On September 1, 2016 Google announced Possum, a massive update to the local algorithm. The update that in reality has a long and complicated set of numbers as its real name, and is just nick named “Google Possum”, left many companies and businesses scratching their heads when they discovered that they were not able find Google my business local listing on local search result. However, the listing are not gone as many people think, they were just filtered within the search engine result page (SERP). So what exactly is possum update, how does it work, how did it impact on websites and how does website content and updates of content increasingly important to rank in SEO terms in local marketing after this update? In this article, we are going answer this questions to help you know more about Google possum update and how it impacts on your website.
WHAT IS GOOGLE POSSUM UPDATE?
You probably may have had of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates and how they impacted on websites. Before we begin, it is very important to note that the name Possum update is not the official name that Google gave this filter update. The name possum was actually suggested by digital marketing experts who found this name suitable because of what this update does. Google possum update that was released on September, 1st 2016 tends to filter spammy listing from Google maps (local search results). The main aim of this update is to help eradicate spams from showing in local search results as well as diversify local search results. Since this is just a filter update websites owners have nothing to worry because there are no penalties expected.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
As said before, the main aim of this Google possum update is to eliminate spammy local business listing by filtering them out so that only those that are most relevant are shown in search engine result pages. Although Google is yet to release an official statement regarding this update various SEO experts have shed some light on how this update works. According to experts, Google possum update has made the following changes:
Typically business that fall outside the physical city had a rough time ranking in search engine result page. However, that changed when this update was implemented in September. Businesses that fall outside the physical limits of a city have recorded huge spikes in ranking.
Superior filtering capabilities
The new update is more sophisticated and it is able to filter out duplicate content. For instance, medical practice may post different Google profiles for each doctor in the aim of improving their rank on search engine result page. However, that is not the case the case now. With the new update, Google is able to identify identical phone numbers, same or nearly same addresses as well as link to the same website.
Searchers physical location
This update has put more importance to searcher’s physical address. This means that when a person make a Google search, they will actually find result that is tailored towards their physical location.
Keyword variation seemed pointless in the past but that is not the case anymore. With this update, adding letter “s” can bring different varying results. Before, varying keyword brought similar result. However, by switching up keywords either by adding a letter to make plural or adding a state of abbreviations will bring varying result in search engine result page.
Local filter runs independently from organic filter.
The local filter seem to be running more independently from organic search result. This was the not the case before. In fact, before this update, general search result for business impacted negatively on local search results. Now, businesses that had poor search engine ranking can actually rank well on local search.
HOW WEBSITE CONTENT AND UPDATE OF CONTENT ARE IMPORTANT FOR SEO AFTER GOOGLE POSSUM UPDATE
1. Website content
· Content quality
Google possum update tend to favor websites that give readers value and information that they are looking for. The quality of content is very important factor that the new update focuses on. Websites that goes an extra mile to put information that is unique, informative and relevant to local user are hugely favored by this new update. Websites owners are therefore encouraged to ensure that they update content that useful to the visitor to improve their ranking under the new update.
· Content freshness
Upgrading pages in your websites thinking that you are making them fresh will not help you anymore. Creating new pages constantly for the sake of having new pages will also not help. With the new update, Google demand that the any fresh content that is included in the websites should be informative and relevant to the topic. If you update fresh content on the right topic then your website ranking will significantly improve.
2. Update of content
The new update has plays more emphasis on the importance of keyword research. Variation of keywords is also very important and can make a huge impact on search engine page results. Websites need to focus more on local keywords as well as well as put more emphasis on keyword variations to improve their ranking as a result of this update.
Creating location specific pages
For a long period of time, many local brands have overlooked the importance of updating Google my business. However, with this new update, it is very important to deploy search engine optimization for Google local if you want to improve your page rank on Google search result. This means that you must ensure that your data is not only accurate but they must aloe be shared well with data distributors in addition to that , information such as telephone number address, reviews, images, parking availability , business hours must all be up to date and correct.
In conclusion, various SEO experts have termed possum update as one of the most important and significant reviews to the Google search engine algorithm in the recent years. Some business have seen positive impact on their Google rank while other have not. As discussed above, the quality of your website content and constant update of content has become more important under the new update in terms of local marketing. The content of your website should therefore focus more on your local market.