The Possum Effect or, as some call it, the “Possum Update” is the name given to a Google update that significantly impacted Google’s local pack and local finder results. As many Google updates go, no one knows what truly was changed, but the SEO community quickly learned that legitimate businesses were being filtered out.
Before the possum effect, it was normal for businesses to share the same category and sharing the same building to appear in the same local pack and local finder result. This is no longer the case. Now, if there were 6 personal injury attorney listings at the same building, one, maybe two will show up. The rest will be filtered out and can only be seen again by zooming in on the maps or by setting filters.
How do you avoid and recover from the possum effect?
If your client is ever looking to move offices, offer to conduct research on their address choices. Scout out which addresses might have GMB listings in the same category at the same address and avoid those locations.
Maybe your client really has their heart set on that address or maybe your client is already in a building with GMB listings in the same category. What now?
1st create a list of GMB profiles at your address with the same primary category. Then, go through the list and see if any listings are old GMB profiles and can be marked as closed. You can also check the website and see if the company moved out. Make a suggested edit to the address and move the GMB profile to its new proper home.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your list, its time to prove to Google that your listing deserves to be the one to show the world. Run a competitor analysis on what your competition in your building is doing that you might not be. Remember, Google is always striving to show the world the most relevant result. Optimize your GMB profile, build the best, most content-rich website you can build, and prove to Google that you are #1.