When we take a look at all of the different major Google algorithm updates, we are all familiar with the family – Panda, Hummingbird, Pigeon and Penguin. It looks like another Google algorithm animal is joining the group – Possum. But what is Google Possum anyway? It’s the unofficial name given by the local search community for the massive Local algorithm update that occurred on September 1, 2016.
Phil Rozek, of Local Visibility System was the one who suggested the name. The reasoning behind this choice in name is that a number of business owners thing they’re Google My Business listings re gone, but in reality, they aren’t. They’re just being filtered. Basically, they’re playing possum.
So what’s up with update? It seems that the evidence indicates that it is only impacting ranking in the 2-pack and Local Finder (the local results or Google Maps results, in other words). There’s talk of another update that happened right after, which impacted organic results.
Could it be that the big purpose behind the update is to diversify the local results and prevent spam from ranking well? It could be that.
There were dozens of ranking reports that were analyzed by Joy Hawkins, She feels that this is the largest update that’s been seen in Local since Pigeon in 2014. It seems that Google’s filter that applies to the local results was one of the main things that had been updated.
Joy wrote a post about this new ‘Possum’ update, and everything you need to know about it, and you should check it out by following the link below.
Search Engine Land: Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update