skip to Main Content

August 22, 2017 – The Day Google Rolled Back the Possum Proximity Filter

I stumbled across something this morning while checking up on a business that has been filtered due to the Possum algorithm update.  It was one of those exciting moments in the life of an SEO when I saw the business was no longer filtered.  I’ve had my local rank tracker with Bright Local scanning their local ranking daily so I instantly looked back to see when it happened and saw it was August 22nd.



I then proceeded to check another example and they were unfiltered too, also on August 22.  I repeated this for 5 completely unrelated businesses and every single one had the same pattern – they all became unfiltered on August 22.

Here is a screenshot example of how the local results looked like August 21 vs August 22.  You’ll see Brooks Chiropractic was nowhere on August 21 but then appeared and took the 2nd position on August 22.

This doesn’t completely help everyone that was filtered as it appears that Google is still filtering listings that share an address/building like the attorney example I used in my write-up on the Possum update.  So if you’re an attorney using a virtual office, don’t get too excited about this update.  The great news is that it looks like the competitor down the street no longer has the ability to filter you – GREAT NEWS!

Want more local SEO tips?
Check out our LocalU Event in NYC in September!.

localu webinar

Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. It’s great news, Joy, but not for people who’ve just spent a lot of money trying to recover. I guess nothing is wasted though. Those websites will all benefit from an organic lift now they are giving off better signals for their main services.

    1. Yeah I wouldn’t consider it a waste at all! To get unfiltered you had to have the best ranking signals so anything you did to improve their ranking signals will just help them rank even higher now that they’re unfiltered.

  2. Thanks, joy,
    A few days earlier I have observed that Google has given an update but im not sure that what that updates it’s all about because all of my rankings have been decreased to 5th ranking or more but I know that pretty soon google will announce about the update.

    1. Kiera,

      I wouldn’t anticipate any announcement from Google on this one. I have yet to see them announce any algorithm update that impacted the local results.

  3. hey! nice! i have a bussiness on the same building another Marketing Agency (I have a SEO Agency) and my rankings are growing up progressively on several local keywords (Google Spain). Sorry for my English 🙂

  4. We had this very thing happen to 14 of our clients. One client went from 9 million views on maps to 59 million. We talked to support Friday and even got their tech team involved. They are INSISTING its not a bug. We are VERY frustrated because we know these numbers cant be right. FOr example, on the day of Hurricane Harvey we had a TX location go up 150% in views on Maps. We explained this to Google as this is a business that is an entertainment vertical. Google refuses to say there is anything wrong. Also their actions remained the same. So if your views increased by 50 million, shouldnt you seem some sort of uptick in Actions????

    Another case is I have a bank who is most in rural locations. Cities with populations of 2,000 people. Average views on maps are about 200. Well in August it went up to over 2,000. Again, these results are NOT right.

    We were told unless we have Google Analytics they wont do anything

    1. I can safely say that issue with views is not related to the algorithm update. The views increase happened around August 1 and this unfiltering was on August 22.

      1. Hi Joy

        Any idea why the sudden increase? We saw it across the board and the numbers are ludicrous. Google support was no help to us. They basically told us to go kick rocks. I couldnt believe they were justifying these massive increases. C

  5. Hi Joy,

    I have also noticed an update where my few niche websites went down from 2nd page of google to 5th page of google for my base keywords i was targeting US without using any address or location in my website 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top