Google’s ‘Possum’ Update and How it Will Shake Up Local SEO
Sometimes trying to master Google can feel like you’re trying to gain favor with an all powerful deity. With Google constantly changing the rules of SEO, getting your business found online can be difficult for the uninitiated. With their new ‘Possum’ Update, Google has yet again changed the rules for local SEO. This new update brings along some very helpful changes along with some changes that may negatively affect the strategies of some. Here is what is new in Google’s new ‘Possum’ Update.
For most companies located near a large city, ranking highly for local search terms within that city is usually a priority. Google’s old algorithms would make it difficult for businesses with an address located outside of the city limits to rank highly. With the new ‘Possum’ Update, this issue is a thing of the past. Now when someone searches “Thai Restaurant Cleveland, OH” you will potentially get map results from nearby cities like Lakewood, Parma, North Olmsted, etc. This is great for small businesses who were having trouble showing up in the SERP.
The new update also puts greater importance on a businesses physical address. Since Google’s top priority has always been the user experience, Google’s algorithms do their best to provide diverse and relevant search results. This new update more closely looks at the address, phone number and domain of a business. If two businesses share a building, Google is likely to filter one of them out of the Google Map results. Having two Google listings for the same business is a common practice for businesses like dental offices or law practices. These types of businesses often have multiple doctors or lawyers working out of the same space and create multiple Google My Business listings to try and artificially boost their rankings. With the new update, Google will find these businesses who use the same address and filter out the duplicates. This new update is no doubt a crushing blow to businesses who use virtual office services.
Along with the updates to local SEO, Google searches are also a lot more sensitive to small variations in keywords. For instance, if you were to search ‘marketing agency Cleveland’ and ‘Cleveland marketing agency’ them your results would be different. This will make companies want to rework their on-page SEO strategies to account for variations in keywords.
Are you a company that is struggling to rank highly on Google? Schedule a consultation with one of the SEO experts at Dallas Riffle Media. We are a full-service marketing agency based in Cleveland, OH. DRM specializes in web development, design and optimization so feel free to give us a call with any of your SEO questions. To set up a free consultation, give us a call at (216) 245-0835 or send us an email. For more information, visit our website.