Another Google Update: Penguin & Possum

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Google Search ImageYep, they did it again, and they keep on doing it! Google keeps changing the search algorithm. Many of these, hundreds of changes each year, are minor, but the big ones have an impact on organic search and how marketers approach search engine optimization.


At the beginning of September, 2016, we started hearing buzz about a Google update called Possum. Sites in a number of different verticals saw ranking fluctuations, so an algorithm update was assumed; though, Google never confirmed a change.

This was an update that impacted local search results. The good news for legitimate businesses is that it seemed to remove a lot of spam results. Possum now makes it easier for businesses not located within the city proper to be found in the Local Pack. This algorithm update also makes the physical location of the person performing the search even more important as the results are tailored based on the IP address location.

Read more about Possum here:

Penguin 4.0

By the end of September, 2016, a major algorithm change was confirmed by Google, but this change was the Penguin update. Penguin was originally released in 2012 and has experienced a few tweaks along the way. In September, a major update was released, which was possibly the last Penguin update. Penguin is now updated in real time within the rest of its core search algorithm. The latest Penguin update also devalues spam, Google says, “Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”

Read more about Penguin 4.0 here:

For a history of Google’s algorithm changes visit Moz.

It’s difficult to keep up with all of Google’s changes. That’s where we come in. If you need help determining exactly how these Google updates have impacted your site traffic, contact us. We can help make sure all of the SEO best practices are implemented on your site so your business has successful organic search performance and potential customers can find you.