Sunday, March 9, 2014

SEO Interview Questions 2014

1. What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of changing the position of a website or a web page in a search engine's search results (Organic or Natural results).


SEO stands for search engine optimization and is a part of internet marketing. SEO is a method by which the visibility of a website or a web page is increased on search engine.
Google, yahoo, bing

2. Types of SEO

Two Types of SEO are

    On Page Optimization

    Off Page Optimization

3. SEO Techniques

Two SEO Techniques are

     White Hat SEO

    Black Hat SEO ( Negative SEO )

4. What is On Page Optimization?

On-page optimization is one of the types of SEO that refers to factor that gives outcome to website or web page ranking on SERP ( Search Engine Results Page ). On-Page Optimization means controlling webpage by you or by your page coding.

Some of the examples are HTML Code, Meta Tags like Meta Title, Description, Content Quality, Keyword Density, Outbound Links, Image Alt tag etc.

5. What is Off Page Optimization?

Off Page Optimization is also one of the types of SEO that are not controlled by the page coding.

Examples of Off-page optimization Link building, Blog posting, Image Sharing, Document Sharing, Video Sharing, Info graphics submission, Increasing Page Rank and Page Authority, Article submission, Getting high quality links from relevant sites etc.

6. What is Page Rank or PR?

Page Rank is a rank that has been provided by Google for each and every Webpage. This Rank ranges from 0 to 10. This Page Rank is calculated by an Algorithm used by Google Web Search Engine. PR of a web page is based on the number of backlinks that received from other high PR webpage.

7. What is a Backlink?

Backlink means incoming links to a website or webpage. Inbound links are always better than outbound links. Those links are also known as incoming links, inlinks, inward links etc. Getting backlinks from high PR and relevant site is always good. Inlinks from .org, .edu sites would increase your website or webpage ranking on SERP. Do-follow links are better than No-follow links.

8. What are out bound Links?

An outbound-link (OBL) or outgoing link is a link from your website or webpage to another website or webpage.

9. What is a keyword?

Keyword is a word that is used for searching through Search Engines in order to get results related to your searched query.

10. What is Keyword Density?

Keyword density is the percentage density of a keyword or phrase available on a webpage compared to the total number of words on the page. It is one of the important ranking factors for search engines to display a webpage on the SERP. Providing junk keywords on a page would decrease the ranking of a webpage.

11. What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is a clickable hyperlink that is also known as link text, link label and link title. The keyword contained in the anchor text would increase the ranking of a webpage that receives the incoming link.

12. What are organic results?

The page views come directly through SERP and not through any Off Page Optimization is known as organic results.

13. What is Googlebot?

Googlebot is the search bot software used by Google to index a webpage. Crawling, Caching and indexing of a webpage happen through this Googlebot by collecting details from that webpage.

14. What are Meta Tags?

There are several Meta tags used in HTML but the top four tags that are used for SEO are Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords and Robot tags.

15. What is Meta Title?

Title is the most important factors for a good SEO of a webpage. These tags should be located within head section. These tags should tell some useful information about that page. A good title tag should contain 60 characters. These titles would appear on the SERP for your website along with the Meta description of that page. Google won't penalize your page if it contains title with more than 60 characters and it skips the remaining characters. If a web page doesn't contain title tag means Google would select the H1 tag as title or it will provide the title by its own.
Always write title tag for the page and not for SEO, if you stuff keywords in you title then Google won't rank your webpage.

16. What is Meta Description?

A description tag should describe a webpage and it should contain keywords but don't stuff all the keywords. Meaningless description would affect your webpage. A description tag should contain 150 – 160 characters. If you provide meaningless or empty description, Google would take the description from the content available in that page.

17. What are Meta Keywords?

In early days Meta keywords are the least important tag for Search engine like Google. But it is an easy way to tell our important keywords to search engine. Meta keywords should contain less than 250 characters.
Now Google won't consider Meta keywords as one of the ranking factor.

18. What is White Hat Seo?

White Hat SEO is one of the SEO techniques that a Search engine always likes. Usage of SEO techniques, tricks and tactics by following search engine rules and regulations, algorithm and policies are known as White Hat SEO.

19. What is Black Hat Seo?

Black Hat SEO or Negative SEO is a common term for doing SEO Spamming Techniques. Usage of SEO by not following policies and regulations of search engine is called as black hat seo. Some of the black hat seo techniques are

    Providing Low Quality content or duplicate content on the page
    Getting backlinks from spammed or adult sites.
    Giving keyword stuffed content on the page with background color
    Getting too much backlinks from a single page with different anchor text that targets a single page of your website.
    Google Bowling etc

20. On Page SEO Step 2 – Keyword in the URL
On Page SEO and to rank for your keyword when you are blogging and using your name in the domain name. I’m going to show you how it applies to your domain with your name in it. Remember to always put the keyword in the URL
For example: Use insteadof

21. Difference between keyword & keyword phrase?

The keyword term is basically concerned with a one-word term, on the other hand a keyword phrase considered as employment of two or more word-combinations. Therefore, it is very confounded to get high ranking in account of one-word keyword term until the one-word keyword has little online competition. Therefore, this practice is not encouraged to employ. In order to drive more traffic and top ranking in SERP it is recommended to employ keyword phrase.

22. What is the difference between search engine marketing and Internet marketing?

Search Engine Marketing is specific to marketing your brand/service/products through search engines. It can be in the form of organic search results where landing pages are aimed for higher ranking, or in paid search results, where ads are aimed to display at maximum exposure for targeted keywords at minimal cost possible.

Internet marketing covers a broader range of channels. It includes search engine marketing, email marketing / EDM, social media, and so on.

23. How will you solve canonicalization issue or what is .htacess file?

.htacess file is used to solve the canonicalization issue of a website. It may happen that the home page of the site may take several urls like or .

The search engines might treat these url as different and may divide the link juice gained by having various backlinks made with any of these 3 urls. The link juice gets divided between these three urls equally. .htacess file is created to have a single url of the home page so that the link juice is passed onto single url.

24. What is the difference between white hat and black hat?

White hat is what the search engines have stated as being within their guidelines for search engine optimization. Black hat is generally unethical tactics to have a page rank. It usually doesn't work for long and can get you penalized.

25. What is your favorite SEO website/blog, and why?
This is an open ended question. There were some that I were looking for but I was also hoping soemone would tell me a few that I didn't know about.
SeoMoz,,, and
Search Engine Roundtable are a few good ones. There are actually a lot more.

26. What is on page and off page seo?

On page SEO are the things you can do within the website you own in order to help it rank for the keywords and phrases that you would like it to. Off page SEO are the things that you can do on other web sites towards those same goals.

27. What is the best way to maximize the frequency of crawling of your website by search engines?

Frequently adding new, original and quality content on the website.

28. I noticed that you don’t do a 301 redirect on your site from the non-www to the www version, Matt. Why not? Are you stupid in the head?

Actually, it’s on purpose. I noticed that several months ago but decided not to change it on my end or ask anyone at Google to fix it. I may add a 301 eventually, but for now it’s a helpful test case.

29. What is the difference between Indexing and Crawling?

1) When the Search Engines come to your website and read the data or find the data, this process is called crawling.

2) Whenever Search Engines come to your website, whichever page they crawl, they take a copy of that page with them and save it on their server. This process is done by the search engine is called Indexing

30. Is there a way we can tell Google that a particular webpage contains the Adult content?
Yes, we can do it by adding one of these two meta tags to that webpage
<meta name="rating" content="adult" /> OR
<meta name="rating" content="RTA-5042-1996-1400-1577-RTA" />

31. What is Pagination in SEO?

Pagination is the practice of dividing a piece of content into different pages while at the same time allowing Google to better understand the important pages to be indexed. Read the Google's advice on using the pagination.

32. What are top SEO ranking factors?

Quality of content on the webpage, quality and quantity of backlinks to the webpage, anchor text used in the backlinks, domain authority, social sharing metrics and some other traffic metrics like page CTR, bounce rate and average time on the webpage.

33. Google’s Quality Score and what role does it play in ranking?

While I do not expect Google’s textbook answer,, I am hoping the candidate understands the basic concept behind QS (clickthrough rate + other factors) and that QS is part of the Ad Rank formula where:

Ad Rank = CPC bid X Quality Score.

Their ability to explain Quality Score and Ad Rank to me in plain English is something I pay very close attention to.

Quality Score for Google and the search network is a dynamic metric assigned to each of your keywords. It’s calculated using a variety of factors and measures how relevant your keyword is to your ad group and to a user’s search query. The higher a keyword’s Quality Score, the lower its cost-per-clicks (CPCs) and the better its ad position.

34. How to achieve good CTR in PPC?

Here are few things that need to be kept in mind for CTR
■Target your ads to right audience
■Select correct keyword matching
■See that you target your ads by location and language
■Create different Ad Groups for different search phrases/keywords
■Calculate how much you can afford for the day
■test your ads on daily basis, change if you don`t get any response from users
■Give google users a good reason to click your ad

35. What is pay per click? Which internet marketing model does it follow?

‘Pay per click’ , also known as ‘cost per click’ is a form of internet advertising which is used for directing traffic to websites. In this advertisers pay the site owners or publishers for the ads being viewed or click. Pay per click introduces a simple strategy of marketing in which an advertiser pays the website for publishing his advertisement and getting people to view it by clicking it, the more the views are for the advertisement, better is the revenue generated by the website from advertisement. Generally ‘pay per click’ is used by advertisers on keyword phrases relevant to their target markets. Content sites generally charge a fixed amount per click rather than using a bidding system. ‘Pay per click’ advertisements are commonly displayed on websites and search engine results.‘Pay per click’ is an approach that differs from the ‘pay per impression’ methods used in television and newspaper advertising.

36. Where do you put your robots.txt?

a) Search for it in Google
b) In Webmaster Tools
c) The root directory of your domain or subdomain(s)
d) In the folder you want to disallow

37. Your site is flagged as having malware, but you can’t find the malware. What do you do?

a) Submit a reconsideration request
b) Post in the Google Webmaster Help Forum to ask for help
c) Tweet a complaint to @google
d) Abandon your domain name and start over again

38. “Unreachable robots.txt” in Webmaster Tools crawl errors means

a) You don’t have a robots.txt file
b) We couldn’t reach the robots.txt file on your server
c) Your robots.txt file disallows access to your robots.txt file
d) Your robots.txt file requires a password

39. You would like your site to be found for some keywords related to your content which are only found in images on the page. How do you do this?

a) Place the keywords in an image on the website
b) Use the “keywords” meta tag
c) Use the “description” meta tag
d) Use the “alt” attribute or include the keywords in your text
e) Place them in tiny text in the footer

40. All major search engines are case sensitive.

41. Which of the following file is created to give instructions to SE bots?

a. Index.html
b. Spiders.txt
c. sitemap.xml
d. Robots.txt
e. Searchbot.xml

42. What is the difference between 301 redirect & 302 redirect ?
The difference between a 301 and a 302 is that a 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location, while a 302 status code means that a page has temporarily moved to a new location.


If you have little bit of experience, here are the frequently asked questions for you:

1. What was your exact job profile in your previous company?
Provide a suitable explanation about your job profile which would include your job responsibilities and the amount of work you have handled so far.

2. How will you increase the Pagerank of a page?

By building more backlinks from authority sites and high page rank webpages.

3. How will you check the number of backlinks of your competitors site?

With the help of the link operator on Google and by using various external tools like Alexa, Backlink Watch , Open Site Explorer,Backlink finder etc.

4. What is the difference between Spiders, Robots and Crawlers?

A spider, also known as a robot or a crawler, is a program that follows, or "crawls", links throughout the Internet, grabbing content from sites and adding it to search engine indexes.

5. What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization while SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEO provides organic traffic to a website with the help of search engines while SEM involves the use of Google adwords and other paid channels of advertising.

6. Why does Google rank Wikipedia for so many topics?

Wikipedia is an established authority! As such, it is referenced by huge numbers of other documents with relevant text associated with links back to Wikipedia.

See more at:


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  2. Most of the questions here are pretty good and are 'askable'. Wanted to add couple of my favorite SEO interview questions that I ask everytime

    1. Experience handling SEO for site migration projects - this happens all the time when a website goes through a redesign or development. The client will want the agency to preserve the SEO value of the site post live and the SEO resource is required to be ready with the transition plan - primary of which is the 301 redirects

    2. Views on how the SEO had shaped in the last few years - I expect the candidate to talk through the Google algorithm updates, industry's approach towards link building etc.,

    For the interested, the full list of the SEO Interview Questions I ask, especially to the Senior level resources is available here :

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