Attending an SEO interview and wondering what are all the questions and discussions you will go through? Before attending an SEO interview, it’s better to have an idea about the types of SEO interview questions will be asked so that you can mentally prepare answers for them. If you want to gain more expertise, check out our digital marketing courses.
To help you out, I have created the top SEO interview question and answers guide to understand the depth and real-intend of SEO interview questions. Let’s get started.
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SEO Interview Questions & Answers
Let’s segregate the article into three sections:
- Basic Level SEO Interview Questions & Answers
- Intermediate Level SEO Interview Questions & Answers
- Expert Level SEO Interview Questions & Answers
The level of questions may differ depending on the kind of role you’re seeking. For the senior levels, the question could be harder and a similar goes for the junior level positions.
Basic Level SEO Interview Questions & Answers
1. What is SEO?
This is almost always the first SEO interview question you will face.
According to Moz, SEO is:
” the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
SEO helps to increase the visibility of the business. 93% of online experiences begin with search engines.
People trust organic results more than paid results. Having your website listed for right keywords brings potential traffic to your website.
SEO is used to increase the organic traffic to the website. The higher ranking on the search engine shows the better performance of the website, the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. In order to increase the traffic, there are many factors that contribute to it-
- Quality Content
- Usage of keywords
- Relevant topics
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SEO methods help businesses to get their website rank for potential keywords without spending a dime on search engines advertisements and bringing the most valuable traffic. It’s called ‘organic’, ‘free’, ‘natural’ results. There are so many optimization methods, activities should be done to make sure your website is search engine friendly and ranking for targeted keywords.
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2. What does SEO stand for?
SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization.
3. Why SEO is so important to businesses?
There is a popular joke in the online industry is that, if you want to hide a dead body, you should hide it in the second page of Google. Because, a fraction of people actually go to the second page of SERP and if your industry is not on the first page of Google, your competitors will take all your customers.
CTR decreases gradually with each position. If you want your business to be successful in the online world, it is very important to have a well-optimized website. One big advantage of SEO against PPC is, even if you stop your SEO activities today, your results won’t stop tomorrow, unlike PPC.
SEO is very important for businesses if they want to make more sales without high marketing costs.
This makes for the most commonly asked SEO interview questions. In the digital world that we live in, businesses are also moving towards creating an online presence. Even businesses that started before the digital time are also switching to an online presence. The reason is that it brings more visibility.
When the website is updated, the business gets more visibility. The visibility is on the first page, so when a potential customer has searched for a product your business comes into the first results. Another reason why SEO is that it brings trust, if the business is mentioned in the first few searches then it builds trust in the buyer’s mind. If the buyer does not see your business in the first few searches, it brings doubt to the buyer’s mind.
4. What is a Search Engine?
According to Google, a Search engine is “ a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web”.
Search engines answer the queries entered by users and give them the list of relevant results based on various factors.
Search engines are the software that carries out the search and presents the relevant options. It allows the users to search for the content on the world wide web (www). Once the search has been made, the search engine looks for the nearest response according to the search by searching on other web pages and finally presents the search options. There are various types of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
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5. Name a few search engines other than Google.
One of the most common SEO interview question. Popular search engines other than Google are Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo & Yandex. There are actually so many types of Search engines. For example, YouTube is a search engine which only results in video results. If you consider based on traffic, YouTube is the second popular search engine in the world.
To respond to these SEO interview questions and answers, you may choose to answer about other types of search engines as well. That will show your enhanced knowledge such as Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Duck Duck Go, etc.
6. Who are the founders of Google?
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the founders of Google while they were pursuing PhD at Stanford University, California.
7. In which year Google was founded?
Google was founded in 1998.
8. What does Google stand for?
The letters GOOGLE doesn’t stand for anything. It’s not an abbreviation. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the company they named it Backrub.
After they realised they need a new name, they wanted to name as Googol. When they wanted to register they misspelt it Google and rest is history.
9. What are the most important Google Ranking Factors?
There is no definite, concrete answer for this. Everything we know is based on our experiments and industry best practices.
The following can make for the Google Ranking Factors-
- Content Quality
- Organic clicks
- Page loading speed
10. Most important Google ranking factors are:
Quality & Relevant Backlinks
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11. What is web crawling?
Web crawling is the process where search engine bots crawl websites for indexing. Those are called a spider or spider bot. Crawlers use hyperlinks to visit other pages, documents and bring information back to the web servers for indexing. Once the crawler visits a page, it makes a copy of it and adds it URLs to indexing.
More fresh content you produce, more frequent your website will be crawled from search engines.
When asked these SEO interview questions for freshers, you could also mention why crawling is important. The additional response could bring brownie points during an interview. Crawling is important because of indexing as if the website contents or pages would not appear in the search results if they are not indexed.
12. What is SERP?
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. When you search anything on search engines, this is the page where you can see all the results. SERP includes PPC listings and organic listings. Listings are available in multiple formats based on the keyword.
SERPs are unique results for the users, even though the search could have been made using the same keywords. The reason behind this is that before presenting the results, there are other contributing factors that are behind the result such as the browser history, location, etc. There are two types of content available in the SERP result-
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
13. What is an organic result?
Among the two types of search results in SERP, organic results are displayed by search engines based on the relevancy, quality and other ranking factors. Organic results are unpaid results and also called as ‘free results’, ‘natural results’. Ranking of organic results is based on various factors. Organic results can be seen under the paid results. You can’t manipulate organic results by paying Google but can be improved by having high quality content and improving user experience.
14. What is a paid result?
Paid results are which advertisers pay to get their ads displayed above organic results on SERP. Paid results are quick and advertisers don’t need to optimize their website, content to rank. The position will be based on your Max CPC and your quality score. The more quality score you have, the less money you need to pay.
Paid results have a little green box that says paid, which shows that the company has paid to have their website or page to be placed at the top.
15. What is Google Sandbox?
Google Sandbox Effect is a theory that states new websites are normally in the probation period (inside a box) and cant be able to rank well for its most important keywords. The theory states Google needs some time to observe before taking it out of that imaginary area. It may be caused by building too many links within a short period of time.
It has never announced officially but was mentioned when Google talking about different topics.
It is the name given to the ranking process of Google that how it ranks the websites in its index. It is like an imaginary filter that Google puts. The new websites do not get visibility till their probation period. The Sandbox effect could be prevented by improving the content, indexing the website, using keywords, having traffic from social media, etc.
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16. What is Google Autocomplete?
Google Autocomplete is a function in Google and other search engines. When a user starts typing in the search box, the Google autocomplete function gives you a list of options to complete your search.
It helps users to finish the search with less time and effort, especially when you are searching from a mobile device. The search suggestions are based on popular searches and also based on your search history.
17. What is Googlebot?
Googlebot is Google’s web crawler to find, crawl and index web pages.
Googlebot is Google’s web crawler to find, crawl, and index web pages. Googlebot and the Google web crawler is the same thing. There are two different types of crawlers-
- Desktop Crawler- Simulate over the desktop
- Mobile Crawler- Simulate over the mobile device
18. What is DA?
One of the most common question in any SEO interview. DA which stands for Domain Authority is a metric developed by MOZ. It ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the better. The more DA you have the better the possibility of ranking.
The scores between 40 and 50 are considered average. DA scores between 50 and 60 are considered as good and DA scores above 60 are considered excellent.
19. How important is DA?
DA is still an important metric for SEOs. They use it to quickly understand the quality of websites. It helps them to compare multiple sites and understand their authority.
20. Difference between DA and PA.
DA is Domain Authority. It explains the authority of your entire website. The higher the DA, the higher the possibility of ranking. But, DA is one of the hundreds of ranking factor.
PA is Page Authority. It explains the authority of a specific page, based on the backlink, social sharing, etc. PA determines how well a certain page would rank on SERP. A score nearing 100 is considered good.
21. What does www stand for? What is it?
WWW stands for World Wide Web.
World Wide Web is a collection of websites stored in web servers & connected to local computers. The websites contain various types of content like text, images, audio, video and etc.
World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. If we consider WWW as a book, its pages are located on servers all around the globe. How can we travel from one page to another? With the help of hypertext, we can. Hypertext helps users to locate Uniform Resource Locators aka URLs.
22. What is a domain?
People cant remember numbers but they can remember words. Domain names exist as it’s easy to remember a word or phrase instead of remembering long string of numbers. For example, Google.com is easy to remember than “188.8.131.52″. It is simply a part of the address and works as a descriptor.
23. What is a TLD?
Top Level Domain (TLD) is the final part of an internet address. There are different types of TLD are available like .com, .net, .org, .co.in, etc.
24. What is ccTLD?
ccTLD is a country code top-level domains. Each country has their own domain extension. All ccTLDs are just two characters. For example, .in for India, .us for USA.
25. What is web hosting?
If you consider buying a website is like buying a home, web hosting is the land (space) you buy. Web hosting is access to space web hosting companies provide where you can build your website. The server has to be connected to the internet. When visitors type the domain name, their device connects to the server and the pages will be delivered.
26. What does URL stand for?
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It is the address of a web page or document on the www. URL has multiple parts. It begins with protocol (https, http, etc).
Let’s see the multiple components of URL:
Protocol: method used to process the URL (https, http, etc)
Domain: the domain name (ex: upgrad.com)
Path: the folder and page of the website
Query string: parameters for dynamic data
Hash: finds the specific section of a webpage.
27. What is White Hat SEO?
One of the most common question in any SEO interview question and answers guide. White Hat SEO is a process of improving your search engine rank following the guidelines of search engines without compromising on your methods. White Hat SEO doesn’t involve in manipulating search engines with shady methods but instead involves in building search engine friendly website and user experience. White hat involves in creating quality content which provides value to the visitors and helps them to earn links instead of building backlinks.
28. What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is a process of trying to manipulate search engine algorithms to improve the search engine ranking. It violates search engines’ guidelines. Black Hate SEOs practice the methods to get immediate results instead of building a website with users in mind. There are so many Black Hat methods they utilize and search engines identify and offer penalty if get caught. Black Hat methods might be helpful in short term but if you are planning for long term, black hat definitely is not the solution. If your site gets penalized, it takes so much time and effort to remove it.
29. Difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?
The difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO is:
The list of methods which are following Google’s guidelines are called White Hat SEO.
The list of methods which are not following Google’s guidelines are called Black Hat SEO.
30. What are the black hat SEO practices to avoid?
The following are the list of black hat SEO practices to avoid:
Cloaking, keyword stuffing, link exchange, buying links, PNB, link hiding, link farming, gateway or doorway pages.
31. What is a PBN?
Private Blog Network is a website built on dropped or auctioned domain. Some black hat SEOs build them to link to their important website and transfer authority.
Google is against this method as it can uplift a spammy website so they are most often hidden from search engines.
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32. What are all the popular SEO tools available in the market?
This SEO Interview Question is to understand your expertise over tools. Most popular and important SEO tools are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Bing Webmaster Tools, Ahref, SEMRush, Alexa, Moz, Buzzsumo, and more.
Google Search Console: If you are an SEO, you need to master Search Console. It helps you to check your website health in the eyes of Google. It helps you to analyse the performance of your website and helps you optimize it better. It helps you to find the list of errors in the website. It is completely free tool from Google.
Google Analytics: Free version of Google Analytics is sufficient if your website is mid-level. It helps you to understand the performance of your website, understand the behaviour of the visitors, helps you perform better in terms of conversions and so on.
Apart from these free tools, some notable paid tools are
Moz: It helps businesses to analyse and get insights about their websites and their competitors.
Ahrefs: Ahrefs is the best tool if you want to check your or your competitor’s backlinks.
SEMRush: SEMRush helps you check the health of your backlink, the position of your keywords, and errors in your website.
Screaming Frog: It crawls your entire website and lists out all key elements like internal links, external links, titles, descriptions, HTTP status code, and more.
33. What is a do-follow link?
Any SEO Interview Question and Answers guide won’t complete without this question. Do-follow is the default hyperlink. When search engines finds a dofollow link, it crawls the page and pass authority (also called as link juice) from one website to another. More do-follow links from high authority sites means possibility of better ranking in SERP as backlink is still an important ranking factor.
Example of a do-follow link:
<a href=”https://www.upgrad.com”>Do-follow link Example</a>
34. What is a No-follow link?
Again, one of the important SEO interview question.No-follow is another type of backlink where webmasters can tell search engines that not to follow the specific link.
Well, it doesn’t guarantee Google to not to follow the links. Businesses use nofollow link when they link social media sites or any other third party sites and don’t want to pass their link juice to those websites.
35. What is the difference between do-follow and no-follow links?
A Do-follow link passes the link juice from one domain to another and the no-follow link doesn’t pass the link juice.
A Do-follow link is more valuable in terms of SEO and No-follow links are less valuable.
36. What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is the list of activities performed in the website to increase the performance of the website in ranking, user experience and conversion.
Primary aspects of on-page SEO:
Page title, Meta descriptions, Meta tags, URL Structure, Body tags, Keyword density, Image, Internal linking.
37. What is a keyword?
Keywords are words or phrases search engine users use to find relevant content. They are also known as queries.
When we figure out the list of keywords your potential users use, after the complete analyzation, we have to implement those keywords on relevant webpages and optimize it to rank higher on search engines.
38. What is keyword frequency?
Keyword frequency is the number of times a specific keyword phrase appears on a web page. While optimizing a web page, we have to make sure we don’t use the keyword so much that becomes keyword stuffing.
39. What is Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword difficulty is a metric to define how difficult it is to rank for a specific keyword-based on its popularity and competition. Higher the keyword difficulty, more time or number of backlinks might be needed.
41. What is Keyword Proximity?
Keyword Proximity tells the distance between to keywords on a web page.
42. What is Keyword Density?
Keyword Density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a specific web page. When the keyword density is far higher than the recommended level, it might trigger search engines to think it’s keyword stuffing. So, we need to make sure the keyword density is not too high for any primary or secondary search phrases.
For example, if a keyword appears 5 times in an article of 200 words, the density would be 2.5%. There is no ideal keyword density but 3-4% is considered as best practice for SEO.
43. What is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO method which increases the number of keyword density to a far higher range in order to rank for potential keywords. After the panda update, it’s not recommended to keyword stuff to manipulate search engines and should be avoided at all costs.
44. What is Keyword Stemming?
Keyword Stemming is a process of identifying the root word of a keyword and creating new keywords by adding suffixes, prefixes and pluralization.
45. What is Keyword Prominence?
Keyword Prominence tells where your keyword is located in a web page. For example, in a blog section, it is better to have your keyword in the article, especially first and last paragraph.
46. What is NAP?
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.
NAP is one of the critical aspect of Local SEO. It helps search engines to understand and identify the list of companies to be displayed for specific location-based searches.
47. How do you know if you are using the right number of keywords in a page?
There is no right number or range. You have to make sure the keywords in the content looks natural and doesn’t look forced. It is a best practice to have 3 primary keywords and few secondary keywords and again, it depends on the length, keyword difficulty, competition, flow of the page and more.
48. What is long tail keyword?
Long tail keywords are phrases which have more than 4 words and very specific in nature.
Unlike short keywords which are very broad, long tail keywords show the intention and nature of the search thus gets a good number of conversions if we target accordingly.
Blogs are the best places to utilize long tail keywords. Unlike broad keywords, the number searches long tail keywords are very less but if we combine multiple long-tail keywords, we get a good amount of traffic with a very high conversion rate.
49. What is bounce rate in SEO?
Any SEO Interview Question and Answers guide won’t complete without this question. One of the most common question in any Google Analytics interview question. Bounce rate is the percentage of website users who leaves the website from the landing page without visiting any other page or without taking any specific action.
According to Google, Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
To lower the bounce rate, increase the engagement on your page (with the help of internal links, CTA, etc), increase page speed, matching user experience and more.
Bounce rate benchmarks change from genre to genre. Blogs tend to have high bounce rates and B2B sites should have lesser. Benchmarks also change based on the industry.
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50. What are header tags?
Header tags are nothing but header tags in your page.
It ranges from <h1> to <h6> with H1 being the biggest and H6 being the smaller header. H1 and H2 is considered to be the most important for SEO.
It is recommended to utilize your secondary keywords in header tags wherever it feels natural and doable.
51. What are meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes which conveys what the page is about. It provides the description about the webpage not only to search engines but also to users. Users can read the meta descriptions beneath the Title of the web page in search engine results page.
Meta descriptions are one of the important SEO tags where its recommended to optimize for keywords. Apart from that, it is crucial to design a meta description in a way that users want to read more about your web page and thus improve your CTR.
52. What are Internal Links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that connects one webpage to another webpage of your domain. Internal links structure is very important for both user experience and search engines.
Internal links structure should be well planned keeping users in mind so they can navigate the website without any confusion. Keep every important page within 2,3 clicks from the home page. Link Depth is the number of clicks required to reach a page from home page. Keep all your important key pages links in the home page.
Internal links help search engines to crawl and index the web pages of the website and helps link juice pass from one page to another. If properly optimized, right placements of internal links reduce the bounce rate of the web page.
53. What are outbound links?
Outbound links are links that links your website to another website.
Having too many outbound links might hurt your SEO as they pass link juice from your domain to another domains. It is recommended to have no-follow links to outbound links to avoid passing on authority.
Keeping few outbound links to high authority sites might be helpful as you tell search engines more about the content you have and it creates a connection from your website to other relevant websites.
54. What are inbound links?
Inbound links are links coming from another domain to your own domain.
55. Difference between an inbound link and an outbound link?
Inbound links are incoming links from other domains to your domain. Outbound links are links that links your website to another website.
56. What is robots.txt?
Robots.txt is a text file. It is through this file. It instructs search engine crawlers about indexing and caching of a webpage, file of a website or directory, domain.
57. What are anchor texts?
Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Anchor texts help user to understand what the page is about. It also holds SEO value if keywords implemented. But in case of over optimized, might get punished from Google.
Anchor text should be natural and diversity is important like branded, long tail, image links, partial and exact matches.
58. Why is anchor text important to SEO?
Search engines use anchor text to understand the context of the page it is linking to. This holds some SEO value in terms of understanding search engines what the page is about.
59. What is Title Tag?
Title tag helps Google and users to understand the purpose of a web page. Optimizing page title is an important on-page task where it’s recommended to use your primary keyword. Also, the title tag should be good enough to make search engine visitors click on it and visit your web page.
60. What is SEO Friendly URLs?
Again, one of the popular SEO interview questions. SEO Friendly URLs are URLs which are easy for both search engines and users to understand. URLs which are static instead of dynamic, without parameters, keyword optimized, reader-friendly & short.
61. What is Robots Meta Tag?
Robots Meta Tag tells the search engines how to treat the page with commands like FOLLOW, NOFOLLOW, INDEX & NOINDEX.
62. What is 301 redirect?
This SEO Interview Question is to understand your technical knowledge. 301 redirect is a permanent redirect method to redirect users and search engines to redirect from old URL to new URL. When a webmaster wants to redirect from one URL to another for various reasons, 301 is considered as the best as it passes most of link juices from the old page to the new page.
301 is better for SEO compared to 302 or another JS related redirects in terms of passing authority and value.
63. What is Search Console / Webmaster Tools?
Google Search Console, previously known as Webmaster Tools is a tool Google provides to webmaster to check the health of their website in the eyes of the search giant.
Not only webmaster can analyse the various aspects of the website like checking indexing status, crawl errors, crawl status, keyword performance, backlinks, but also can be able to disavow urls, apply for page reindex, upload XML sitemap, etc. If you are attending an SEO interview learn & practice more on this.
64. What is ALT Tag?
Alt tag is an HTML attribute that helps us to give a description to every image you publish in your website. If any reason, the image cant be displayed in the browser, users can read the alt tags and understand what the image relate to. It also helps search engines to understand what the image is about, which helps them to understand more about the page. Alt tags can increase the ranking of the website’s images in Image search of search engines.
65. What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO is the list of activities performed away from the website to improve the ranking and visibility of the website.
Primary aspects of Off-Page SEO:
Guest Blogging, Reverse Guest Blogging, Social Networking Sites, Press release, etc.
66. What are backlinks in SEO?
When one website links to another website, that is called as backlinks. Backlinks are an important SEO ranking factor. There are two types of backlinks. No follow and Do follow backlinks.
When a web page gets multiple relevant backlinks from authority sites, Google and other search engines consider the page to be more relevant to the search query, thus improving the rank of the web page.
The number of the backlinks are not always important but the quality and relevancy makes big impact.
67. How important are backlinks?
Google considers backlinks like a vote. The more backlink a website has, the more popular and important it is. But as we mentioned in the early answer, just the number is not the only factor. There are so many other factor decided how much value every backlinks brings to your website. The authorization of the website, the relevancy of the website, the value of the page where we get backlink from, location of the page where we get backlink and so on.
One high quality backlink is more valuable than ten low quality backlinks. If you are into ERP businesses, the links you get from websites/blogs related to ERP has more valuable than non-ERP related websites.
68. What is Search Engine Submission?
Search engine submission is a processing of submitting your website to popular search engines to make sure it gets crawled and indexed.
But, this process is not necessary anymore as search engines are way smarter and have the capacity to find your website and index easily without you needing to submit it to them manually.
69. What is Forum Posting?
Forum posting is an off-page technique where you create a profile on relevant forum, create a thread, engage with other users, participating in online discussions to get backlinks to your site. This could have been a great way to reach out to potential users and engage but some advertisers spammed the process and thus lost its trustability. But still, if you can engage with users and educate them, clear their doubts, help them find the solution, we can still utilize this method.
70. What is RSS Feed?
RSS Stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS Feed submission is a process of submitting RSS feeds to RSS submission directory. It is helpful for users to get updated on multiple blogs, websites and news from a single location. The usability of RSS is very limited now and the way people consume content has changed along the time.
71. What is Blog Commenting?
Blog Commenting is a process of adding comments on blog posts with a relevant backlink to your website.
There are two types of blog commenting. Automated and Manual. Automated blog commenting is usually a scammy process where you don’t read a blog post and comment on a mass scale. It doesn’t add any value to the reader or publisher. Manual commenting is when you select relevant sites, read through the blog post, add your opinion in the form of a comment, engaging with the author and share your relevant blog post/page which can be helpful to other readers.
72. SEO Value of blog commenting
It is obvious that the value, practice of blog commenting is not how it is used to be. The links don’t hold any value as they are mostly no-follow these days. It can only be valuable if you choose the right blog, share the right link and if people follow your page based on that link. You don’t normally find this question in many SEO interview questions and answers guide but you should be prepared anyway.
73. What is referral traffic?
Referral traffic is the visits you get from third party domains. You can improve the referral traffic by building or earning links from potential and relevant websites.
74. Is directory submission still working?
Directory submission is an off-page SEO technique still getting utilized by some businesses. It works only if your business is getting listed on popular directory websites where people actually look for businesses. Listing the website in dozens of websites just to get backlinks is an old concept that should be avoided.
You can submit your website to niche-relevant directory for citation if it’s a local business.
75. What is PPC?
Pay Per Click or PPC is a kind of advertisement campaign in which advertisers are charged when users click on the advertisement. The amount charged on the advertiser is called Cost Per Click (CPC). Most PPC advertising will include a CPM component as well. CPM is an abbreviation for Cost Per Mille, or in plain English, cost per thousand Ad impressions.
There will be a small cost charged on the advertiser when the Ad gets thousands of views. This SEO Question is to understand your knowledge outside SEO. Read more about the Google AdWords Interview Questions and Answers.
76. What is CTR?
It is one of the common SEO interview questions. CTR stands for Click Through Rate. We can get the CTR by dividing the number of impressions by the number of clicks. Example, if you got 15 clicks out of 150 impressions your CTR would be 10%. CTR is not a direct ranking factor but in a long run it can improves the ranking on SERP.
77. What is EMD?
EMD or Exact Match Domain is a domain which includes the search phrases.
78. What is the difference between page rank and Search engine result page?
Sometimes a tricky SEO Interview question. Page rank is a Google algorithm. This is a metric for measuring the performance of the webpage submitted by webmasters to the search engines. Google discontinued revealing the page rank to the world.
SERP lists the pages that relate to any query made by the user. These results include both organic search as well as paid results. The results in the SERPs hold some position, and these are not just random positions. The ranking positions are decided by the search engines using sophisticated algorithms, and page rank is one of them.
Intermediate Level SEO Interview Questions & Answers
79. What is Canonical URL?
When there are multiple variations of a page, canonical URL is a way of telling search engines which specific URL is the original and which one you want to be listed in search engines. Canonical URL helps websites to avoid duplicate issues. There can be multiple cases you can have canonical issues such as different dynamic parameters of same page, print version, and more.
Cross-domain canonical URL makes content syndication possible.
In this process, you select the original version and use the canonical attribute so the other versions are considered as the variations and not duplicate pages. Share the various methods to fix the canonical issues in this SEO interview question.
80. What is an HTML Sitemap?
One of the important SEO interview questions.
HTML sitemap is a web page where users can able to access the list of pages in a proper structure, organized in a way that they can understand and navigate the site smoothly.
It is not necessary to create an HTML sitemap if your website has handful of user-accessing webpages. If you have a big website, HTML sitemap is particularly useful.
81. What is an XML Sitemap?
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML sitemap is intended, designed only for search engines, time of the last modifications performed on them. It lists the webpages and how frequently those gets updated. XML sitemap is a way for us to ask search engines to crawl and index all our important pages frequently. Sitemap is one of the first thing search engines search when it finds a website.
82. Explain LSI
LSI Stands for Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords are semantically associated with primary keyword that visitors used in the search engines.
LSI keywords will increase the keyword relevancy when we optimize the page with these keywords. LSI make it possible to optimize keywords in the web page without creating keyword stuffing issues. Google’s algorithm utilizes LSI keywords to help identify the relevancy of a particular search term. It helps search engines to understand the semantic structure of the keywords and squeeze out the meaning of the text to bring the best results on SERP.
83. What is Google Algorithm?
Google algorithm is a set of rules, commands and codes that helps the search engine to find relevant search results to user queries. It is said to be more than 200 ranking factors Google algorithm uses to rank a web page for specific keywords. Hummingbird is the name provided to the Google algorithm and every year thousands of updates are improving the algorithm in multiple ways.
84. What is Google Penalty?
According to Wikipedia:
“A Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms or manual review.[dubious – discuss] The penalty can be a by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.”
Google algorithms automatically penalize your website when you violate any Google guidelines. Google executives manually penalize any website if they catch the website doing anything against the guidelines. You receive a notification in your search console when that happens.
It takes so much effort and time to uplift the penalization once you fix the issues and submit your website for consideration.
85. What is Panda Update?
Google has introduced Panda update in 2011 to penalize or devalue lower quality websites based on low quality content and reward high-value websites.
Google panda de-ranks or penalizes pages with less amount of useful content and pages with duplicate content.
86. What is Penguin update?
Google introduced the penguin updated in 2012 to find sites which have spammy backlinks and devalue or penalize. Penguin was intended to find link farms, buying links, blog networks and every other black hat link building methods. Penguin update helped Google find websites which are violating Google’s guidelines and building backlinks just to improve the ranking in SERP.
87. What is Hummingbird Update?
Hummingbird is the name of the Google search algorithm overhaul happened in 2013. Hummingbird has helped to make search more about context and less about keywords and it helps Google better understand the intend of the keywords not just keywords.
The better and improved interpretations of the intention is what special about the hummingbird.
88. What is Mobilegeddon update?
Mobilegeddon update is the way of Google telling webmasters to make their websites mobile friendly in order to be given priority on search engine results. As the number of people uses Google on mobile devices keeps on increasing, Google’s intention is to give best experience to all mobile users by providing them mobile friendly web pages in results. After Mobilegeddon update, mobile friendliness of a page has become an essential factor in ranking the websites in the SERPs.
89. Google Pigeon Update?
Google Pigeon is an update to increase the relevancy and quality of local searches.
90. List down the tools you use for SEO?
Here, you need to list of tools you have used in the past / present like
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, Similar Web, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Alexa.
91. What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets is a form of structured data which helps websites to give more information to the readers and helps them to get more clicks. Rich snippets don’t directly improve the ranking of a web page but if presented well, it can increase the CTR of the web page which can increase the ranking in a long run.
92. What is Cloaking?
Cloaking is a black hat technique where the user finds different web page content when compared to that web page content search engine finds. Cloaking a method of tricking search engine algorithm to index a totally different keyword stuffed webpage but displaying the actual page only to users.
93. What are Doorway Pages?
Doorway pages are a black hat method which should be avoided. Doorway pages are the pages search engines users first visit after clicking a search engine result before entering the real landing page. They are optimized for search engines and once the user visits the doorway pages they are automatically redirected to the real landing page.
94. What does EAT mean?
Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness.
95. What stand for YMYL ?
YMYL Stands for Your Money, Your Life.
96. How to decrease the loading time of the website?
We can decrease loading time by
Optimize CSS delivery to reduce HTTP request
Using external style sheets
Compressed images (without compromising the quality)
Enable browser caching
Use CSS sprites to reduce HTTP request
Less self- hosted videos
98. What is Google Analytics?
This is almost always the first Google Analytics interview question you will face. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you track and analyze the performance of your website.
Google Analytics records various activities of users when they visit your site like user engagement, visitor flow, number of conversions, along with attributes such as age, gender, interests with the help of tracking code.
Google Analytics aggregates the data in multiple ways like User level, Session level, Pageview level, Event level.
The main purpose of the tool is to help you make decisions to improve the site performance and revenue.
99. Tell me some of the reports in Google Analytics
- Mobile performance report
- Traffic acquisition report
- Content efficiency report
- Keyword analysis report
- New vs Returning visitors
- Landing pages report
- Bounce rate vs Exit rate report
100. What you can get from Google Analytics?
This SEO Interview question is to check your GA knowledge.The primary things we can get from Google analytics are:
Real time users report
Location of your users
Best and worst performing channels
List of popular pages
Speed of your webpages
Goals and conversion
Visitor Behavior and internal search
101. What is meant by conversions and how will you track conversions through GA?
One of the important questions suggested by most of Google analytics questions and answer guides. Conversions happen when your predefined Google Analytics goals are accomplished thus generating ROI to the website.
For example, if the user takes any desired action on the website, like filling the form or signing up a newsletter, or simply showing a high level of engagement, etc. Goals can be utilized in Google analytics to set the conversion tracking.
Any completed user activity that is important for your business is called conversion. In normal words, a conversion is a successful accomplishment of a predefined goal.
102. What are all the crucial factors to improve the ranking?
The content quality of the web page
How fresh, in-depth your content is
Authority of your domain for the subject
Number of quality and relevant backlinks
103. What are the common SEO Mistakes to be avoided?
This SEO Interview Question is to check your experience and cautiousness. Some of the common mistakes to be avoided are:
Not considerate about the freshness and the quality of the webpage
Not having unique title and description
Optimizing for very broad keywords
Building multiple low quality backlinks
Using poorly-written content
104. How do you optimize an URL?
URLs should be optimized for keywords, URLs should be simple, short and easy for readers to understand.
105. What is Competitive Analysis?
Competitive analysis is the process of identifying your organic competitors and analysing how they perform better, where do the lack and using the information to make your site better.
It normally includes on-page analysis, keywords they are using, content quality and pattern, internal linking and navigation, backlinks, referring domains.
106. How to see the list of pages indexed by Google?
In the search console, we can be able to check the number of website pages google indexed. Another method is to use search operator in Google to manually check the list of all pages indexed by the search giant.
107. What is Mobile First Indexing?
Mobile first indexing implies that Google use the mobile version of the content for indexing.
108. What is Press Release Submission in SEO?
Press release submission is a process of writing newsworthy content like new releases, partnerships, new hires, etc and submit them to popular PR sites for link building and to increase the visibility of the website. To make sure they publish it, the content has to be interesting and important.
109. What is the value of press releases?
We can get the value from press release only when we earn new links from third party websites. As it costs money to publish press releases, it’s very important to make sure the story is interesting enough to earn quality backlinks.
110. What are contextual backlinks?
Contextual backlinks are the links surrounded by text in the body of the content. Contextual links possess high value than the links from header, footer or sidebar.
Contextual links are the most valuable backlinks but are difficult to attain.
112. What are the social media platform used for SEO?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn are some crucial platforms that are used for online promotion.
113. What are social signals?
Social signals are engaging activities people have with your accounts on social media platforms as in likes, dislikes, comments, shares, views, etc.
114. What is cross linking?
Cross linking is the activity of linking one site to another. It provides users with reference sites that contain the content related to the search. If owned by same person, Google recommends it to be no-follow.
115. How to say a specific link is a bad one?
Links from irrelevant and low authorised websites, links from link exchanges, too many anchor-optimized links from single page, and links from penalized websites.
116. High quality content or high amount of backlinks?
If we have high quality content, we can earn high quality backlinks. Quality is always better than Quantity (even in SEO). So, high quality content is always better.
Expert Level SEO Interview Questions & Answers
117. What is AMP?
AMP stands for Accelerate Mobile Pages is an open source project which helps publishers to increase the speed and improve readability of their web pages on mobile devices. Google, WordPress, Adobe has joined hands with few other companies to made this possible.
118. What is Rankbrain?
Rankbrain is a part of Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm. Google utilizes Rankbrain to understand the intend of search queries. Its an AI system to process pages to understand and decide the relevant results for specific new queries. RankBrain can learn and understand new patterns which helps to find quality results. There is no way to optimize a website for RankBrain but just to concentrate on quality content as RankBrain is hardly about keywords.
119. What is BERT algorithm?
Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers is an algorithm updated which helps Google with a deep learning algorithm for NLP. Natural language processing can help Google to understand the context of the sentence as like a human.
120. What is SEO Audit?
SEO Audit is an activity of evaluating the health of the website. There are multiple sections involved in SEO audit like On-Page, Off-Page and Technical SEO.
SEO Audit helps to find the issues in the website which should be fixed to improve the website ranking, user experience and conversions.
Some of the primary aspects are: Indexability, on-page, content quality, technical SEO, navigation, speed of the website, structuring of the website, anchor texts, off-page, referring domain – backlink ratio, meta data, quality of the referring domains, competitive analysis, etc.
121. What is a link audit?
Link audit is an activity to audit the backlinks of your domain. Link audit helps you to understand the type of backlinks you receive, also to lists to backlinks you want to add to your disavow list.
122. What is Google’s Rich Answer Box?
This is one of the advanced SEO interview question. Google’s method of helping the users to find the answer to their queries without clicking any website is Google’s rich answer box. You can find these when search for weather reports, distance, cricket score, unit conversions, calculators, text based answers and more.
123. What is Disavow Tool?
Disavow Tool is a Google Search Console Tool to allow publishers to convey Google that certain links from other domains should not be considered and should be avoided. It helps the websites to avoid any actions based on bad links. But, the tool should be handled very carefully and if not used with cautious, it can harm the website performance in search engines.
124. What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is one of the best link building activity where you contact a relevant and quality website and offer to write for them and getting a contextual link back to your page. Some websites let you have link only on the author bio and some websites let you have link in-body for a small fee.
Guest posting increases the visibility of your website among your targeted customers and potential traffic to your website and improves the authority of your website.
125. What is Schema Markup?
Very regular SEO Interview Question. Schema Markup is a structured data you implement in the website for search engines to understand your website better and provide additional information to users on SERP. It doesn’t improve the search ranking of the website but the rich snippet improves the CTR of the listing thus improves the ranking in long run.
126. How can we increase the frequency of crawling by search engines?
We can increase the frequency by updating the page regularly, adding new content. Ensuring the server has no downtime and always works and running, updating your sitemaps, removing unnecessary pages, improving quality backlinks, decreasing the loading time of your website, etc.
127. What is “(Not Provided)” data in Keyword Reports?
Honestly, this is one of the regular questions in the google analytics interview question. To answer this you have to understand why google does this.
In October 2011, Google changed the way it harvests data from search to protect users’ privacy.
How to solve this:
Use traffic sources data from the queries report
Examine Google ads data
Use search console – search queries data
128. How to optimize a website with millions of pages?
Special attention need to be given to following section for those kind of websites:
Creating dynamic meta tags
Dynamic XML sitemap
Strong internal structure for navigation
129. What to do if your website got penalized ?
First, to understand why it happened and fix the issues completely. Then apply for re-inclusion.
130. How can we improve the landing page quality?
Landing page quality can be improved by following ways:
- A strong headline and supportive tagline
- Original and quality content
- Page load time
- User-friendliness and user experience
- Following Google guidelines
- Easy to navigate and understand
- Clear call of action message
- Visual imagery
- Not having too many links
- Should connect with Brand and proposition
- Simplified lead capture form
- Trust symbols.
131. What is Event Tracking?
It is one of the common Google analytics interview questions. Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load.
Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events.
For example, if you like to see how many visitors download an ebook, watched a video, you can set up event tracking.
132. What does SEO Manager do?
An important SEO Interview Question if you are attending an interview for the position of SEO Manager. An SEO Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) campaigns/programs for clients. They oversee and coordinate with the content, design, social media, and marketing teams and also manage offsite and onsite optimization projects. SEO Managers get the higher range of SEO salary in India. SEO manager is responsible to coordinate SEO efforts, both onpage and offsite optimization. SEO manager develops and executive SEO strategies with the help of his team of SEO specialists. He/she also needs to have basic knowledge of web design and development.
Primary tasks of an SEO Manager:
- Execute SEO projects and campaigns to improve website leads/purchase.
- Analyze, report the performance of the projects and campaigns.
- Overlook the performance of other team members, and guide them to work efficiently.
- Optimize the website landing page, fill the content gap and track KPIs.
- He should have excellent communication skills to help him collaborate with other team heads.
Guiding the team for the challenges they face and recommend suggestions to fix problems.
133. What is model comparison tool?
Final SEO Interview Question in our guide. This is one of the most complex questions in Google analytics Question answer guide. What actually is model comparison tool?
Attribution models are widely used to identify the right marketing channel and gives credit. But how do you decide which attribution model would work for your business?
Model comparison tool helps to compare conversion metric by using different attribution modeling like first interaction, last interaction, time decay and more. Model comparison tools helps you to compare three attribution models with one another.
For example, you can compare how Twitter advertising works when you apply last clicks with linear and time decay attribution.
We hope our SEO Interview Questions and Answers guide is helpful. We will be updating the guide regularly to keep you updated.
If you want to explore and become an expert in Digital marketing, check out MICA and upGrad’s Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing & Communication. Become an expert in content marketing, social media, branding, marketing analysis and PR.
What are the must-have SEO skills for a Search Engine Optimizer?
As a Search Engine Optimizer it is essential to inculcate these must-have skills in order to succeed in your line of business.
1. Keep Abreast of Trends & Offer Strategic Forecast SEO Changes:
SEO specialists need to be extremely observant. It is important to be calculative and deliver measured solutions that are backed by your SEO numbers. The ultimate goal is to increase conversions with careful analytical inputs at specific time intervals.
2. Be an Expert in Technical SEO:
Specific SEO activities that relate to links and content that pop up when a user is searching for answers on a topic on Google can be referred to as Technical SEO. The domain of expertise also involves SEO specialists having a thorough grasp of server and website optimisations practices that helps improve organic rankings.
What is the importance of factors that are a part of technical SEO?
Technical SEO comprises several factors that will assist an SEO Specialist to achieve higher rankings for a website. This is a core deliverable as far as SEO optimization is concerned that can directly impact your conversions and results.
1. Identify crawl errors with a crawl report
2. Check HTTPS status codes, XML sitemap status and site load time
3. Audit for keyword cannibalization.
4. Perform a Google site search
5. Check for duplicate metadata, meta description length, broken links and duplicate content
6. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
What are the Technical Best Practices for SEO?
If your goal is to boost keywords rankings followed by a steady flow of traffic to your site resulting in a healthy rate of conversions, you need to follow a set of technical best practices that will give you your desired outcome.
1. Make sure that you focus on matching user expectations with your SEO copy and visibility criteria
2. Check if your site is indexed with Google’s outlined parameters ensuring that user intent is matched when they are searching for a product or service that your website offers
The objective behind implementing these best practices is to get Google’s search engines to trust your content. With SEO optimised content, it is easier to find success in a marketplace that is already competitive and crowded.