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Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update

If you were wondering if there were any changes in the Local SEO scene, then read more about the latest Possum Algo.


For those of you wondering what “Possum” is, it’s the name we in the local search community decided to give the massive Local algorithm update that happened September 1, 2016.

Phil Rozeksuggested the name, pointing outthat itis fitting since many business owners think their Google My Business listings are gone, when in fact they are not. They have just been filtered—they’re playing possum.

All the evidence seems to indicate this particular update only impacted ranking in the 3-pack and Local Finder (AKA the local results or Google Maps results). There is talk of another update that happened right after, whichimpacted organic results.

I believe the main purpose of the update was to diversify the local results and also prevent spam from rankingas well.

Based on the dozens of ranking reports I’ve analyzed, I would say this is the biggest update we have seen in Local since Pigeon in 2014. One of the main things that updated was Google’s filter that applies to the local results.

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Jason Suli
Jason Suli
The owner of Profit SEO specialising in Search Engine Optimisation and digital marketing, I love the challenges that Google has to offer in this ever changing environment of SEO.