In September, Google rolled out two major algorithm updates that affected search queries and rankings globally. Penguin 4.0 was rolled out, the algorithm that focuses on backlinks and “spammy” links, and also the Google local algorithm, named “possum” was also updated, which focuses on Local business listings within the serps.

Penguin 4.0 – What was this update and how could it affect my rankings?

The most significant change within this update was that the algorithm now runs in real-time, checking websites for spammy activity constantly rather than periodically (every few months or even years). This means that if your website had previously suffered a penalty, your website would have been in penguin jail until the next update was carried out. Also, where a penalty was previously served site wide, the penguin filter now operates at a per link basis, grading individual links and penalising sections, categories, and pages independently instead of an entire website. Previous updates for this algorithm have happened on

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014
  • Penguin 4.0 & real-time on September 23, 2016

Possum local Update – What was this update and how could it affect my rankings?

Googles possum update is now filtering based on the address of your business and the distance you have to the location that a user will be searching for. For example, if you are a solicitors firm based in Greenwich, and you want to rank for “London” as a location, you will be ordered based on your distance to the geographic area of London. A keyword type that is very popular to consider for local service businesses is the “near me” search query that many users conduct on their mobiles whilst on the go. If you are trying to get your business to appear within local listings, keep your strategy focused on the areas that you hold a location within and you should have a positive outcome.


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Google Penguin 4.0September 27th, 2016