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Seo Interview Questions and Answers 2015

 Useful list of Tricky Seo Interview Questions and Answers. These Job interview questions are useful for the role of Seo trainee, Seo Analyst, Seo Executive, Seo Manager, Social Media executive, Social Media Manager etc. Read them below and prepare for your Seo interview.

SEO Job Interview Questions With Suggested Answers

1-  Tell me something about yourself?
Seo Job Interview Questions and How to answer them
Seo Job Interview
(Image Source:- Voguemarieflickr )

You should brief your interviewer about your family, your educational background and your work experience.

2-  What was the recent update which Google had and what changes would you suggest for it?

Google recently had the Hummingbird update which was a change in the core search algorithm. Google moved from keyword based searching to concept based searching. It included semantic level analysis in order to find out real answers and searcher's intent behind the user query. I would add comprehensive and fresh content to my site after the Hummingbird update.

Prior to the Hummingbird update, Google had the Penguin update which was a measure to control web spam. Penguin update had penalized websites which had a spammy backlinking profile and returned more semantic results. Semantic results were based on the relationship between words present on the search query. Penguin trusted sites that had original and good content, fresh content, good social media presence and quality organic links.

3- What all verticals have you handled in your SEO career so far?

Verticals means on what themes of websites have you worked so far- this may include education, real estate, IT, travel, Shopping, jobs etc.

4- What do you know about Google Panda update?

The Panda update was done to improve the quality of search results in Google. Panda update also known as the farmer update was done to eliminate content farms which provided less user friendly  experience. It used machine language scalability as one of the important metrics for judging relevancy of a web page. All the focus was transformed on the user and now quality content , proper design, proper speed, proper use of images and videos, content to ad  ratio all mattered more after the Panda update. You need to optimize your site for better clickthrough rate and a less bounce rate.

5- What is Google Sandbox in SEO?

Google Sandbox is an imaginary area where new and less authoritative sites are kept for a specified time period until they establish themselves of being displayed on the search results. It happens by building too many links within a short period of time.

 6- What is the difference between on page seo and off page seo?

On page seo means optimizing your website and making changes on title, meta tags, site structure, site content, solving canonicalization problem, managing robots.txt etc.

Off page optimization means optimizing your web presence which involves backlink building and social media promotion.

7- 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 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.

 8- What is keyword stemming in SEO?

Keyword stemming is the process of finding out the root word from the search query. A query having the word “ playful” would be broken down to the word “play” with the help of stemming algorithm. The search results returned would be having the word ” play” in it.

  9- What is LSI?

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It is a data retrieval technique which finds connection between words and the use of synonyms while fetching data from the index.

  10- What do you know about the Florida update?

Florida update happened on November 16th 2003. This update applied stemming, maintained local rank, penalized over optimized sites by applying filter etc. In short, it modified the search results before presenting it to the user by applying filters.

  11- What are the limitations of title and description tags?

Title tag can be between 66-70 characters and meta description tag can be between 160-170 characters.

 12- Does Google uses keyword tags?

No, Google does not make use of keyword tags.

 13- What is 301 redirect?

It is a method of redirecting user from the old page url to the new page url. 301 redirect is a permanent redirect and is helpful in passing the link juice from the old url to the new url.

 14- 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.

15- What do you understand by Cloaking?

Cloaking involves using deceptive techniques which presents the user with a different version of the webpage than that presented to the search engines.

16- What tools do you use for doing seo?

I use Google webmaster tools, Google Analytics, Open site explorer, Alexa, Ahrefs,Website grader etc.

See:- List of free seo tools

17- What are your good qualities?

You will have to answer here about your good qualities like- I am hardworking, sincere, punctual, love to accept challenges etc.

18- 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.

19- What is PPC?

      PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It is a form of advertising methodology in which the advertiser pays for every click on their ads. Google uses this form of advertising in its channel of advertising called Adwords.

20- Which is better Robots.txt or Meta Robots Tag?

       Meta Robots tag is much better as it helps in forcing the search engine crawlers not to index and display the hidden pages in your server.

21- Do you use separate Seo strategies for Google,Yahoo and Bing?

        Yes I use separate strategies for Google,Yahoo and other search engines.More backlinks are required for Google .It pays more attention to backlinks and site authority while Yahoo and Bing pays more attention to title and Meta tags. Hence, a site takes time to rank on Google as compared to Yahoo and Bing.

22- How will you increase the Pagerank of a page?

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

23- 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.

24- Which is more important- Building backlinks to a website or building great content?

        Both are important. Building great content is necessary as it is your first step towards ranking ;and building backlinks helps to build authority to your website and is an important metric for ranking well. Hence both should go parallel and both are equally important.

25- Who is Matt Cutts?

        Matt Cutts is the head of Google's web spam team.

26- If a website has a search engine saturation of 40% , what does that mean?

        It means 40% of web pages from that particular website are indexed by the search engine.

27- What do you mean by anchor text?

        Clickable text written on an hyperlink is known as anchor text. It is of great value to the search engines and is used for evaluating the relevance of web pages with respect to search queries. 

28- How will you treat Web standards while optimizing a website?

        Google loves web standards hence I will apply the web standards provided by W3C while optimizing a web site.

29- What methods would you apply for decreasing the loading time of a website?

        I would use external style sheets, less images (unless necessary), optimize the images and decrease the file sizes of the image without reducing the quality of the image, use CSS sprites to reduce HTTP requests etc.

30- Which tools do you use for choosing keywords?

        I use Google Keyword tool, Wordtracker tool, Wordstream, Seo book keyword tool etc.

        *Remember certain tools are paid but you may use the trial version for some days.

 31- What blogs and sites do you regularly visit to update yourself?

        I follow Matt Cutts blog. Seomoz blog, Seochat forums,,Seo book, Seosandwitch, Seroundtable, Seobythesea, seochat etc.

 32- What are doorway pages?

        These are pages that are specially created to rank high on search engines using deceptive techniques.Doorway pages do not provide useful content but instead redirect users to the main page.

33- What are the Social Media channels you have used for marketing?

       I have used blogs like blogger,wordpress,typepad, tumblr etc, social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Stumbleupon, Delicious etc., social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc., Video Sharing sites like Youtube,Vimeo etc.

34-  What would you suggest to the client who has a website made on Flash?  How would you do Seo for that site?

    Search engines find it harder to parse the contents presented using Flash. I would suggest the client to use an alternative to flash like HTML 5.

35- What do you understand by Frames in HTML?

     A frame is a HTML technique which divides the content of a page onto several parts. Search engines see Frames as completely different pages and as such Frames have a negative impact on Seo. We should avoid the usage of Frames and use basic HTML instead.

36- Which is the popular search engine in Russia?

      Yandex is popular in Russia.

37- If the meta robots tag has a value of "no index, no follow" what does it mean?

     It means the search engine crawlers would not index the contents and would not follow the links present on the page.

38-  Who is Rand Fishkin?

Rand Fishkin is the CEO and Co founder of Seomoz, the most popular seo software in the world. He started the informative "White Board Friday" series for explaining the concepts related to Seo and search engines.

39- How will you restrict the search engine crawlers from indexing a folder named "Secret" that is present in the root?

The following code when added on the robots.txt text file would restrict the crawlers from accessing the folder

Disallow: /Secret/

40 - What do you understand by Google Dance?

Google Dance happens when major updates happen on the database maintained by Google. Constant shuffling leads to unstable rankings of the Web Pages.This continues for some days and is known as Google dance. It was witnessed in the past before the real time searching happened. Now, Google updates its index almost everyday and changes are witnessed narrowly.

41- Which are the top 3 social media websites that you will suggest to your client for SMO work?

I would suggest Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

42- How does Google Plus helps in Seo?

Google Plus helps the promoted web pages to get plus ones which are considered as genuine votes by Google. More plus ones helps to enhance our search engine rankings. Moreover,it helps to get high rankings in personalized search results where our friends can see the web pages shared and promoted by us.

Read more here:- Using Google Plus for Seo

43- What is a Pizza Box in terms of Google?

Google server comes in a standard case which is commonly known as "Pizza Box".

44- How important is to have a keyword in a domain name?

After the recent EMD update, the weightage on the presence of keyword on a domain has reduced. It is therefore important to go for a domain name that can focus on building a brand rather than using only keywords which could make a domain look spammy. Although having keywords in the domain helps but it would work only if the combination comes out as brandable. Some popular examples of website which succeded without having keywords in it are,,,, and ofcoz etc. But, there are some themes where the presence of keywords becomes necessary like the presence of the keyword "recipes" in or the presence of the word "food" in the domain . Hence, its important to take decisions based on the theme you need to target.

45- What do you understand by "Engagement Metrics" with relation to social media?

Engagement metrics comprises of information which is used to measure the importance of user (customer) engagement with respect to a particular social data.Some example includes  likes, retweets, plus ones, clicks, favorites, repins, comments etc.

46- What are your favorite ways of attracting natural backlinks to your site?

Having user friendly content on the site is the best way to attract natural backlinks but one of my favorite ways of attracting natural backlinks is by offering free widgets and free infographics to my audience.

47- Have you heard about ASO?

ASO stands for App Store Optimization which is a process of improving the visibility of mobile apps on app stores like iTunes and Google Play.

48- How can you search with the exact keywords you type on Google without using quotes?

We can use the Verbatim tool in order to search with the exact keywords entered on Google.

49- What do you understand by Google Authorship and how can you use it for Seo benefits?

Google Authorship allows you to link your Google Plus Profile to the content you create. This is a way to enhance the overall user experience and stop spamming. Results containing content from original and reputed authors are valued highly by Google and chances of spamming are also reduced. Hence, implementing Google Authorship is really useful for Seo as it helps a webpage to rank higher based on the author rank.

Read more:- How to Make Full Use of Google Authorship Profile

50- How can you make a website mobile friendly?

I will create a mobile friendly version of the website for Googlebot-Mobile, use meta.txt for specifying special instructions to mobile search engine crawlers, use mobile.xml sitemap and will have mobile optimized content on the site.

Read more:- Mobile Seo

51- What is the difference between clicks and visits in Google Analytics?

Clicks indicates the number of times any user clicks on an ad while visits indicates the number of unique sessions each visits create.

Read more:- Difference between clicks and visits

52- How can you track Facebook likes using Google Analytics?

We can do this with the help of social interaction web tracking. I will add a custom script using FB.Event.subscribe function to start tracking clicks. ( Learn how to track Facebook likes )

53- How will you plan an Seo strategy for a website already affected by Penguin update?

Penguin update deals with scanning through the link profile of a website. I will scan the links pointing to the site using tools like ahrefs and prepare a list of low quality links. I will make every effort to get those links removed like emailing the webmaster. If somehow, I am unable to remove some links then I will use the disavow links tool to devalue the remaining links from harming the site. Apart from this, I will plan a link bait strategy to get some high authority links in order to increase the reputation of the site. This will surely help a site to recover from the effects of the Penguin update.

54- What is the difference between HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps?

HTML sitemaps are created for the user and contains a basic structure for displaying all the pages of the website in a hierarchy. XML sitemaps are created for the search engines and helps a search engine bot to easily cache, index and discover new pages.

55- How many keywords do you think are enough to target on a web page?

There are virtually no limits on the number of keywords that we can target on a web page. Best approach is to focus on our main keyword and all the secondary keywords would find way for itself in the search engines. The old method of targeting 3 keywords per web page does not works any more. You can have 10-15 keywords or even more to target on a single web page.

56- What is the difference between soft 404 and 404 errors? How will you find and remove these errors?

A 404 error is returned when the browser requests a resource from the web server and the server is unable to find that resource so it returns 404 file not found error. On the other hand, soft 404 error is returned when the browser requests a resource from the web server and the server returns 200 OK response for a file that does not exist on the server. Hence, in both the cases, file is not present on the server but in case of soft 404 the server returns 200 OK response code by mistake. We can find out these errors with the help of Google Webmasters Tool and we can either remove them by adding proper redirects and by creating a custom 404 page for helping the user in proper navigation while browsing the site.

57- Is there a limit to robots.txt file?

Yes, googlebot reads the first 500 KB present in the robots.txt file.

SEO Interview Tips
Interview tips
Interview Tips (Image source:- Clker)

1-  Remain honest throughout the interview and explain those topics which you know well. If you are asked about any topic which you don't know then say politely to the interviewer that you do not know the answer to the question.

2- Dress neatly and speak politely.

3- Make sure to learn about the company backgrounds before you go for the interview. Interviewers are impressed if they find the interviewee knowing about the company background, its policies and its services.

4- Be comfortable and patiently listen to the questions put up by the interviewer. You should not be in a hurry to answer questions.

Must read posts

Seo | Social Media | Link Building | How to rank in Google | Seo Terms | List of social media websites | How do search engines workSeo tutorial | Keywords | List of Blog sites | List of seo software | List of seo tools | Meta tags | On page seo | Seo Techniques | Basics of Adwords | Keyword density | Robots.txt | RSS Feeds


balu said…
thanks for information......
Generic Avodart said…
nice collection of seo question and good answer provide
kemchho said…
excellent collection.......good questions and answers
NareshKumar said…
Thanks for Sharing information..

Pls tell, Google certification is necessary to attend the interview...
@Naresh , No Google certification is not necessary to attend the interview. Google does not provides any Seo certification, instead it provides PPC Certification which is the advertisement wing of Google. You can give interview without any certifications.
NareshKumar said…
Thanks Joydeep, Keep updating Blog..
Saroj Saini said…
A huge collections of effective seo answers and questions. Many thanks for this.

But what about bounce rate, is 5 or 10% bounce rate ok for a website, please give suggestions on bounce rate what % is ok or what is not good for a website?
5 or 10% would be excellent for a website. Although in the most ideal case, it must be 0% but that's rarely possible. Ideal bounce rate would be around 35-45%. But there are various exceptions to it.
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Shambhu said…
Thanks for Sharing information..
i read your site seo answers and questions. Many thanks for this.
Glad that you liked it.I really appreciate your kind words.
Arvind Goel said…
Thanks for sharing informative information with us..
And thanks again for seo question & answers...
hiren chauhan said…
Apart from preparing for the interview questions it also enhances our knowledge as well as introduces us with the new topics.....
rasananda said…
very very important.....
SANJAY said…
Good question and answer for seo, thanks to lot for this same... :)
Johnson said…
This blog is providing good and very valuable information regarding SEO Interview. I think all interviewer is passed on interview.

Thanks for sharing informative information. Again another new and update post.

SEO Services in India
Rohit Katoch said…
I am going to bookmark this site .
very useful information .
Many Thanks :-)
awsome.....veru usefull fr me bcoz today is my interview of seo....i hope this information help me...yu..
great list of seo interview questions and answers. I wish to know that how we can have wordpress blog post rank high within 5 days on major search engine google and others yahoo, bing. Thanks in advance.
Hi Dhruv...glad that you liked the Q&A. Now coming on to your all depends on the keywords with which you want to rank. The best you can do is to optimize the wordpress blog by having informative and descriptive page titles and descriptions (Seo Yoast plugin works great). If your post is having long tail keywords with low competition, it would start ranking soon...else regular seo strategies would apply in order to rank it higher. Best of luck!
Ajeet Pandey said…
Its really good for SEO Tips
Ankit said…
thanks for providing us such important question with answer, thanks agin.........
Ankush said…
Good information!
TaskTrek said…
Nice Information very helpful..

Sandeep Kumar said…
Very good seo interview regarding questions. Thank's for this useful information.

Digital Marketing
Smruti Ranjan said…
Really Its Too Good..
dailyclik said…
joy your blogs helps every seo executive to crack the seo interview easily nice like it.keep working on it...
Rahul Sharma said…
Thanks - Nice Information for complete SEO
Robin Morgon said…
Thanks for sharing all information about SEO.It's very helpful.
Thanks For This...
James Hug said…
All question and their answer are to be specific and relevant.This post help to every SEO professional when they will appear in interview.I hope you will post this type of quality content in feature.Keep working on it.