Panda, Penguin and now Possum are code names for major changes Google makes to their search algorithms to determine which websites show up on the first page of Google searches. Each of these changes is designed to give more relevant search results to the user.
The Google Possum update is focused primarily on improving local search results. With more than half of searches coming from smart phones, Google realized that a customer searching for a photographer would want one close by.
For example, if you type “wedding” into Google in your phone, one of the suggestions Google will make is “wedding photographer near me.” The same thing will happen if you type phrases like “closest” or “nearby.”
The way Possum does this is by giving you different search results depending on whether you are searching Google from a desktop PC or a smart phone. Smart phone searches give extra ranking credit to photographers who are closest to the person on the phone who is searching!
With the Possum update, how can you make it more likely that you’ll show up at the top of the search results?
Add NAP to Google my Business
Google my Business is more important than ever! Make sure your name, address and phone number (NAP) is entered into GMB. It only takes about half an hour. Learn how to use GMB.
Add NAP to your website
Make sure your NAP is in text at the top of your “About” page, and that it is EXACTLY the same as the NAP in Google my Business. Then make sure your NAP is consistent across Facebook, Yelp, or any other websites. Learn how to check your NAP.
Get positive reviews
Positive reviews on Google and Yelp influence the strength of your local ranking. If people recommend a business, we’re more likely to go there. Google knows this too. Learn how to get reviews online.
Don’t forget Facebook and Facebook reviews. While Facebook doesn’t use Possum, people use Facebook’s search feature to find local photographers.
Purchase Google Adwords
The quickest way to get to the top of the page in mobile is Adwords pay-per-click (PPC). You can bid on a keyword like “wedding photographer” in your local area AND target it to mobile phone users only. Learn about Google Adwords here.