One of the key changes is the merging of local and organic ranking signals as we see the proximity of the searcher's location becoming a more important ranking signal with this new Google update.
It's understood that Google is now rewarding certain businesses that are not only optimising their location data and content for search but also physically closer to the searchers location.
To understand more about the the impact of Possum on local businesses, let’s look at the following scenario:
- Prior to Possum Update: Let’s say Bob, a resident of Erina, New South Wales, requires a podiatrist and is doing a search for podiatry specialists in the Erina area. An area podiatrist, Erica Dash, that publishes location pages for dozens of podiatrists might dominate the local pack results — not necessarily because Erica Dash optimises her website content better than anyone else, but because it is the largest podiatrist clinic in the area and has enough domain strength to make those pages relevant from an algorithmic standpoint.
- Post Possum Update: Bob conducts the same search for podiatrists. Instead of a single podiatry clinic dominating search results, Google allocates more real estate to other podiatry clinics nearby based on their location and the usual ranking signals — unless Erica Dash’s content and data are so well optimised for search that they outperform other podiatrists by a wide margin.
What you can do to beat your competitionSearch Engine Land offers the following advice for Local Businesses that want to take advantage of the latest Google update:
If you are a business that operates brick-and-mortar locations, you should first check to see if your rankings for local search have been affected. You might not have been affected — or you might be seeing better results, not necessarily a drop in rankings.
Regardless of whether you’ve been affected, now is the time to get more rigorous about how you manage your data and content as assets to make your brand more visible where people conduct near-me searches. Ask questions like:
- Is my data accurate and shared properly with the publishers and aggregators that distribute my data?
- Are my data and content differentiated to make my brand stand out?
- Am I listing data attributes, such as the availability of free parking, which might differentiate me when near-me searches occur?
- Is my deep content, such as long-form description of my business, or visual imagery, optimised properly for search?
If you'd like to find out how you can improve your local search results and drive more customers to your website, get in touch via our contact form for a free one on one analysis of your situation.
Read More Here: Google Is Playing Possum With Your Local Search Results