Hanover, PA - Setting up a website is only the first step in today’s digital marketing world for businesses that want to stand a better chance of reaching their target audience through the internet. One of the many key aspects to helping a business succeed on the internet is helping them to create a powerful online presence that search engines like Google recognize. A Google My Business Page, or GMB for short, is the jumping point for several search engine optimization features that help businesses rank higher in Google Maps listings. Web 20 Ranker, an online wholesale provider of SEO services, has recently released a powerful case study that can help businesses learn the key factors to ranking their Google My Business listing through the new Possum Filter.

“Google is always changing their best ranking practices and added more filters to sift out spammy websites,” says company founder and brain behind the new case study, Chaz Edwards. “With Google reducing the radius that local businesses can be found, and with cities showing multiple packs based on searcher proximity, every effort should be made to understand the top local ranking factors and which factors we can influence directly through local search optimization. Through our latest Google My Business case study, we review some of the factors specific to the Possum filter, and what your business can do in order to combat those changes.”

Google’s Possum filter was a major game-changer for local searches, which saw many verified GMB listings simply disappearing from Google Maps. The new filter comes into effect in four scenarios: similar businesses sharing the same address, similar businesses sharing the same owner, similar businesses sharing the same affiliation, and similar businesses located very close to one another. Thankfully, checking for the Possum filter is easy. Simply perform a local search that brings up a Snack Pack (Google Maps 3 Pack), and select the ‘more places’ option. Note the number of listings that appear on the left hand side of the screen. However, zooming in closer on the map will now reveal several pages of results that Possum has filtered.

In order to create such a powerful case study, the company utilized ranking data from across their more than 200 active GMB SEO campaigns, the Google ‘Proximity Ranking’ Patent, the Proximity To Searcher blog article from Darren Shaw, Google local search rankings guide, local SEO ranking factors, and Think with Google Micro-Moments. Compiled together, these resources paint a clear picture of what Google is looking for when ranking businesses through the new Possum filter. In addition to these, Web 20 Ranker also takes into account the four main types of keyword variations, which they optimize for in each of their GMB optimization packages.

The new GMB case study from Chaz Edwards is available from the Web 20 Ranker website, through their blog section. Web 20 Ranker is located at 1 Center Square, Suite 200 in Hanover, Pennsylvania (17331).

The company can be reached directly from their website, http://web20ranker.com/, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Contact
Company Name: Web 20 Ranker
Contact Person: Chaz Edwards
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (855) 896-6657
Address:1 Center Square, Suite 200 
City: Hanover
State: Pennsylvania
Country: United States
Website: http://web20ranker.com/

Source : digitaljournal.com

Categorized in Search Engine

It’s a zoo out there. For marketers and advertisers alike, it’s hard to control your organic search rankings with all the Google updates; Pandas, Penguins, Pigeons and Hummingbirds to keep track of. We know it’s important, but why?

In a 2015 study done by Eli Swartz, Google dominated other search engines like Yahoo, Bing and Duck Duck Go by a landslide. Seventy-five percent of responders to a survey stated that Google was their primary search engine, and in 2016 the percentage is only rising.

So what does that mean for local and organic search, or search in general? For one, it means that SEO has to continue to abide by the rules each algorithm puts forth during their updates. It also means search engine marketers have to take into account Google’s new local algorithm update, Possum. Here’s why.

About Possum

You may not have seen a drastic change in your local organic listings in September, but a recent study shows that Google’s Possum Algorithm changed sixty-four percent of local SERPs. The debut of Possum in September impacted website rankings in the local 3-pack and Local Finder. The biggest impact Possum currently has on search results is filtering your business out if it has a duplicate, similar or second listing. This update runs separately from organic SERPs, and affects the following types of businesses:

  1. Businesses outside of city limits.
  2. Separate businesses location at the same address as a similar business.
  3. Two or more businesses owned by the same company.

Playing Possum Outside of City Limits

One of the biggest and most beneficial changes seen for the new Possum update are rankings for businesses outside of their own city limits. With the algorithm in place, businesses that are attempting to rank in the local 3-pack or Local Finder for the town over are having an easier time doing so, and may have already seen rankings in those areas increase drastically. With Possum in place, there is a need now more than ever for all search engine marketers to do more to go local with their SEO campaigns. Going local with your SEO will help to increase traffic and revenue to your site, as well as improve local rankings and authority in the SERPs.

Separate Business Locations at the same Address as a Similar Business

This is where Possum comes into full-effect. Businesses of similar industries located in the same building will begin to be filtered out and ultimately won’t show up for the same search. Keyword variation plays a more important role as this algorithm continues to make its way across search. That means that attorneys, lawyers, dentists, and chiropractors located in the same building will rank locally for different keywords than a similar or competitive businesses at the same location.

One Algorithm, One Parent Company and Two Businesses

Although not as apparent as the other two listings, Possum’s update has also affected separate businesses owned by one company. One business remains filtered out in all searches for certain keyword terms while the other business continues to show up in the search results. While there isn’t a way around the filter (yet), we’re trusting Google to test, tweak and update their newest algorithm to differentiate the two businesses as separate rooftops, even if they have the same parent company.

Streams Kick Start Step: If you haven’t already invested in link building, you should start. Google still views quality links that point to your website as a vote of confidence. The more local, quality and authoritative links you have pointing back to your site, the more likely you are to rank in the local SERPs.

Taking Action

While Google seems to still be working out and testing their newest algorithm, it’s always a good idea to stay ahead of the next update. In order to take action, one thing that is extremely beneficial for your local SEO strategy is to start incorporating local content and putting a heavy focus on off-page SEO if you haven’t already. When incorporating local and off-page SEO, you have a recipe for success to maintain and improve your local rankings.

Take SEO a step further. Download this FREE SEO Checklist to learn 17 ways to improve your organic search results, where to start with a link building strategy and steps to integrating content into your SEO campaign.

Source : http://www.business2community.com/

Auhtor : Keisha James

Categorized in Search Engine

How significantly did the Possum update impact local search results in Google? Columnist Joy Hawkins shares data and insights from a study she did with BrightLocal, which compared local results before and after the update.


In the local SEO community, Google’s recent Possum update was a very big deal.

To those of us who regularly track the search results for local businesses, it was obvious there were massive changes on September 1. The SEO community as a whole has been relatively quiet about this huge update, and I believe this is because this update primarily impacted the Local/Maps search results and not organic.

SERP trackers like MozCast and Algoroo do a fabulous job of tracking changes in the search results, but this algorithm update didn’t seem to make any massive impact in the charts. I believe that is because local queries that trigger a 3-pack are only a fraction of what these programs track. In all likelihood, the majority of the SERPs they track would not contain a 3-pack — and therefore, big changes in the 3-pack wouldn’t necessarily show on the radar.

I wanted to know exactly how much of a shake-up this algorithm was when it came to just Local/Map results, so I reached out to Bright Local to track ranking for our clients. They track both organic ranking and ranking in the Local Finder (the list of local results you get when you click “more places” under the 3-pack). And our ranking reports scan daily, so it would be able to pick up any major changes, regardless of the day when it happened.

I asked them to look at the ranking trackers for 1,307 different businesses, which were tracking 14,242 keywords. Then we compared the difference between September 7 and August 31 (the date before Possum).

What we ended up finding was that, across all the reports:

  • 9% of the keywords had the business pop into the Local Finder when they weren’t there previously.
  • 11% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by three or more positions.
  • 15% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by one to two positions.
  • 35% of the keywords showed no change in position for the business.
  • 15% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by one to two positions.
  • 14% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by more than three positions.




In other words, 64% of keywords saw some type of change.

As we know, SERPs can change daily without an algorithm update, but the important thing to note here is the vastness of the change. For example, 34 percent of the keywords saw some type of significant change, with a “significant change” being defined as a business shifting three or more positions or a business appearing in results when previously they weren’t even listed in the top three pages (60 positions) in the Local Finder.

For those of you who like visuals, here is a snapshot of the Local Finder results for “Personal Injury Lawyer Las Vegas.” On the left is how it looked August 31. On the right is how it looked following the Possum update. The red arrows show how a business fell in positioning, whereas the green arrows show an increase in position. The red and green boxes are businesses that either vanished or popped into the Local Finder due to the update.


So, what now?

I have spent the last couple of months analyzing dozens of specific scenarios for businesses to try to find patterns in what changed. Some of my findings have been included in recent articles I’ve written (This one shows some patterns, and this one shows some things that impact the filter).

For now, it’s crucial for local SEO practitioners to spend time analyzing changes to help figure out which Local Ranking Factors changed as a result of Possum. So far, I have been realizing that the answers are becoming harder and harder to find as Google’s algorithm becomes more complex — and it’s no longer as easy as “getting the most reviews” or keyword-stuffing categories, which worked phenomenally several years ago.

Source : searchengineland


Categorized in Search Engine

Columnist Adam Dorfman explains how Google's recent local search algorithm update, "Possum," has impacted brick-and-mortar businesses.

For brick-and-mortar businesses, proximity to the searcher’s location has become even more important as a ranking signal thanks to a Google algorithm update nicknamed Possum. With the Possum algorithm change, Google is continuing down a path it has been traveling for quite some time, which is the merging of local and organic ranking signals.

Google is now applying filters to reward certain businesses that are not only physically closest to searchers but that also are optimizing their location data and content for search far better than anyone else. To understand the impact of Possum crawling into our lives, let’s look at the following scenario:

  • Before Possum: Let’s say Jim, a resident of San Mateo, California, requires orthopedic surgery and is doing a search for orthopedic specialists in the area. An area hospital, Hospital A, that publishes location pages for dozens of orthopedic surgeons might dominate the local pack results — not necessarily because Hospital A optimizes its content better than anyone else, but because it is the largest hospital in the area and has enough domain strength to make those pages relevant from an algorithmic standpoint.
  • After Possum: Jim conducts the same search for orthopedic specialists. Instead of a single hospital dominating search results, Google allocates more real estate to other hospitals nearby based on their location and the usual ranking signals — unless Hospital A’s content and data are so well optimized for search that they outperform other hospitals by a wide margin.

What Google is doing here is not new to search. For some time, Google has been making it harder for monster brands such as Amazon to dominate search results for product searches simply because of their size and prominence.

The Amazons and Walmarts of the world no longer dominate the top search results like they once did unless their search signals outperform competitors’ content by a wide margin. With Possum, Google is applying to local search a similar filter it has been using for organic search more generally.

Greater competition with your neighbors

Possum also affects local results in a more arcane, but important, way. As Joy Hawkins discussed in a recent Search Engine Land column, the algorithm is affecting search results for similar businesses that are clustered closely together, examples being:

  • Two or more retailers, such as mattress stores or restaurants, located across the street from each other or in the same strip mall.
  • Professionals, such as attorneys, insurance agents or accountants, who might share the same office space.

Before Possum, an unbranded search for, say, Greek restaurants in Chicago might yield the names of several Greek dining establishments clustered closely together in Chicago’s Greektown area. Such a result would make perfect sense if the person doing the search were located a block away from Greektown, which is located on the city’s near west side.

But what if the searcher were located in the north or south suburbs and wanted to find Greek restaurants in Chicago? Getting the names of a bunch of Greektown restaurants might not be a very good user experience if the searcher wanted to find locations closer to their physical location.

Possum has made it less likely that similar businesses clustered together will dominate location-based searches unless, as noted, the searcher is conducting the search close to the actual location of those businesses.

One implication of this, as local search expert Andrew Shotland uncovered, is that national to local brands may see positive shifts in rankings due to brand authority being turned up as a signal in the ranking algorithm.

Possum has a number of other implications for businesses, as Hawkins details in her article. But for brick-and-mortar businesses that rely on local foot traffic, the impacts I have described are especially important. As Hawkins wrote, “The physical location of the searcher is more important than it was before.”

How to beat the competition

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, optimized properly for search?

Now, more than ever, it’s time to boost your signal for local search to be found. Don’t let your business play possum with local search.

Source: Search Engine Land

Categorized in Search Engine

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