Google Local Possum Update Reversed

What’s this about?

I love it when a Google update rolls back and people get re-listed.

A year after rolling out, the Google Local Possum Update has reversed for a bunch of filtered businesses.

If you’re still affected then you need to do something about it, now don’t you? *cough* virtual offices.

Read all about it in this extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 08 Sept 2017.

#SEO #SEONews #GoogleLocal #LocalSEO #GoogleUpdates

Google Local Possum Update Rolled Back


  • Joy Hawkins reported discovering that the Google Local Possum update from August 2016 had been rolled back around 22nd August 2017.
  • The Possum update filtered businesses which shared, or appeared to share multiple businesses out of a single location / entity. EG those from virtual office suites.
  • As with all updates, there was plenty of collateral damage, which appears to have been reversed in a number of instances.

Google Local Possum Update Reversed

Actions to take:

  1. Check your Google Local 3-pack / 5-pack rankings if you were filtered by the Possum update.
  2. If you were, and you are back, cheer from the rooftops.
  3. If you were and are not back, your options are as they were before:
  4. Clearly disambiguate yourself from the item which is causing you to be filtered: address, phone number, or business name.
  5. Submit the changes and wait for the Google Local team to update. It may be some while.
  6. Click here to contact me to discuss getting your business listed in Google Local.


Google has issues with similarity and duplication. We know that from the main organic search results. Unfortunately addresses, phone numbers, locations are (or can be) a little harder to deduplicate and disambiguate for the Local team, and there are plenty of businesses out there who are busy taking advantage of Google by claiming virtual offices as staffed offices, or opening hours that don’t exist, or keywords in the business name – all sorts of things.

Usually a rollback of a filter from Google means that it has developed some new technique or technology which allows it much finer granularity on things it should / shouldn’t filter. A while ago, Google issued a reminder re virtual offices, and there is a reasonable chance that was a business’s chance to get itself cleaned up before this change came into effect. There is also a chance is was a standard Google mumbling about playing by the rules.

More info:

Return to Top

The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

Return to Top


  • Some lucky people surfaced in local search when the Possum update partially rolled back.
  • If you’re still affected, you need to distinguish yourself from any other business which is listed and could be the cause of the duplicative filtering.
  • They’re not doing anything, it’s just that Google doesn’t yet try particularly hard at local.
  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017.
  • Read about how Google’s Mobile First Index is not Mobile Friendly.
  • Finally, get your content ranking well on Google by starting to understand Find Crawl Index.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

Return to Top