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Details about the latest Google update

In this week’s Wednesday Workshop video, we share updated info about Google’s latest update to its search algorithm. Back in September, Google rolled out (the unfortunately named) Possum Update, which changed several elements of local search results.

My friend Joy Hawkins (one of the smartest Local SEO experts out there – go follow Joy on Twitter) has done extensive research on the Possum update, so we wanted to share the results of what she’s found. Check out the video for all the details on the update.


Hey, it’s time for another Wednesday Workshop video from DealerOn – we’re back with another knowledge bomb from the Beard and the Hair, so hold on to your seats…

Back in September, Google released an update to its local algorithm that changed the way the local packs returned results. The Local SEO community decided to name it the Possum update, but I still think we should have called it Platypus…

Anyway, we had lots of questions about that video, and lots of dealers have stopped us at conferences lately to ask us about it, so we wanted to come back with an update that explains a bit more about the Possum update, now that all the experts have had time to study its results.

Obviously, every market is different, but my friend Joy Hawkins has done a TON of research on this update, and here are the basics of what she’s figured out:

More than ever before, it’s absolutely vital that you find any duplicate Google My Business listings that might exist – they could cause your main listing not to rank.

It looks like third party reviews have more of an impact than they did before – so make sure you’re getting reviews on other sites as well.

Category dilution appears to be more of a problem than before. Don’t try to select as many categories as possible – that’s going to hurt your visibility. Stick to the 2 or 3 that really apply.

Organic ranking still seems to be one of the main factors that influences who shows up in the pack – so your best best is to continue to push all of your standard SEO tactics.

The types of backlinks you have pointed at your site seem to be more important now. I’ve always talked about the fact that links from local businesses are awesome, but now it really looks like the super-relevant links from industry-related sites are carrying a ton of weight too.

Research has also shown that the actual content of reviews is more important than just the overall review count.

And finally, the business’ location in relation to the location of the person searching is more important than ever before. This isn’t something you can optimize for – but it’s still important to understand how it fits into the algorithm.

So, that’s our detailed update on the results of the recent Possum update – thanks again for stopping by to watch.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave ‘em down below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Or, find us at a conference next year (like NADA in New Orleans) and we’d love to chat over a beer. And, don’t forget to stop back next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Author Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at DealerOn. He has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 8 years, helping hundreds of auto dealers thrive while the industry has struggled during the recession. Greg speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings. Greg also spends his spare time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.

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