Google has confirmed that a new version of the Google Penguin 3.0 update was released on Friday, which marks the first update to the Penguin algorithm in over a year. Penguin 3.0, much like previous versions, is focused on catching websites that use link buying, a deceptive “black hat SEO” tactic to primarily boost search engine rankings.

Every time Google makes minor changes to its search algorithm (which is pretty often), there are always questions of whether or not those particular updates will hugely impact organic search engine rankings. This particular update will mostly impact websites that are practicing Black SEO by link buying. It’s been speculated that those who are buy links instead of building them over time, will lose most if not all of their organic search rankings. To ensure that your website will not fall in rankings, here are a couple of tips to help websites sustain the update.

1. Remove Spammy Links

Google is going to great lengths with their Link Disavow Tool to ensure that they are identifying and removing bad links from the web. Bad links connect your website to non-reputable sites and forums. Make sure your website is not linked to any websites that Google may mark as spam by taking a look at the content on your web pages making sure that there aren’t any bad links or anchor text embedded between sentences in the web copy. An SEO or marketing agency can also use a backlink tool to help you uncover backlinks that may be associated with bad websites.

2. Create High Quality Content

The more backlinks you have, the greater the rank for your website in search engine results. That’s why many sites will try and cheat the system and buy backlinks in bulk without earning them first. However, creating and distributing content is a great way to earn quality links. Make sure content well written and original to see the best results.

3. List Yourself in Directories

Local directories not only help your customers find your business and your business’s website, they are also another great way to build quality links. By creating or updating business profiles on site such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Yellow Pages, you are letting Google know that you are reputable company online.

Bottom line: How do you avoid Penguin? Make sure that your website is not connected with any spammy links to questionable websites. Failure to do so could impact your website’s search engine rankings. Be sure to check with your SEO or marketing company to make sure your site is built to withstand the update and continues to build quality links to help you grow your business.