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13 SEO Job Interview Questions and their Answers

March 23, 2015
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Download: SEO job interview questions and answers PDF

SEO job interview questions

With Digital Marketing booming, it is making tremendous job opportunities in its various branches, one of which is SEO. If you are reading this article, we are sure that you know what SEO is, which saves you from boredom of SEO definition we would have given. So which questions do you think are usually asked in the interview? Depends on the interviewer, right? Let us make it easy for you.

After asking and consulting many SEO experts we have gathered some questions which are generally asked by any interviewer if you are going for a SEO job interview. Take advantage of these questions to the fullest and get your SEO dream job. Forget not to give us the treat.

13 common interview questions:

1. What do you know about Google’s algorithm updates?

Answer: In order to make the deserving websites with better content rank higher than others in the search results, Google is constantly trying to work on their algorithm. Google introduced Google Top Heavy Update and Google Penguin Update in 2012, Google Hummingbird in 2013 and Google Pigeon Update in 2014. All these updates have helped Google in improving its algorithms and that in turn have helped many websites to get their deserving place in search results.

You can get a good overview via this Moz inventory of all the Google algorithm updates.

2. What is a Google “Penalty”?

Answer: The negative impact on a website's search rankings based on updates to Google's search algorithms or manual review is called a Google Penalty. It can be an unfortunate by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques. Engaging into practices which go against webmaster guideline can get you a penalty.

3. What is Webmaster tools?

Answer: Google provides Webmaster tools service which helps you in getting backlink information, search queries regarding crawl errors, indexing data, etc. Webmaster tools help you in maintaining and monitoring your site’s presence in Google search results.

4. What are different types of SEO tools?

Answer: SEO tools help in improving website’s rankings and reviewing a website. Backlink Analyzer, Domain Age Tool, Domain Popularity Analyzer, Google Pagerank, Google Banned Tool, Keyword Density Checkers, Keyword Suggestion Tool, Plagiarism Checker, Outbound Link Checker, Backlink Building Tools or Services, Link Validator, etc are some of the tools that can assist you very much in SEO. These are some common tools which are used by SEO experts.

5. What are the different types of Ethical SEO?

Answer: Standards and search engine functionality to provide the optimization for the website are offered by ethical SEO. It assists in positioning of the results that is longer lasting and adapts to the frequent changes made in the algorithms. It provides a way to optimize the search sites by making it appear on the search engine and promote it using the best techniques which can be legally used.

6. What is the purpose of cloaking?

Answer: Cloaking is one of the unethical practices in SEO that provides deceiving mechanisms for the search engines. It provides use of false pages that are loaded with the keyword and other content that is search engine optimized. Cloaking enables search results to rank the page higher in search engines. Cloaking provides use of false pages that are loaded with the keyword and other content that is search engine optimized. Not very prevalent after the recent Google algorithm updates which penalize keyword stuffing.

7. What is Cross linking and its functions?

Answer: The process of linking one site to another and providing a way to allow access to it is called cross linking. Reference sites are made available to users searching for the related content. Purpose of displaying the page on search engines using SEO techniques and methods is fulfilled by cross linking. The site ranking is calculated on the basis of the relevance of the sites and then it is reflected on the search engine.

8. Tell me something about Googlebot.

Answer: Googlebot is the name of the search engine spider for Google. It is a web crawling software by Google, which allows it to scan, find, add and index new web pages. It will visit sites which have been submitted to the index every once in a while to update its index. Googlebot only follows HREF "Hypertext Reference" links which indicates the URL being linked to and SRC "Source" links.

9. What is Google Sandbox?

Answers: It is a belief that Google has a filter that places all new websites under restrictions for a certain amount of time to prevent them from ranking in searches. According to the sandbox effect, Google temporarily reduces the page rank of new domains, placing them into what is referred to as its "sandbox". It helps to counter the ways that search engine optimizers attempt to manipulate Google's page ranking by creating lots of inbound links to a new web site from other web sites that they own. It usually lasts for between two and six months from the site's launch date.

10. What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

Answer: SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is used for the promotion of a website through Search Engine Result Page (SERP). It uses the search engines to advertise your website or business to Internet customers and send a more targeted traffic to your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization is used to optimize the search results of your website or webpage. SEO aims to provide better organic search results. Both processes aim at increasing visibility of website or webpage in search engines but follow different methods. SEM will provide some instant results but the effect of SEO will be long-lasting. This is one of the frequently asked seo job interview questions.

11. Tell me something about Black Hat and White Hat SEO?


Black Hat SEO refers to the use of optimizing strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human. It usually does not obey search engines guidelines. Black Hat tactics are remarkably effective but implementing Black Hat SEO tactics and strategies can get your site banned from search engines, excluding you from the number one traffic referral source on the Internet.

White Hat SEO refers to the use of optimizing strategies, techniques and tactics that focus mainly on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies. White Hat SEO is any practice that escalates your search performance on a search engine results page while maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the search engines' terms of service.

12. What will be your next step if your SEO techniques do not work?

Answer: First attempt should be to try analyzing the problem and then solve it step by step.

1st step: I would try to see if it is a new project, and then I would re-check the key words.

2nd step: I would look for relevant keywords that can be helpful.

3rd step: I will make some changes in page content, titles and description if webpage and website has been indexed well but still not appearing on the first few pages of search engine results.

4th step: If the website is not indexed properly or if it is dropped from the index, than it might have some serious issues and re-working on it might do the job.

13. What are long-tail keywords in SEO?

Answer: Long-tail keywords are precise keyword phrases which are longer than normal keywords. Visitors are most likely to use them when they are searching for anything specific. Long-tail keywords offer much higher conversion rates and better search positions. For e.g. if someone is looking for bag to purchase on the internet then just putting ‘bags’ as the keywords will not fetch you precise results because of the competition. But if someone is looking for a ‘pure leather medium size sling bags’ and if that is the keyword you have optimized your page for, then it will help you get that user and convert him into your customer.

Above questions are some common questions which are asked by interviewers to the candidates seeking a SEO job. These questions and their answers will surely help you in impressing the interviewer and will take you a step closer in getting you a well deserved SEO job. All the best.

If you have any doubts which need to get clarified then feel free to comment in the below box.


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