Is Google’s Possum Update Filtering Out Attorney Listings In The Same Building?

Services: Law Firm Website Design . SEO . Internet Marketing . Law Firm Marketing Guide . Content Marketing . PPC

Google’s Possum update could be affecting your local rankings. Read on to find out how.

What Is the Possum Update?

This is a major Google local algorithm update that occurred September 1st, 2016. We sent out a prior announcement when it was first released, but due to the potential changes it is causing, we wanted to explain in greater detail. This update mainly affects your ranking in the 3-pack and local Google Maps results. Although there are multiple changes that come with this update, we wanted to focus on the issue of offices sharing an address with similar businesses.

Details of the Change 

Businesses that are sharing an address or building with another similar business may now be getting filtered out by Google. This is important. It means that if you are a personal injury attorney, for example, and another personal injury attorney has an office in the same building as you, Google will only show one of your listings. To be clear, Google is not removing the listing or preventing it from ranking, but is only showing the best, most relevant listing and filtering out any others that are too similar.

Who Is At Risk?

Similar businesses who:

  • Have a virtual office space
    • These virtual offices are normally shared with dozens of other businesses all using the same address on their local listings
  • Share the same address, even if they have a unique suite number
    • The suite number does not make it unique enough to Google
  • Work in the same building, even if the address is different
    • An address may be slightly different if a building has entrances to it on different streets. However Google can tell it is still the same building.

What Should I Do?

If your business is getting filtered out, there are two options:

  • Increase your marketing efforts to become more dominant
    • First and foremost, work with PaperStreet to confirm that all local citations have been verified, are accurate and in sync. Then, increase your marketing efforts by publishing more content, earning more backlinks, becoming more active on social media, and boosting the many other authority signals Google considers.
  • Consider a new office space not shared with another business similar to yours
    • This is a big commitment and may not be an option for your business, but could be part of the long-term solution.

Final Thoughts

If you share an address or building with a similar business and need guidance on the next step, contact us. As a current SEO client, we can directly assist with the status of your local and link building efforts, answer any questions or concerns about the general campaign and explain the Google update. For more information, we’ve included additional articles below.

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