Google “Possum” Update – What You Need To Know

Chris Falzone

Written by Chris Falzone
on Friday, November 18th, 2016
in Marketing, Search

A Rather Significant Update

Here we are nearing the end of the year, and Google is releasing a rather significant update to the algorithm. Possum is one of the latest Google updates and was named for its filtered additions that make spam look like it is “playing possum.” It has come packed with changes to local search and the map listings. Changes include a local vs. organic affiliation from previous updates and packages in the past.

One of its primary focuses is to promote accuracy on searching for location-based queries. This has greatly helped businesses that are located outside of the key cities for previous searches. Before the update, these listings would be excluded in search, but now they are included and seen as part of the local area. Now that your searches are based on location, “near me” searches can accurately show what is by you on many fronts depending on the search.

Another part of this update is the wording that can be used with abbreviations and phrasing. Searching for a particular thing nearby or at a set location can now be worded to show a variety of results to enrich the search and result hopefully. When searching, for the sake of an example in October, “places to buy pumpkins,” “pumpkin patches,” or “purchase pumpkins in example city” they will show similar results but have variations still depending on the specifics of the search. For the most of us, these results will help assist our everyday intent.

This brings up another aspect of the update. Removal of spam from searching and maps. Now let’s be clear, this is not a penalty or loss for the larger businesses or even for smaller businesses that have multiple locations, but rather allows the person searching the “best” result for their search. Some businesses have multiple locations all over a city. This will reduce the spam or locations to a minimum unless otherwise searched directly for. This not only helps small business be found in larger broad searches but also helps you navigate the options without seeing the same options over and over. Google’s emphasis on the location of the business, the number of places, categories, and companies using the same address and so on will no longer conflict your searches.

Overall the update is for the enrichment of the user search. Being able to find more legitimate locations and results nearby gives them the power to act. Some may have already noticed the reduction of spam and accuracy of mapping. If you would like to hear more information, please contact one of our GravityFree agents.