The effects of the Google Possum update have been noted by a large number of SEO experts since the start of September 2016. Two sizeable algorithmic updates were noted in September, and were initially mistaken for Penguin 4.0 by many. However, other onlookers suspected the update was something completely different to Penguin due to the effects that were being noted. It turned out this set of onlookers was correct, as it transpired that the update was actually Possum, a separate entity to Penguin.
Google are still yet to offer much information about Possum, other than a few tweets about the company “tinkering” with the update. Possum, like 2014’s Pigeon update only effects local results, which means it may not be too relevant to you if you’re working on behalf of a company without a physical location. Possum has offered a boost to companies that are located just outside of certain towns, cities and villages but still wish to be associated with them. For instance, a garage a mile or so outside of Manchester would struggle to rank well for “garage Manchester”. Many companies expressed their concerns about this, but the search giant refused to rectify this for many years. Possum appears to have eliminated this problem. A proximity test is being used to see if companies are eligible to rank. Furthermore, the location of the person using the search engine now has a greater impact on search results. Google now uses IP addresses to determine where the searcher is and which results appear.
More changes coming?
Slight keyword changes are also having an impact on search results, which means “Manchester garage” could bring up different results to “garage in Manchester”. It is not yet known whether this is intentional. Google are still yet to officially acknowledge the change, and it’s thought that more changes to Possum will be implemented over the coming months.
Need to talk to Synergy?
Why not talk to Synergy today if you have any questions about how Google Possum could be affecting your search rankings? You can find us at www.wearesynergy.co.uk.