It wasn’t that long ago that penguins and pandas were animals that lived at the zoo and nothing more. Now say the word “Penguin” and you’re likely to get a few SEO webmasters to jump from their chairs.

What is the Purpose of Google Penguin?

The purpose for upgrades like Penguin and Panda is to decrease search rankings for sites that violate Google’s guidelines. Over the years, blackhat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, link schemes and duplicate content have allowed low-quality websites to have higher rankings than high-quality ones.

Penguin especially focuses on catching spammers and has done a good job cracking down on these sites. However, nothing is perfect, which means this algorithm has affected most websites, not just ones that are using blackhat SEO tactics.

Preparing for Penguin 2.0

Last year, we had two updates to Google Penguin on May May 24, 2012 and October 5, 2012. Both were minor, according to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, and the upcoming update will be much bigger. The next update will be the 4th addition to the Penguin algorithm and is being referred to as Google Penguin 2.0.

Since many webmasters are still trying to recover from last year’s updates, it’s no surprise that the SEO community has been letting out a few moans and groans as Matt Cutts tells us that we can expect the next generation of Penguin to be rolled out in the next few weeks.

This time, we probably won’t be left wondering, “Was there an update? Did it happen while I was sleeping?” This may be more like an apocalypse-style update, at least for websites that aren’t complying with Google’s guidelines.

Even if you’ve been doing everything right, you still can’t help but wonder how the update will affect you. Here are our best predictions for what Penguin 2.0 will bring and how you should prepare for P-Day.

1. Use Natural Links and Natural Link Parameters

If you’ve been using blackhat SEO, Penguin will find you. Make sure that you do not buy links, build links from spam sources, build links that are not relevant to yours or overuse link anchor text.

2. Know the Link Profile of Your Site

It’s a good idea to analyze the different pages and domains that link to your site. This way, you can identify low-quality links that point to your site. If you find these undesirable links, use Google’s Disavow Links tool to clean them up.

3. Focus on Natural Relationships

When you post regular content that is relevant and high in quality, you’ll eventually start to build the types of natural links that Google is looking for. Don’t ever feel that you need to buy relationships to get to the top. By doing things the organic way, you can be kept safe from future algorithm changes and do your business a real favor.