101 SEO Interview Questions
Here are 101 frequently asked SEO Job Interview Questions for freshers as well as experienced digital marketing professionals.
Top 101 SEO Interview Questions
1) What is SEO? What are the important types of SEO methods?
Search engine optimization or (SEO) is a method of improving the position of a web page or website in a search engine’s results by using pertinent keywords. Two Types of SEO are: On Page Optimization and Off Page Optimization.
On-page optimization is used to regulate the site to be optimized through page coding, whereas off-page optimization is not regulated by page coding.
2) What are some SEO tools?
Google analytic, Keyword Planner, Alexa, Open site explorer, Google Webmaster are some examples.
3) What refers to Backlink?
The incoming links to your website or webpage are known as Backlink. It is also called an inbound link.
4) What are outbound Links?
The outbound links are any links, from your website to another webpage or website. Outbound links help to extend the relevancy signal of the webpage and boost SEO rankings if they come from authority sites.
5) What is Googlebot?
To index and update a webpage Google uses the help of Googlebot (Web Spider). Caching, Crawling and indexing of a webpage are all functions done via Googlebot by collecting details from that webpage.
6) What is Cross-linking? What is the function of Crosslinking?
Cross-linking is the method of linking one site to another site. This process provides users with reference sites that contain the content related to the search. The 2 websites that choose to cross-link should not be owned by the same person. In other words, cross-linking is a barter wherein I link to you, and you link to me.
Sometimes could be a 2-way link or a 3-way link. In a 2-way link site, A links to site B, and site B links to site A. In the same way, for a 3-way link, site A links to site B, site B links to site C, and site C links to site A.
7) What is the main purpose of using keywords in SEO?
A keyword is a single word but a combination of those keywords makes a phrase.
Certain keywords or phrases are used by the search engines to populate the subjects in web searches. Search engines store keywords in the online database, and when a search is done on the internet, it will come up with the best possible match.
8) Explain body content relevance
Whenever there is a text that does not have images on the web page is called a body content relevance or non-image text. BCR helps in good optimization of the sites and also to improve your ranking in the search engine.
9) Explain Spiders, Robots, and Crawlers
Spiders, robots and crawlers, though they sound different are all the same and referred to by different names. Basically they are a software program that follows or “Crawls” various links throughout the internet, and then grabs the content from the sites and adds to the search engine indexes.
10) What does it mean if nothing appears while searching for the domain?
While searching for your domain and if nothing appears, then there are three possibilities.
- Could be the site is banned by search engines
- Could be no index by search engines
- Some canonical issues
11)What is keyword stemming?
The method of finding out new keywords from the root keyword from the search query is referred to as keywords stemming. Adding a prefix, suffix, or pluralization are all employed to create the new keyword.
12) Name some SEO blogs that help you to enhance your content marketing strategies?
- Google Webmaster Central
- Search Engine Land
- Search Engine Journal
13) What do you mean by Cloaking?
Cloaking is a deceptive way of optimizing your website for searches. In this process, different content will be shown to the search engine crawler rather than what is presented to the end-users.
14) How many types of Meta Tags are there in SEO? What are their character limits?
There are mainly four types of Meta tags in SEO.
- Meta Description tag with 1200 pixels limits
- Meta Keyword tag
- Title Tag with 600 pixels limits
- Meta Robots
15) How many characters are limited in & Meta Description tag?
Anyone can add 70 characters in a title tag and 222 characters in the Meta Description tag. But keep in mind that Google now places a pixel limit.
16) What is Google Sandbox?
Google sandbox is an imaginary location where newly-registered domains or domains with frequent ownership or nameserver changes and their search rating are kept on hold in a sandbox (or holding area) until they prove worthy for ranking. In other words, it checks the standard of your website until such time as deemed appropriate before a ranking can commence.
17) What is Black Hat SEO?
In order to get a high ranking in the SEO search engine result page, sites go for various online processes and techniques which are characterized by two methods. One way that is acceptable by search engine guidelines is known as White Hat SEO, while the other way which is not acceptable by search engine guidelines is known as Black Hat SEO.
18) What are some famous Black Hat SEO techniques?
- Link Farming
- Hidden text, etc.
- Gateway or Doorway pages
- Keyword Stuffing
19) State the difference between ‘nofollow’ and ‘dofollow’ link
Nofollow links do not pass Link juice and have no effect on Google Ranking Algorithm. Dofollow link passes link juice and has an effect on Google Ranking Algorithm.
20) What is the difference between PR (page rank) and SERP (Search engine result page)?
Page rank is calculated on the basis of quality inbound links from other websites or web pages to your webpage or a website.
SERP (Search Engine Result page) is the placement of the website or web-pages which is then returned by the search engine after a search query or attribute.
21) Why is Title Tag on a Website valuable?
Title tags are crucial in SEO, as it tells viewers about the contents on that web page. the search engine will notify the user, what is there in the page, only through title tags.
22) What is considered more significant, creating content or building backlinks?
Both processes are necessary for creating quality blogs. Content is equally important to building backlinks. Although link building is useful in building authority to a site and for ranking as well, well researched, well written and SEO oriented content is the first element that is considered to be more responsible for ranking.
23) What are the differences between SEO and SEM?
SEM (Search Engine Marketing), helps with the promotion of websites through paid advertising through increasing their visibility in Search Engine Result Page (SERP) in the Ads section.
While SEO is optimizing the site to increase the organic ranking of a site.
24) Explain the term LSI
LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing is a technique that is established to obtain the data by relating the word to its closest counterparts or its similar context. For example, if you are looking up something with the keyword “CAR” it will show all the related things like classic cars, car auctions, Bentley car, car race, etc.
25) How will you cross-check whether your SEO campaign is working or not?
For you to check whether your SEO campaign is working or not, the first technique is to check the website’s statistics, which lets you in on the origin of the traffic.
The other way of checking your efficiency is to make a search based on the relevant keywords and key phrases and look for the search result. The number of search results will inform you whether your SEO campaign worked efficiently.
26) What is the meaning of competitive analysis?
Competitive analysis does the comparison between the website an individual optimizes, and the website that is ranked higher up in search results.
27) What will be your next steps if your SEO methods or technique does not work?
One approach would be to try to analyze the problem and resolve them step by step.
First, check whether it is a new project, and then like to re-check the keywords.
Next, look for relevant keywords that can be helpful.
Even though the webpage and website have been indexed well and still don’t appear on the first 10 pages of the search engine result page, make changes to page text, titles, and description.
If the website is not indexed well or dropped from the index, then it might comprise serious issues, and re-work might be required.
28) What is PPC?
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. This method is an advertisement campaign hosted by Google. PPC is segmented into two categories CPC ( Cost per click) and CPM ( Cost per thousand impressions) through flat rate and bidding respectively. In CPC, if the user clicks on the advertisement, only then the advertiser will be charged.
29) What is 301 redirect?
301 redirect is a method by which the user is redirected from a new page URL to an old page URL. It is a permanent redirect, and it is also useful in directing link juice to a new URL from the old URL.
30) What are Webmaster tools?
Webmaster tool is a service offered by Google wherein blogging sites can get backlink information, crawl errors, search queries, Indexing data, CTR, etc.
31) What is keyword density and what is the formula for knowing keyword density?
From an SEO point of view, keyword density helps blogging websites to stand out from others especially when it comes to content. The formula to know the keyword density is (Total number of keywords used/ total number of words in your article) multiplied by 100.
32) What is robots.txt?
Robots.txt is a text file that gives instructions to search engine crawlers about indexing and caching of a webpage, file of a website or directory, domain.
33) What will you do if the website you are working for, decides to move all the contents to a new domain?
Number 1: update the previous site with a permanent redirect to a new page for all the pages. Number 2: will remove the previous content from the search engine in order to avoid duplicate content issues.
34) How can you optimize the website which has millions of pages?
From an SEO point of view, for a dynamic website such as in the question above, special additional SEO stuff has to be implemented. They would be:
- Good Internal link structure
- Generation of dynamic title and description
- Update your content at least once per week.
- Add Image and video in pages
- Add related rich media content
- Ensure dynamic XML sitemap generation
35) What is the latest update in SEO?
The latest updates in SEO are:
36) What are the key aspects of the Panda update?
Panda is a 2011 SEO update designed to improve the search on Google. The latest version has focused on quality content, proper design, proper speed, proper use of images and many more.
37) What are the key aspects of Penguin update?
Penguin is a 2011 SEO update designed to be a code name for Google algorithm. Its main target is to decrease the ranking of that website that is violating the Google Webmaster guidelines. These guidelines are violated by using black hat unlawful approaches like Cloaking and Stuffing.
38) How will you neutralize a toxic link to your site?
Neutralize a toxic link to your site through Backlink Quality Checker. Using this method, you can know who links to your website.
All you have to do is go to the ‘Toxic link’ report, where you will find all the links that are harmful to your websites. If there is any link in ‘Toxic link report’ that matches with the link on your website, then you can get rid of it by using ‘Google Disavov tool’.
39) How can you check if someone is not building or redirecting a low-quality backlink to your site?
To prevent someone from building or redirecting a low-quality link to your website, you can use tools such as:
- Open Site Explorer
- On regular intervals.
You can either request the webmaster to remove the bad link or disavow them.
40) How do backlink tools work?
Backlink tools run a chunk of tests to tell you how many backlinks are pointing to the web link you entered.
Also being collected are additional information like the anchor text used, domain Authority & Trust of the backlink source, and any potential flags or warnings for each link.
41) How often should you perform a link audit?
A link audit may be a tedious and complicated process but if you just got started on building links, you can do an audit quite often.
But a complete link audit should be done atleast approximately once a year.
42) What do you understand by Frames in HTML?
A-Frame in HTML is a technique that divides the content of a page into several sections.
It divides your browser window into several components where each component can load a separate HTML document. Frames are considered as different pages by search engines and can adversely impact the SEO of your website.
Search engines consider Frames as completely different pages and may have a negative impact on SEO. We should avoid the usage of Frames and use basic HTML instead.
43) Which is the most important area to include your keywords?
The most important areas to include your keywords are:
- Page title
- Body text
- Meta Description
44) What will you do if the search engines bans your website for black hat practices?
If the search engines bans your domain for black hat practices, you can apply for re-inclusion after correcting your wrongdoings.
Link farming, doorway pages, cloaking, keyword stuffing, and hidden text are some of the black hat techniques that should be avoided.
45) What will be your approach if your SEO method doesn’t work?
If the SEO method doesn’t work then do the following:
- First, see whether it is a new project then re-check the keywords
- Then look for relevant keywords that can be helpful
- Make changes in page text, title, and description
- If still not ranked then there may be some other serious issues like bad links, penguin/panda or other Google penalty, crawlability issues, UI issue, etc.
46) What are the social media platforms used for SEO ?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn are some important platforms which are used for online promotion.
47) What is Page Rank?
PageRank is one of the algorithms employed by Google, where it gives a page rank to determine a web page’s relevance or importance.
48) What are Meta Tags?
HTML Meta Tags are officially page data tags that exist between the open and closing head tags in the HTML code of a document.
49) Name the four important Meta tags in SEO and mention their character limits.
Description Meta tag — 150 characters limits
Keyword Meta tag — 200 characters limits
Title Meta tag — 60 characters limits
Meta Robot tag – N/A
50) What is an anchor text?
Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. It should be relevant to the page linked to, rather than generic text.
51) What are the common SEO mistakes?
Some of the most common SEO mistakes are –
- Not optimizing for the right keywords
- Not having unique title tags and meta descriptions
- Using the same anchor text for every link
- Focusing on link quantity over link quality
- Using poorly-written content
52) What methods would you apply for decreasing the loading time of a website?
Methods that can be applied to decrease the loading time of a website are
- Optimize images without losing quality
- Enable browser caching
- Optimize CSS delivery to reduce HTTP request
- Avoid self-hosted videos
53) Which tools can you use to check the number of backlinks of a site other than your own?
Backlink finder, Open Site Explorer, Backlink Watch, and Alexa
54) What are the latest updates in the Google search algorithm?
Google often updates its algorithm, so be prepared by keeping up-to-date.
55) What are the doorway pages?
Doorway pages are web pages that are created for spamdexing. This is for spamming the index of a search engine by inserting results for particular phrases to send visitors to a different page.
56) What is XML Sitemap? How is it important?
XML or Extensible Markup Language is primarily created to facilitate the functionality of the search engines.
A good XML sitemap informs the search engines about the number of pages present on a specific website, the frequency of their updates, and the time of the last modifications performed on them, which helps in proper indexing of the website by the search engines.
57) What is the DA?
Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP).
58) What is Google Pigeon Update?
Released in 2014, the update is aimed to increase the ranking of local listing in a search.
59) What is Google’s Rich Answer Box?
The Rich Answer Box is Google’s attempt to answer the searcher’s query directly without having to click on the link.
60) What is Bounce Rate?
It is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
61) What are the organic results?
Organic results are those that are displayed on SERPs due to their relevancy, as opposed to those, which are being advertised.
62) Explain the usage of an anchor tag in SEO.
An anchor tag is used to make clickable text in a hyperlink, and it is used to enhance the user experience as it directs the user to the desired area of a webpage. In short, an anchor tag is used to improve navigation.
63) What are the LSI keywords?
LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are the keywords semantically associated with the keyword entered by the users in any search engine.
64) What is Search Engine Submission?
It is the task of supplying a URL to a search engine to make it aware of a particular site or page. No SEO activity can be taken up until a website is submitted and indexed by the search engines.
65) What are the social signals?
These are interactions of people with any web page on social media platforms; this includes likes, dislikes, shares, upvotes, pins, views, etc.
66) What is a NAP?
NAP is also known as Name, Address, Phone Number. It is a crucial component of local SEO and helps search engines to determine which companies to display in geo-targeted searches.
67) What is a Google Penalty?
As the name suggests, it is similar to any type of penalty in any field. Google penalties are designed to punish websites that have done something wrong or have done things that are not as per Google’s regulations. As per 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. The penalty can be a by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.”
68) How will you avoid the Google penalty?
Google penalty can be avoided by ensuring that:
- The website is simple, clean and well-performing
- The website is mobile-friendly and user-friendly
- Links are not broken
- Content is not duplicate
- Smart keywords and tags are used
69) How will you determine if a link is a bad link?
Bad links are usually –
- Links from a low-authority or questionable domain
- Pointing to irrelevant context and/or source
- Links embedded in the suspiciously keyword-matched anchor text
- Links pointing to a link exchanges
- Repetitive links
- Link from same anchor texts from different websites
- Links from sites not indexed by Google
- Spam links
- Paid links
70) What is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords are also known as Google’s advertising system, where the companies/advertisers bid on a set of keywords and get their ads to appear on search results. This is the most commonly used PPC advertising system.
71) How does Google AdWords work?
Google AdWords works on an auction system, which occurs every time a user carries out a keyword search. To get the most out of Google AdWords, your Quality Score and bid amount should be optimized. The better the Quality Score and bid amount, the better would be your ad positioning.
72) Name some Google AdWords ad extensions.
The most popular Google AdWords ad extensions are –
- Affiliate location extension
- Call extensions
- Promote extension
- Structured snippet extension
- App extension
- Site link extension
- Callout Extension
73) How can you improve conversion rates?
Conversion rates can be improved by testing different elements on site, especially on the landing page. One can also experiment with functionality, layout, and style on landing pages.
74) What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a service offered by Google, where a business can be listed on the Google search engine to have improved visibility. It requires –
- Adding and updating business information
- Adding photos of the business
- Interacting with consumers
- Responding to Google reviews, on time
- Managing business information
75) Explain Google Trends.
Google Trends is another very useful service by Google, which monitors the popularity of a keyword in a particular region for a particular period. Google Trends makes use of real-time search data to understand user behavior.
76) Which type of website is good for SEO purposes?
Every website is good for SEO purposes; given it has the following features –
- Meta tags
- No canonical issues
- Optimized URL
- Redirected URL
It is always a good idea to build a website in HTML for a better SEO perspective.
77) Is HTML case-sensitive?
No, HTML is not a case-sensitive language, and the users can write their codes in any case. However, HTML coding is usually written in lower case.
78) Which search engine patented the concept of “TrustRank” as a methodology to rank websites and webpages?
Yahoo! patented the concept of “TrustRank” to rank websites and webpages.
79) What can be an acceptable way to show HTML text to search engines while creating a graphical image for display to users?
CSS image replacement can be used to create a rule in the CSS file that replaces the text with an image based on a given class.
80) What is a TLD?
TLD also known as the top-level domain is the last part of an Internet address. For example, in dailyhawker.com, the TLD is .com.
81) What is ccTLD?
ccTLD also known as country code top-level domain is an extension assigned to a country. It is maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
82) Explain link popularity?
Link popularity is defined as off-the-page-criterion to manage quality content and the value of a website. It refers to the number of backlinks that point towards a website.
83) Explain the Disavow tool?
The Disavow tool is defined as a section of Google Search Console. It helps us to minimize the value of a backlink to restrict link-based penalties. It also works for the site to protect it from unwanted links that may cripple the website’s reputation.
84) Mention the syntax of the Robots Meta tag?
<meta name=?robots? content=?instructions for crawler?>
In the given syntax, we can add multiple values of robots meta tags as a placeholder as we have written: “instructions for the crawler” as a placeholder.
85) Explain what CTR is?
In search engine optimization, CTR (Click-through Rate) is calculated by dividing the number of times a link emerges on a search engine result page by the number of times it is clicked by users.
It is determined as the higher number of clicks, the higher will be the CTR. Therefore, it is one of the important metrics in PPC ads which helps the users to measure the results and finds how adequate the campaigns are.
86) Explain what Alexa Rank in SEO is?
Alexa.com is a website that provides a wide range of services one of which is Alexa rank. This rank is a metric that ranks websites in a particular order on the basis of their popularity and website traffic in the last three months.
87) Name the different techniques used in off-page Seo?
Below are the techniques used in Offpage SEO work:
- Blog Post
- Article Post
- Forum Posting
- Yahoo Answer
- Blog Comment
- Directory Submission
- Social Bookmarking
- Press Release Submission
- Deep-link Directory Submission
- Regional Directory Submission
88) Mention some of the reports in Google Analytics.
Below are 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
89) What is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source project that is used by the publishers to manage the readability and speed of their pages on mobile devices. It provides easy readability to mobile pages and makes the loading process speedy for a better user experience.
This venture was started by Google, WordPress, Adobe, and some other companies in the year 2015.
90) Explain what the hidden text is?
Hidden text is defined as one of the oldest SEO techniques to enhance the ranking of a site. It is the text which is invisible or hidden from visitors, but the SEO engine can read it.
91) Explain what article spinning is?
Article spinning is a black hat SEO method to enhance the SEO of a website. For example, one article is written in a few different copies and in such a way that each copy is considered as a new article. These are uploaded as a fresh article to create the illusion with low quality and repetitive content as the first article.
92) What are the reasons for HTTP 404 errors?
HTTP 404 errors are technical errors by the client-side, which indicates that it occurred by the mistake of the client, such as the particular page is not present at your website.
If the page has existed on your website, it would have been indexed by the crawler, and it shows on the server.
93) What is error 503?
Error 503 is also known as 503 Service Unavailable”. It is an HTTP status that indicates the server is not accessible to handle the request. It happens because when the server faces heavy traffic or when maintenance is executed on it.
94) Explain Image Alt Text?
Image Alt text is a feature in SEO that is attached to an image tag in HTML. It resembles in the blank image box when the image is not displayed due to a broken URL, slow connection, or any other issue.
95) Explain Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing indicates that Google uses the mobile version of the content for indexing.
96) What is the importance of Title Tag on a website?
Title tags play a crucial role in SEO as they show preview snippets for a page. They give a fair idea about the contents on a web page and are important for both SEO and social media sharing. A title tag shows a concise and accurate picture of a page.
97) What is page speed and why is it important?
Page speed is the measure of how fast the content on your site loads for a user. It is important because the pages that load faster are more efficient and offer a better on-page user experience. Google also takes page speed into consideration while ranking websites.
Many factors that affect or relate to page speed:
- Page size
- Images, video, and heavy files
- Load time
- Time to First Byte (TTFB)
- Round Trip Time (RTT)
- Last Contentful Paint
98) Explain canonical issues. How can it be fixed?
A canonical issue occurs when there is duplicate content. If a website has more than one URL that displays similar or identical content, then it is considered a canonical issue and Google penalizes for such duplicate content.
A canonical issue can be fixed by the following two methods:
- Implement 301 redirects.
- Add canonical tags to your website.
99) Explain rich snippets.
Rich snippets refer to the featured text that appears at the top of the organic search results. These snippets have a higher click-through rate. They are not part of SEO but provide better results on the SERPs. If the click-through rate of a snippet rises, it will get more traffic from the search result.
100) What are the major Google ranking factors?
The major Google Ranking factors are:
- Quality Content
- Optimized Content
- Content Type
- Content Depth
- Quality & Relevant Backlinks
- Page Speed
- Mobile Friendliness
- User experience
- Technical SEO
- Content Freshness
- Schema Cod
- Domain Age, URL, and Authority
101) What is a PBN?
PBN stands for Private Blog Network. It is a network of websites for building links to a single website to manipulate search engine rankings. Many black hat SEOs build them to pass authority.
In simple terms, a PBN exists only to link to a central website to influence that website’s authority in search. It offers negligible long-term value to the websites they are linking to.