Why Google’s Possum Update is Great for Your Dental Practice

Chances are you’ve received an email or two (or ten) from companies claiming the sky is falling and that Google’s Possum update will kill your rankings. These emails claim it’s terrible, horrible, the worst thing that could happen! But… is it? Yes, things have changed, but we at Roadside Dental Marketing think it’s for the better, not the other way around.

If you're a local dental practice, there's no need to fear Google's Possum update.

How can Google’s Possum update work in your favor?

Search rankings used to be like real estate: Once you owned a position, you were there for good. Those days are gone, and we couldn’t be happier. Google rewards businesses that are current, relevant, and serving searchers with the content they want and need.

It comes down to the basics; Google wants you to prove why and how you are better than your competitor. Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, and they expect your business to change and adapt as well.

What changes has Google made to its algorithms?

Address-based filtering

Before Possum, businesses located just outside a major city found it extremely hard to rank for search terms, including the city’s name. This change is great because it affords dentists with offices in smaller communities to compete and rank much higher than ever before. This helps drive more patients, more leads, and more business your way.

Where you are matters, but the searcher’s location matters more

If you are not located in the same city or even the same state as the person searching for you, they won’t see what people in your business’ area see when using Google to search for local listings. This is great because it pre-qualifies any leads coming your way, in effect, removing the “tire-kickers” so to speak and delivering your business real patients.

Keyword variation filtering

Before, when you searched for terms like “dentist Kansas,” or “Kansas dentist,” the results you saw were very similar. Post-Possum, however, you are seeing more discrepancies. This is probably the most positive change because it now allows your business to be seen for keywords you were previously targeting but not visible for.

What can you do?

Hammer down your local SEO

An accurate and uniform NAP across all platforms leads to a higher ranking because it shows Google your business is real and trustworthy. If you haven’t paid much attention to your local SEO before, now’s the time to hammer it out.

Be better than your competition

Just because you have been in business for 20 years and people love you doesn’t mean you should be or will be ranked on page one of search results. Google wants you to prove why you should be ranked higher; this means being and staying relevant. Google reviews, fresh content, and quality backlinks are just a few of the ways we help our clients get ranked and stay ranked, proving to Google they are better than their competitors on an ongoing basis.


Should this latest update scare you? If you have done nothing in the way of marketing, or have relied solely on your “owned real estate” in the past, then YES, it should scare the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of you.

However, if you’ve been working with a solid marketing agency to stay on top of ongoing changes and have been making effective modifications and adjustments to your marketing strategy, then you should be excited.

In other words, you have no reason to fear those “scare-tactic” emails from SEO companies. Chat with us to get the real scoop on what Possum means for YOUR business!

One thought on “Why Google’s Possum Update is Great for Your Dental Practice
  1. Avatar for Kelsey Halvarson
    Zoli Hargitai

    cool! 🙂

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