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Now that we've talked about what Google Possum update is all about let's focus on the actual effects Possum had over local rankings after the initial implementation in September 2016.
The update changed Google maps and the way websites rank as local businesses this is the reason no one is making a fuss over this update. But I think this is hugely relevant and I'll let you know why:
Because most studies out there say that Google Possum had changed the results for at least 60% of the total local based keywords out there, take a look at this chart below:
This is what I consider massive changes that happened over night!
For the ones of us that have websites ranking for local groups, it is vital to stay on top of these updates and figure out the ranking signals to outrun our competitors in the SEO game.
So this update is geared towards local business listings that use Google maps. I read some articles that suggested that some sites that are out of city limits were ranking higher for keywords that were out of their city limit. Some websites that were in the city were not ranking as high as those that are within city limits. A lot of websites that were listed in the top position are now listed in the bottom, and some that are in the bottom are now in the top positions. Some positions stayed the same too. This is a confusing update for me..
It appears that whatever algorithm Google used for the possum update seems to be operating pretty good. The local listings around here seem to be improved. For instance, before if I was to search for "Seafood restaurant" I'll get businesses that weren't really seafood places in the higher positions, but it seems that legit seafood restaurants are ranking higher now.
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I think that each and every update that Google brings out is helping real businesses to be ranked and found online. I am so happy about this latest update that has affected local search engine results because I am actually busy working on my first online business that is going to really need local search.
For me this is an absolute blessing!
I agree with @Lynne that Google may be streamlining its processing to weed out the non legit SEO methods regarding the search engine results page. In come discussions that I have come across, some users seem to be worried that their site may be sanctioned by the Google update maybe because they know that they were doing something not exactly legal that can harm their site.