Google is always putting out new algorithm updates. This is something that SEO practitioners know very well and are used to. In the world of SEO, the only constant is change. This was no different when Google put out the Possum update in September of 2016. The Possum update was arguably one of the biggest algorithm updates Google has made and mostly had a direct impact on local rankings.
Possum is the algorithm update for Google’s local search results. The main purpose was to provide users with a more accurate and helpful results of business near them. Ultimately, that is the goal behind everything Google does and all of their updates. They want to make the users experience as helpful as possible – that is at the center of all their changes.
One of the biggest changes with the Possum update is with businesses that do not fall within the city limits. Previously, those businesses would have a really hard time ranking on those local terms. For example, if you are a plumber located just outside the city limits of Denver, you would not rank for “plumbers in Denver” when someone searched. Google made this change because a user would still find that business very relevant to exactly what they are searching for. This is great news for businesses who have physical addresses that are just outside a big metro area!
Another thing that has changed is the actual location of the searcher. This has become much more important and changes the results those users see! If someone is searching for plumbers in Denver, but they are actually located in Houston at the time of the search – they are going to see vastly different results than they would if they were located within the Denver city limits or nearby.