Possum got your SERP?
Study shows Google’s Possum update changed 64% of local SERPs. Say what?
The update rolled out on September 1st and it mainly affected the Local/Maps search results.
Joy Hawkins tracked 14,242 keywords and compared August 31st (the day before Possum) rankings with September 7th rankings.
Here are the detailed results:
- 9% of the keywords had the business pop into the Local Finder when they weren’t there previously.
- 11% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by three or more positions.
- 15% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by one to two positions.
- 35% of the keywords showed no change in position for the business.
- 15% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by one to two positions.
- 14% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by more than three positions.
It means 34% of the tracked keywords saw some type of significant change (shifting 3 or more positions).
There is no pattern that would explain the increase or decrease in rankings. For now, it’s crucial for local SEO campaigns to spend time analyzing the actual listing’s changes to figure out which local rankings factors are affecting its online visibility.
Google: Can’t hide content from us
And, what marketer would want to?
As has been previously announced, Google will soon have a “mobile-first index,” in addition to their index of desktop versions of websites. Since most people these days are performing Google searches on mobile devices, this new index will provide more relevant results for mobile users.
Currently, when Google crawls a desktop version of a page, the content hidden within tabs or accordions (aka “click to expand” content) is not given the full weight as the unhidden content. However, Gary Illyes from Google announced that in mobile-first indexing, content hidden in tabs/accordions WILL BE weighed the same as non-hidden content.
This is beneficial for mobile UX because smaller screens often require content to be hidden behind “click to expand” features. And it’s good times for mobile SEO because websites will be able to rank for content hidden for UX purposes in the mobile-first index.
At least this is what Gary Illyes says “should” be the case. As with every Google announcement, it’s important to prepare for the announced changes, but to also perform tests / read others’ tests after the changes are rolled out before accepting their announcements as 100% absolute truth.
‘Round and ’round she goes
Google is now displaying new AMP carousel results in mobile for many queries, specifically for hotel listings. These changes are related to new structured data around AMP and local listings.
Google explains “Host-specific lists displays cards from a single site within a specific category. This markup uses a combination of ItemList markup and individual data type markup to enable a carousel of lists to appear in Search.”