New Google Update Snuck in Like a … Well, Like a Possum Algorithm

23 September 2016
Published: By: Chloe Mayo

At Active Internet Marketing (UK), we’re insatiably interested in all of the bizarre tweaks that Google regularly makes. We’ve spoken at length about Google going goth, speculated wildly about their ad button colour change, and waxed lyrical about all of the established Google algorithms, so you can only imagine our frenzied flapping when one of our team piped up to say “have you noticed recently that local searches are dominating the front page a bit?”

Cue frenzied typing as we check all manner of innocuous terms, like ‘house’,

A screenshot of a google search for 'house' which shows local results such a 'house properties in Northampton' rather than big companies, possible as a result of the google Possum algorithm


Another screenshot of a google search, this time for 'funfair', showing local search results because of a Possum algorithm update, potentially

and ‘shoes’,

A google search result for 'shoes' in which no local results are seen, only big brands

Ok, so it hasn’t hit shoes yet.

Google seems to have leaned heavily in favour of local search results, something any local SEO company (such as Active Internet Marketing (UK)) will be delighted to hear. For ‘house’, a whopping 40% of the SERP was local to our location, and local results took up position 2, 4, 5, and 7. This is fairly prime real estate, with some results even above the fold. The competition? Massive brands such as House of Fraser, which appeared below a local result.

So far, Google has either been quiet or vague about this perceived ‘update’, but we’ve dived deeper into this and it seems that Search Engine Land has noticed this too. So far, the update seems to have come off the back of a ‘Possum’ algorithm, or may even be a part of it. People have identified that the Possum algorithm impacted local results and Google Map results, but not necessarily organic results. Well, that’s certainly changed now.

Have you noticed wild changes in the results that Google has been showing you? Do you think this is to do with the Possum algorithm update, or a different thing entirely? Talk to us about it now on our Twitter @ActiveIMUK and let us know how this is going to affect your marketing strategy.

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