (like health care or law) multiple practices can be located in the same building. Multiple offices can now share the same address if the building is very large. Hence, adding a suite number here proves to be effective.
NOTE: The filter doesn’t weeds out perceived duplicates from local listings. Rather, it acts as an organic search algorithm that chooses one listing while pushing the others down.
Similar Keyword Fluxuation
With this new update, the importance of order of keywords has gained more importance. Queries such as “Link building services in USA”, “USA link building services” and “Link building USA” can be used to deliver fairly similar search results as Google can identify them as words having similar meaning. It seems that a small change in keyword order can shift 3-Pack SERP position, which means that it may be now best to use multiple iterations of a keyword on various pages of website. You can also select the iteration with the highest search volume.
It’s all about the Location
The new Google algorithm Possum uses IP address locations to serve more customized local results to users. Say, if a searcher looks for “organic link building services in USA” from their office in Chicago, he/she may not see the same results as any other user who is searching for “organic link building services” in a town where the company has a location.
In addition, the farther you are from the city, the more zoomed-out will the map appear in Google Search. A user may see the drop in the result even if they include the service and city in the search query, while a user in that town would have likely seen that result first. This means it’s important for the marketers to make sure that the user’s location is set to the right city or town when finding the ranking.