This post was most recently updated on February 18th, 2018
SEO is a trending topic in the Digital Marketing Industry these days. Many jobs opportunities are available out there in the market for the field of an SEO. But the common questions which people ask before going to an interview is what all will be asked in the Interview?
I was coming across this question a lot and so I decided to create a detailed post covering all the important SEO Interview Questions. I have tried to make it as simple as possible and covered only those questions which are important.
I guarantee you that there is no BS in this article. This is a complete goldmine if you are a beginner. However, if you are an intermediate SEO still this post will help you revise all your concepts in under 6 minutes.
So, without further ado let’s dive right in!
- 1) What do you understand by the term SEO?
- 2) Define On-Page SEO
- 3) Define Off-Page SEO
- 4) What are steps involved while implementing SEO?
- 5) What is the major difference between On page and Off page SEO?
- 6) Name some of the working techniques for Off Page SEO
- 7) What is Google Sandbox?
- 8) What is White Hat SEO?
- 9) What is Black Hat SEO?
- 10) What do you mean by a crawler?
- 11) Which basic tools are required to get started with SEO?
- 12) Are you aware of the latest Rankbrain update? If yes, what is it all about?
- 13) What is Link Cloaking?
- 14) What is Indexing?
- 15) What are SERPs?
- 16) What is Google Suggest?
- 17) What are the limitations of the Title and Meta Tags?
- 18) What do you understand by Keyword Research?
- 19) What is Keyword Difficulty?
- 20) What are LSI Keywords?
- 21) Which are the best tools to do keyword research?
- 22) What are backlinks?
- 23) What is a Do-follow link?
- 24) What is a No-follow link?
- 25) What are the most important ranking factors in Google?
- 26) What is a Canonical URL?
- 27) What are Meta Descriptions?
- 28) What do you understand by SEO Friendly URLs?
- 29) What is an SSL Certificate and why is it important?
- 30) What is Link Velocity?
- 31) What do you understand by the term SEO Audit?
- 32) What is Guest Posting and how to do it?
- 33) What do you understand by Internal Linking?
- 34) What is Robots.txt?
- 35) What is an XML Sitemap?
- 36) What are 404 errors?
- 37) What is a 301 redirect?
- 38) What is Image Alt Text?
- 39) What is Domain Authority?
- 40) What is Page Authority?
- 41) What do you understand by Trust Flow?
- 42) What is Citation Flow?
- 43) What is Google Analytics?
- 44) What is Social Bookmarking?
- 45) What do you understand by the term Directory Submission?
- 46) Does Blog Commenting still help? Yes or no. Justify your answer?
- 47) What is Penguin?
- 48) What is Panda?
- 49) What is Hummingbird?
- 50) What is Google Pigeon Update?
- 51) What is a Google Penalty?
- 52) What are link exchanges?
- 53) What is Google My Business?
- 54) What is AMP?
- 55) What are the advantages and disadvantages of having AMP?
- 56) What is a CDN and how it helps boost your SEO Performance?
- 57) What is Keyword Density?
- 58) What is Keyword Stuffing?
- 59) How do you Fetch your website in Google?
- 60) What do you understand by Google Disavow Tools?
- 61) What is Google Trends?
- 62) What is Google Alerts?
- 63) What is Bounce Rate?
- 64) What is Pogo Sticking?
- 65) What is an Alexa Rank in SEO?
- 66) What do you understand by contextual links?
- 67) What is Organic Traffic?
- 68) What is Paid traffic?
- 69) What is referral traffic?
- 70) What is TLD and types of TLDs?
- 71) Which blogs do you follow to upgrade your SEO knowledge?
- 72) What attracted you to the SEO industry?
- Wrap up
1) What do you understand by the term SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a process in which you try to dominate Google to better rank in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) by optimizing your website and web pages.
2) Define On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is what you do on your website to get higher rankings in search. It includes optimizing your content, HTML code, Title and Meta Tags, Image Alt Text, Keyword Density, etc. On-Page is 100% in your control.
3) Define Off-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO is something which you do outside of your website. It includes Link building, Social Media promotion, Content Marketing which helps you build the overall brand presence of a site in the offline world. Remember, Off-Page SEO is not 100% in your control.
4) What are steps involved while implementing SEO?
Here are some of the steps which you follow:
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Analysis
- Writing Unique Content
- Optimize the content with On-Page SEO practices
- Promote the content via Social Media
- Grab high authority links in natural form
- Analyse the reports from an Analytics Tool
5) What is the major difference between On page and Off page SEO?
On-Page SEO is done on your website pages and content. With On-Page SEO you have full control. However, with Off-Page SEO you can’t control everything. Off-Page SEO is something which you do to increase your brand presence outside of your website.
6) Name some of the working techniques for Off Page SEO
- Guest Posting
- Article submission
- Directory Submission
- Infographics Outreach
- Forum Submissions
- Scholarship Link Building
- Competitor Link Analysis
- Press Release Submissions
7) What is Google Sandbox?
Google Sandbox is applied to new websites. It’s when a new website doesn’t see any rankings even if the keyword competition is very low. It doesn’t matter if your content is unique your website will still go through this phase initially.
It also happens when you make so many links in a short period of time. At that point, your website enters the Sandbox mode.
8) What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO is building links in a white label way which is highly aligned with Google terms and conditions.
Some of the techniques include:
- Guest Posting
- Email Outreaching
- Infographics Outreach
9) What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is building links in an illegal way which doesn’t come under the guidelines of Google’s terms and conditions. If done the wrong way your site might get penalized.
Some of the Black Hat SEO Techniques include:
- Link Farming
- PBNs (Private Blog Networks)
- Keyword Stuffing
10) What do you mean by a crawler?
Crawlers are bots that run automatically all over the web to index new content that is available on the web.
- Google Bot
- Yahoo Slurp
11) Which basic tools are required to get started with SEO?
Here are some of the basic tools required to get started with SEO (Note that all these tools are available for FREE):
- Google Webmasters Tool or Search Console – Index web pages and show errors while indexing (It’s more than this)
- Google Keyword Planner – To do Keyword Research
- Google Analytics – To track all the Data
- Google Trends – To track the trends of a particular search term
- Alexa Rank – Shows your website rank all over the world
- Ubersuggest – Keyword Research Tool
12) Are you aware of the latest Rankbrain update? If yes, what is it all about?
RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google uses to sort the search results. It also helps Google to process and understand the search queries better.
13) What is Link Cloaking?
Link Cloaking is a Black Hat SEO Technique to trick the Search Engine Bots. Basically, in Link Cloaking the content presented to the crawlers is different from that presented to the users. The content has multiple pages with almost identical content in it.
14) What is Indexing?
In simple language, Indexing is adding new web pages into Google search.
15) What are SERPs?
SERPs stands for Search Engine Results Page. It is the result shown in Google Search in response to the query searched by the user.
16) What is Google Suggest?
Google Suggest also known as Autocomplete is a function developed by Google to help users complete their query while they are typing in the search bar.
17) What are the limitations of the Title and Meta Tags?
The Title tag should be between 66-70 characters, and Meta Description tag should be between 230-320 characters.
18) What do you understand by Keyword Research?
Keyword Research is done to check the competition of an individual keyword to know the demand or number of searches and competition of keywords.
Types of keywords:
There are total three types of keywords:
– Head Tail Keywords
– Medium Tail Keywords
E.g.: What is SEO
– Long Tail Keywords
E.g.: What is SEO and how to implement it?
19) What is Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword Difficulty is a score which helps you determine whether to rank for this keyword is easy or difficult.
20) What are LSI Keywords?
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Keyword. In a simple manner, you can say LSI keywords are the synonyms of your primary keywords
Read the detailed guide here: LSI Keywords
21) Which are the best tools to do keyword research?
There are several tools to do keyword research here are my some of my favorites:
Free KW research tools:
– Google Keyword Planner
Paid KW Research tools:
Backlinks are the incoming links to your website from other websites. Backlinks play a vital role in SEO. If your page has good authority backlinks from several big websites, Google will give more importance to your page compared to low authority backlinks page.
As the name suggests, it tells Google to follow the link and pass all the link juice to the external links. In simple words, Do-follow links are more beneficial compared to a no-follow backlink. Google is more interested in a Do-follow backlink.
No-follow link tells Google not to follow the link and also not to pass the link juice to any external websites. No-follow links have zero to no relevance. However, getting a no-follow link from a very high authoritative website is still helpful.
25) What are the most important ranking factors in Google?
Here are the top three important ranking factors in Google:
- Unique Content
- High Authority Backlinks
26) What is a Canonical URL?
Canonical URLs helps prevent duplication on the web. For example, if you have two web pages with similar content and you want Google to index the page with the best content. You then apply a “rel=canonical” tag to that page meaning Google now will give priority to the Canonical tag page and ignore the rest. This will eventually help eliminate the duplication on the web.
27) What are Meta Descriptions?
Meta Descriptions are HTML Attributes which are shown right below the URL in SERPs. Meta Descriptions can be 230-320 characters long. It shows what the webpage is all about and also helps in increasing the Click Through Rate (CTR) if done correctly.
Check this example:
28) What do you understand by SEO Friendly URLs?
SEO Friendly URLs are simple to understand and are short in size.
www.bloggerscloud.com/short-url (Short URL)
www.bloggerscloud.com/this-is-a-example-of-a-short-url?p=223 (Long and Dynamic URL)
Short URLs are easy to understand and naturally given more weight by Google.
29) What is an SSL Certificate and why is it important?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Any computer can see your important credential information like Credit Card numbers, phone numbers, and passwords. To prevent this, we need an SSL Certificate. With SSL Certificate all this information is hidden and is no more readable by the computer.
After installing an SSL certificate, you’ll see a lock with https:// protocol right at the beginning of your domain name.
30) What is Link Velocity?
The term Link Velocity means how often other websites are linking back to your site. In other words, it’s the rate at which your backlink profile is growing over a period of time.
31) What do you understand by the term SEO Audit?
As SEO Audit deals with the overall health of your website. It checks the On-Page and Off-Page SEO metrics and helps you analyze how you can perform better in SERPs visibility.
32) What is Guest Posting and how to do it?
Guest Posting is writing a blog/article for other websites and getting a link back to your website. Guest Posting is done via sending out emails and asking for permission to Guest Blog on any high-quality website. This whole process is mainly done to acquire links.
33) What do you understand by Internal Linking?
As the name suggests, an Internal link is a link that goes from one page to another page internally on a website. Proper Internal linking helps in the overall navigation of your website and which in turn reduces the Bounce Rate.
34) What is Robots.txt?
Robots.txt is a file which helps communicate with Search Engine crawlers about the web pages which you don’t want them to read and visit.
Let’s understand it better with an example:
If you want to block your category page, just put the following code:
If you want to block your tags, just put the following code:
35) What is an XML Sitemap?
XML Sitemap helps Google find and crawl all pages that are essential on your website. An XML Sitemap is a roadmap to all important pages of your website.
Example of XML Sitemap:
36) What are 404 errors?
404 Error is an HTTP status code that means the webpage is no longer available or is not active on your website.
If the search engine crawls such 404 web pages frequently, chances are you might see a rankings drop on your website.
37) What is a 301 redirect?
301 Redirect is a permanent redirect which almost passes 99.99% link juice to the new redirected page.
When you change the page URL that’s when you redirect the old URL to a new URL with a 301 redirect.
38) What is Image Alt Text?
Google bots are unable to understand images that is why we use Image Alt Text to help Google understand the context of the image.
It’s an On-Page SEO metric and if done correctly can boost your Image SEO rankings.
39) What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is a search ranking factor developed by Moz which calculates the overall authority of a domain between 0-100. The higher the authority of a domain the more it’s likely to rank better in SERPs.
40) What is Page Authority?
Page Authority is a Page Ranking factor again developed by Moz which calculates the overall authority of a page between 0-100. The higher the authority of the page the more it’s likely to rank better in SERPs.
41) What do you understand by Trust Flow?
Trust Flow (TF) is similar to Domain Authority (DA), but it’s developed by a different company named Majestic. It states the overall Trust of a domain that Google holds for that particular domain from 0-100.
42) What is Citation Flow?
Citation Flow (CF) measures the link equity or “power” the website or link carries. The score is measured between 0-100.
43) What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a product by Google which was launched back in 2005 and is used to churn out a lot of data like tracking real-time visitors on your website, where the traffic is coming from, number of user sessions, bounce rate, etc.
With Google Analytics data analyzing you can plan your future strategy well by understanding the data properly.
44) What is Social Bookmarking?
Social Bookmarking is a form of an Off-Page SEO technique. It’s a simple and easy way to get highly relevant traffic.
In simple words, it’s similar to bookmarks you keep in your browser. Social Bookmarking websites are bookmarks which you keep on the web online publicly so that anyone can read it.
Examples of Social Bookmarking websites are:
45) What do you understand by the term Directory Submission?
Directory Submission are websites where you submit your website URL and acquire free backlinks back to your blog.
There are several business directories and niche directories where you can submit the URL. However, in 2018 I don’t highly recommend you to go with Directory Submissions as they are no more effective.
46) Does Blog Commenting still help? Yes or no. Justify your answer?
Yes, Blog Commenting still help to get highly relevant traffic only if it’s done right. Commenting just for the sake of acquiring backlinks won’t help. However, if you are genuinely commenting on a website with a clean intention than yes blog commenting will help get you targeted traffic.
Blog Commenting should be done with care and relevance to get the maximum out of it.
47) What is Penguin?
Penguin is an Algorithm launched by Google in April 2012 to penalize the sites which are spamming the search engines by buying backlinks in bulk from various platforms.
48) What is Panda?
Panda is an Algorithm launched by Google in February 2011 to devalue low quality and thin websites. In other words, websites with just 300-500 words content are difficult to rank after the Google Panda update. You need to provide strong and thorough content to rank better.
49) What is Hummingbird?
Google Hummingbird algorithm was launched to understand the context of a users search queries. Gone are the days when you can rank websites with just a single keyword. Now after the Hummingbird update, you need to use a variation of LSI Keywords to overcome the Google Hummingbird Algorithm.
50) What is Google Pigeon Update?
The Google Pigeon Algorithm was launched in July 2014. The role of this algorithm is to give better local search results. This algorithm will also affect local map listings to give precise results to the users.
51) What is a Google Penalty?
As the name says it all Google Penalty are of two types:
Algorithmic Penalty: This penalty occurs when there is a major change in the Google’s main algorithm, and for any reason, you are trying to trick the Algorithm you’ll be caught with their update.
Manual Penalty: This penalty occurs on a manual basis by a Google executive when there’s a suspicious black hat SEO technique used on your website.
As the word implies, link exchange is a process where you deal with other website owners for a link, and in return, you do the same. This is good but remember when done heavily chances are you might get penalized.
53) What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool which helps you build your online presence. If you are into Local Business than a Google My Business page is a must. With GMB you can also give proper direction through maps and update your details so that your customers can find you quickly through GMB.
54) What is AMP?
55) What are the advantages and disadvantages of having AMP?
– Speeds up website load time.
– Increases Mobile Ranking.
– Improves server performance.
– Ad is not properly displayed as the heavy code is slashed.
– AMP supports Google Analytics but requires different tag which is time-consuming.
56) What is a CDN and how it helps boost your SEO Performance?
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It keeps all your files in the cache memory and loads the website from the cache so that it takes less time to load the website for a user.
As with CDN your website loads faster you will see a sudden boost in your SEO Performance, and that will help you boost the overall rankings.
Some of the CDN providers are:
57) What is Keyword Density?
Keyword Density is the number of occurrences your target keyword has per hundred words.
The perfect ratio of keyword density is 1-1.2%
Here’s how you calculate Keyword Density with this formula:
KD Density = (Number of total occurrences of a keyword/total words in the analyzed text)/100
Let’s say for example if you have a 500-word article, and you use a keyword “SEO” 15 times in it then this is how Google will calculate the Keyword Density.
= 0.03 * 100
Here the total Keyword Density is 3% for the keyword “SEO.”
58) What is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword Stuffing is an SEO Technique in which keywords are stuffed beyond the expected limit to get an unfair rank advantage in Google rankings. Remember, this method is considered Black Hat and if done excessively might get your website penalized.
59) How do you Fetch your website in Google?
Google Fetch is a feature available in Google Webmasters Tool which helps you check how Google is treating the URL.
With Google Fetch, you can test whether or not your page is indexed properly.
60) What do you understand by Google Disavow Tools?
Google Disavow Tool is a feature available in Google Webmasters Tools. It helps you get rid of the spammy links pointing to your domain. You need to submit a .txt file to get rid of all the domains which are spammy, and the disavow tool will detach those domains permanently.
61) What is Google Trends?
Google Trends shows the latest trend for any particular keyword search. It also shows how many people are searching for that keyword in the past 12 months. Is it still trending or has no more relevance everything is shown in this tool. Google Trends is a goldmine for all the news/viral websites out there.
62) What is Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is a notification service by Google which sends you an email every time it finds new web pages, articles or blog that match the user’s search term.
63) What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce Rate is the number of users that bounce back from your website without being there for a long period. A decent percentage of Bounce Rate is somewhere between 50-60%. Anything more than that is not considered good.
64) What is Pogo Sticking?
Pogo Sticking is going back and forth between different search results. For example, clicking on the first result than clicking the back button and entering the second website.
If the user clicks back and forth from your website, it gives Google a red signal that this is not what the user is looking for and chances are your rankings might fall like a stone.
65) What is an Alexa Rank in SEO?
Alexa is a website allotting the ranks based on the site quality, backlinks, visitors traffic and more. Alexa rank is an indicator of how your SEO campaign is doing. If you’re doing SEO right, you should get a better Alexa rank.
Contextual Links are the links that are linked to the body of any article/blog. It can be any naturally built link, or it can be built by doing Guest Post on other websites. Contextual Links are the most powerful links in SEO.
67) What is Organic Traffic?
Organic Traffic is the traffic that comes directly from the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Organic Traffic is a free form of traffic and doesn’t cost you any investment.
68) What is Paid traffic?
Paid Traffic lies under Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It is the traffic for which you pay for. Examples of Paid Traffic is Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. Paid traffic is the best to get instant results. However, for long-run Organic traffic works the best.
69) What is referral traffic?
Referral Traffic is a Google Analytics term which Google tracks when someone outside Google comes to your website. Referral Traffic includes platform like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Linkedin.
70) What is TLD and types of TLDs?
TLD stands for Top Level Domain. TLD are the ones that follow after the full-stop in your domain name. Examples of famous TLDs are .com, .net, .org.
71) Which blogs do you follow to upgrade your SEO knowledge?
72) What attracted you to the SEO industry?
Here, you need to be honest. The interviewer is checking why he/she should choose you out of the pool available. You need to be confident and answer with full enthusiasm on why you are here for this interview. Be it a high-paying job, or an exceptional growth or maybe something else. The point is just don’t bluff; else you’ll be caught very easily.
That was pretty much it for the SEO Interview question guys! I hope you loved this detailed guide covering all the important SEO Questions in brief. If you are still reading and loved the post don’t forget it to share with your friends who are looking for an SEO job.