Google Local Possum Update

In September and October of 2016 the “experts” discussed how the Google Local 3 pack was changing. Some of the more highly trafficked websites started calling it the Google Possum update because local businesses came out of nowhere to just show up. After doing plenty of research we have noticed that more and more Google Local 3 Pack search results are changing; and some are not for the better.

In the last three days we have documented dozens of cases in which 2 and 3 star rating businesses are showing up in the local pack over 4 and 5 star businesses. We have also seen an increase in the number of local pack search results displaying for businesses that have no reviews or less than five reviews. Here is an example:


Notice that the first result in the local 3 pack is for a mortgage broker with zero reviews and the second result is for a bank with one review. To make matters even worse, when clicking on the website for Cunningham & Co. it takes you to a website for an Oklahoma City mortgage lender. This search query was for a Mooresville, NC mortgage broker.

These search results are very poor for anyone looking for a local mortgage broker with experience in the area. Only one of the three 3 pack results are for a local broker and he has four total reviews.

If you are a mortgage broker that has seen a drastic change in the local 3 pack results on Google search please feel free to reach out to us at While there is no magic formula to get the local 3 pack to trigger your business, you can improve the SEO of your website which will help you get more organic traffic and will ultimately help you with the Google Map search results.

It looks as if Google is trying many new algorithm factors to determine the results for the local 3 pack but they are going to have to adjust quickly as these results are not providing the quality businesses that should show up. This is just another reason it is extremely important to have a great website with content that brings in traffic for thousands of different keyword phrases.