What Businesses Should Know About The Google Possum Update

Team Pepper
Posted on 13/12/215 min read
What Businesses Should Know About The Google Possum Update

Table of Contents 

  • What Businesses Should Know About Possum
  • Important Aspects That Possum Impacts
  • Key Takeaways 
  • Conclusion 
  • FAQs

The most recent significant SEO updates require excellent SEO experts to keep up with them. If you own a small business and cannot afford an SEO specialist to improve your website or content, read ahead to know more about the latest Google Possum update, first released on September 1, 2016.

What Businesses Should Know About Possum


  • While technically outside the city borders of your service region, Possum will boost your ranking in that city. Google is placing less emphasis on the physical location of a user and more on their affiliations. For example, if a legal business is located out of Pune but claims to serve the wider Mumbai-Thane area, it will rank higher in those cities, even though you’re not based there. 
  • When it comes to determining where a company serves, Google considers both the address of the business and its affiliations. However, this is a big deal for businesses who can’t afford to live within the “city borders” or serve a large geographic area, although it impacts certain firms that gamed the algorithms earlier by over-posting. When running a law firm, it is crucial to have distinct pages for each lawyer with the same address information so that your company is more likely to show up in search results. To avoid duplication, Google will now filter through these results to give the most relevant search result to the user.
  • The search engine will provide different results based on the keywords entered. According to a study by Joy Hawkins, if you’re looking for a specific product or service, you’ll get a different set of results in the Google 3-pack depending on the order of words or even abbreviations.

Businesses striving to break into more competitive search results will benefit significantly from this development. To get more traffic, you may want to focus your efforts on additional commonly occurring variations or abbreviations of those keywords.

  • The location of the person searching is now more critical than ever before. As it should, Google strives to provide better search results to users based on their geographic location. Future Google algorithm updates are likely to maintain this emphasis on speed and ease of use for users. That’s why it’s critical for people looking for specific information about their location to change their search location to the relevant city. 

As a result, it is more important than ever for organizations to pay close attention to SEO optimization for all of their locations. On the other hand, Google seems to be continuing to separate the local and organic search categories, giving small businesses a competitive advantage. This applies to Possum as well.

Important Aspects That Possum Impacts 


  • The user’s location: As a result of the Google Possum update, the search results are now heavily influenced by the user’s geographic location. As a result, a searcher in Berlin will get different results than a searcher in Munich using the same mobile device and a local search term.
  • City limits: Google has relaxed its stance on city limits in favor of taking into account the actual closeness to the user when ranking local businesses, which benefits small businesses in the area. Before this, Google’s stringent city limitations primarily affected firms outside a city’s borders and were therefore not considered because of their zip code or telephone code. 
  • Postal address: Google only ever gave one result to an address before the Possum update. For example, multiple service providers might share a single address in a medical center, but only one service provider would appear when the relevant keyword was searched for on Google. Those who have the same address as you will no longer show up in the search results as a competitor or a partner. Here, the Google My Business listings are what matter.

Because of this, Google uses address-based filtering to eliminate duplicate listings for the same business. For the time being, only a phone number and the domain name will do. Companies with the same domain name had a slight chance of classifying in the same category. Since Possum, Google has become more and more reliant on physical addresses for searched places.

  • Keyword variations: A slight change in one of the keywords used in a search can now provide different results than before the upgrade. There has been an enormous rise in the importance of specific keywords and their search volume.
  • Local and organic filter: Google has separated local search from organic results. When you conduct a local search, Google prioritizes local results over worldwide ones. The location and address are more important to Google Bot. It’s no longer enough to type in a search term, as the searcher’s location has become a significant factor in determining the results of a search.

Key Takeaways

  • Business location is not important
  • The searcher’s location is more important.
  • Improved address and affiliation filtering
  • Google Local is less dependent on organic results.
  • Keywords are essential in local SEO


Introducing Google Possum is the most significant change ever made to the Local Search Algorithm since the introduction of Pigeon in 2014 and the tweak to the Local Pack. But the fundamentals of local SEO haven’t altered. It’s still crucial to optimize your Google My Business listing and other online sources for local SEO.

However, this is excellent news for local businesses like plumbers, HVAC, and relocation companies that service huge areas. The additional complex filters should improve the searcher’s experience, especially Google Maps, to find new businesses. Because Google only displays the most relevant results to a searcher’s query, companies having many locations within the same city may notice a decrease in visibility.


1. What is the Google SEO Algorithm?

The Google SEO algorithm uses keywords to rank pages. SEO is an excellent strategy to rank for specific keywords and is responsible for informing Google about a website’s topic.

2. Did Google update its search algorithm?

Google is changing an algorithm that may affect 10% of all searches. Google just revealed a massive change to its fundamental search algorithm that might affect up to 10% of queries.

3. What exactly is a ranking algorithm?

A ranking algorithm sorts a data set by assigning a numerical rank to each element. This session will look at two popular ranking algorithms: Page Rank and HITS (Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search).

4. How does the Google algorithm work?

The Google algorithm searches for web pages that contain your search terms to help you and then ranks them based on many factors, including keyword density. Google uses this index to search.

5. Which algorithm is the most popular?

Google’s PageRank ranking algorithm may be the most widely used. PageRank is likely the most commonly used algorithm today.

6. What is the Google My Business algorithm update?

The Google My Business algorithm update will filter out similar listings for industry and location. It can happen if you have many Google My Business pages or if your NAP changes (name, address, and phone number).