Hi James! In order to find solution to this problem, first you need understand the Google Possum update and how does it affect local search results. The main purpose of Google Possum was to diversify the local results and also prevent spam from ranking as well.
1. Businesses that fall outside of the physical city limits saw a huge spike in ranking.
2. Google is now filtering based on address and affiliation.
3. The physical location of the searcher is more important than it was before.
4. Search results vary more based on slight variations of the keyword searched.
5. The local filter seems to be running more independently from the organic filter.
What you can do to to save your business to from getting penalized after Possum update?
1. NAP Consistency - NAP is the acronym for Name, Address and Phone. It is one of the major factors that determines your local SEO ranking and need to be consistent and relevant.
2. Genuine Reviews- Another important factor that can save your website from getting penalized by Google is to have genuine users’ review and feedback for your listing. If your business is genuine and is used by people then you should definitely encourage them to give feedback and review about your product or service on your Google listing page.
3. Ensure that your business listed in the Google My Business page under the right category. It is very essential to do so. As per the new update Google Algorithm it is very important for your business to be listed in the right category.
4. Keep your business name relevant and short without spamming or stuffing it with keywords. It is always advisable that keyword stuffing should be avoided either in your content, your title or your business name.
5. Don’t Use Fake Business Location - Use the business location at the place where it is ideally located. Always ensure that the location of your business is in the right place with the right address. A small mistake on your side may harm your ranking as per the latest Google Algorithm Update.