Google Possum is the nickname for a series of recent changes Google made to its local search results. One change is that businesses located just outside of a city’s limits now appear higher in search results. Instead, Google places even more emphasis on the physical location of the searcher. The other big change is that Google is filtering out more listings with the same physical address (like doctors and attorneys).
Learn more about the changes at Search Engine Land.
What Should You Do?
The fundamentals of good local SEO still apply, so use this checklist to make sure you’re doing the right things.
But it’s more important than ever to follow Google’s guidelines about your business address. Pay special attention to how Google wants mailbox or suite information in the Address 2 field. Also pay attention to Google’s rule on virtual offices. Many businesses have abused this and Possum cracks down on it.
Finally, if you’re a doctor, lawyer, real estate agent, or other “practitioner” you can still have a personal Google listing in addition to the listing of the overall office. But Possum is more likely to filter out your listing as a duplicate on search results. Make sure to closely follow Google’s guidelines for individual practitioners.