Google Possum Algorithm update. What is that? In fact, a large number of people are in complete darkness about it, though it came into effect on September 01, 2016. It is a local algorithm update and the name Possum was given by Phil Rozek. When the update first rolled out, many business owners thought their GMB (Google My Business) listings were lost, but actually such was not the case. The update only filtered those listings and hence, was playing possum.
Possum update and local SEO: According to experienced search engine optimizers, Possum update is one of the most relevant local SEO guides in the present times. It affects a website’s ranking in the 3-pack and also in Google Maps results. After the introduction of this update, local search results have become more diversified. Moreover, it has reduced spamming to secure higher positions on SERP.
Effects of Possum update
The local algorithm update made it possible for businesses having physical addresses outside the city limits jump to higher positions on SERPs, resulting from search phrases that include the city. Before the Possum update, such boost in ranking was just impossible.
Since the introduction of Possum update, Google is filtering results based on physical address and affiliation.
As a local SEO tip, a searcher’s physical location is now more important to Google than that in the past.
Slight variation in search phrases gives different search results. For example, previously, phrases like “Portland SEO services”, “ SEO services Portland” or “SEO services Portland Oregon” used to give fairly similar results. Since the introduction of Possum update, there are lot of fluctuation in search results with slightly varied keywords.
After the introduction of the update, the local filter is working more independently from organic filter.
Considering all the developments that Possum update has introduced, here are some effective local SEO strategies to rank your business on Google Maps.
Double check Google My Business information for your business: The more Google knows about your business, the higher are its chances of getting correctly displayed on online searches. Make sure that your business listing is both correct and complete. Never forget to include all your contact information, like address, phone number and website URL. Mention your business hours, as it helps local customers to visit you at the right time. Multiple locations or contact numbers listed for one actual business is something that Google does not appreciate. As your local SEO checklist, weed out all duplicate entries from Google My Business page.
Focus on your reviews: User reviews provide the much needed trustworthiness to any business. Thus, Google places businesses with larger number of positive reviews higher on Google Maps. Remember, once your business becomes open for reviews, you just cannot make an about turn from it and you will not have any control over what people will say about the business. Thus, your reviews can both be positive and negative.
Categorize your business correctly: While creating a Google Maps listing for the first time, you will come across a primary industry category to describe your business. Here, you can add up to 5 additional categories. As your local SEO 2017 tips, make sure to use all the 5 given categories. The selected primary category should be should your main business classification (realtor or restaurant), whereas use local SEO keywords in the remaining 5 categories to function as additional descriptors (Portland realtor, Paradise Heights restaurant).
Embed a Google Map on your website: It helps you tell Google that your business is exactly located at the place, the listing says it is. It is important to use the same address as that on Google My Business listing. It is easy to embed Google Map on your business website.
Log into Google Maps and search your business there.
Click on the 3 lines right next to your business name.
Click on the option “Share or Embed Map”.
Just copy and paste the link on your website’s Contact Us page.
Make use of a local phone number: Toll free numbers are frequently used by spammers and thus, you should use a local telephone number with the local area code.
Add photos to your listing: Adding photos to your listing is the major local SEO ranking factor at present. Choose impressive photographs of your business to make it more trustworthy both to Google and your target audience. All that you need to do is edit your original listing on Google+ to add the selected photographs.
The Google Maps ranking tips provided above are helpful to improve SERP ranking for local businesses.
Category : MAPS AND LOCAL SEARCH