Recently, an update was released by Google that is being called “Possum” by many local SEO experts. The update affects when and how your company listing shows up on Google searches.
One search might be done producing no results of the company’s listing, then finding later after another check, that it has resurfaced. Hence, the name being possum, the company listing is filtered by way of the update. The original and largest intent of the update was to stop spam from entering into Google’s rankings as well as diversify the results of what was offered locally. The filter Google put in place has a larger effect than it ever has before on local rankings with this update being the biggest Google has made in the past three years.
How Does This Affect Your Local Search Rank?
Since the installation of the update, businesses out of the local area has dramatically increased in search results. Prior to the update, these outside businesses were nowhere close to the top in rankings, particularly if the city name was included in the words. Any keywords indicative of the areas or useful in searches were hard for local businesses to use to help expand business. After the update, there has been a significant surge in local rankings when they previously did not show up in searches done in Google Maps. Address and association are now factors Google is using in their filtering process. Before this, a filter was utilized locally by Google to eliminate any profile sharing phone numbers of domains that were similar. Naturally, similar content is filtered by Google on a regular basis. Due to this new process in the update, multiple businesses are being filtered out of search because they are being recognized as a duplicate domain or address. The process of the update is to guarantee that a health care office with multiple doctors does not show multiple different things, but, instead collects and makes easier to locate what is necessary.
This means that if two local business are in the same building, but have separate domains, either only one is shown or an alternating of the two occurs.
Searcher Location Dictates The Results
The positioning of the searcher globally is now far more important than before the update. The search engine results page is more likely to show your business to the person that is searching the closest to your building. Three of the closest business in the proximity of the searcher is what Google has narrowed searches to be based on the maximizing of relevance. The new update draws on the importance of actively reviewing business in Google as well as observing the local citations of the searcher. Ensuring that your business number, address, and name are all correct as well as incorporating reviews into your business daily will increase your success in Google’s local pack.