SEO Interview Questions and Answers
1) What is SEO and introduce its types?
SEO is search engine optimization or optimizer is a collection of techniques applied to optimize our site so that it ranks well in SERPs (Search engine result pages) like Google, Yahoo, Bing and another major search engines.
Two Types of SEO are:
- On Page Optimization
- Off Page Optimization
What is the difference between On Page SEO and Off Page SEO?
On Page Optimization means optimizing your website and making changes on title, meta tags, site structure, site content, solving canonicalization problem, managing etc.
Off Page Optimization means optimizing your web presence which involves backlink building and social media promotion.
2) What are the SEO tools do you use?
The SEO tools that I use are Google analytic, keyword search, Alexa, open site explorer, Google Webmaster.
3) What do you mean by Backlink?
The incoming links to your website or webpage is referred as Backlink.
4) What are out bound Links?
The outbound links are our website links to other webpage or website.
5) Can you tell me something about Googlebot?
To index a webpage Google uses the Googlebot software. Caching, Crawling and indexing of a webpage are done through Googlebot by collecting details from that webpage.
6)Who Do SEO?
They are the Webmaster, SEO Engineer and Website optimizer etc.
7) What is the main purpose of using keyword in SEO?
Keyword is a single word, and while a combination of those keywords makes phrases. These keywords or phrases are used by the search engines to populate the subjects over the internet. Search engine stores keywords in the database, and when search is done, it will come up with the best possible match.
8) Can you mention the functions of body content relevance?
Whenever there is a text that does not have images on the web page is referred as body content relevance or non-image text. It helps in good optimization of the sites and also to improve your ranking in the search engine.
9) What are Spiders, Robots and Crawlers and what are their functions?
Spiders, robot and crawler, they are all same and referred by different names. It is a software program that follows, or “Crawls” different links throughout the internet, and then grabs the content from the sites and adds to the search engine indexes.
What is the main purpose of search engine spiders?
Index sites, because even though spiders visit sites, their main function is not only to visit them but to index their contents spiders do not monitor sites for unethical activities.
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.
When do you apply for re inclusion in a search engine’s index?
If our website is banned by the search engines for black hat practices and if we have corrected our wrong doings we apply for reinclusion.
10) What does it mean if nothing appears on doing search on the domain?
On doing search on your domain and if nothing appears then there are three possibilities.
- May be the site is banned by search engines
- May be no index by search engines
- Some canonical issues
11)What is keyword stemming?
The process of finding out the root word from the search query is referred as keywords stemming.
12) Name some SEO blogs that you frequently read?
- Search Engine Land
- Search Engine Journal
13) What do you mean by Cloaking?
Cloaking is a deceptive way of optimizing search. In this technique a different content will be searched by the search engine than what is presented or searched by the users.
What do you mean by anchor text?
Click-able text written on an hyperlink is known as Anchor Text.
14) How many types of Meta Tags are there in SEO and what are their characters limits?
There are two types Meta tags in SEO.
- Description Meta tag with 150 characters limits
- Keyword Meta tag with 200 characters limits
Why are metatags important?
Because search engines still use them for estimating search relevancy. although search engines might not rely on metatags to generate search results, metatags are used (to a differing extend) by most of the search engines Because it is a professional approach to Web design to have complete and accurate metatags, since metatags are part of the html code of a page, they must also be done professionally, as the rest of the code.
15) How many characters limits in Title tag?
We can add 70 characters in title tag.
16) What is Google Sandbox?
Google sandbox is an imaginary area where new websites and their search rating are put on hold until they prove worthy for ranking. In other words, it checks the standard of the website.
17) Tell me something about Black Hat SEO?
In order to get a high ranking in search engine result page, websites go for various methods and techniques which are characterized by two categories. One method that is acceptable by search engine guidelines is known as White Hat SEO, while the other method which is not acceptable by search engine guidelines is known as Black Hat SEO.
18) Name few Black Hat SEO techniques?
- Link Farming
- Hidden text, etc.
- Gateway or Doorway pages
- Keyword Stuffing
19) Can you differentiate between ‘nofollow’ and ‘dofollow’ link?
Nofollow links are not passed by search engines bot and therefore cannot be cached or indexed. Dofollow link is a kind of hyperlink and it passes through all search engines and it puts an impact over page rank.
If the meta robots tag has a value of “no index, no follow” what does it mean? Does Google uses keyword tags?
It means the search engine crawlers would not index the contents and would not follow the links present on the page.
No, Google does not make use of keyword tags.
Which is the most important area to include your keywords?
Page title and Body text are the most important areas where we can include keywords for the SEO purpose.
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 website or webpages to our webpage or a website.
SERP (Search Engine Result page) is the placement of the website or web-pages which is returned by the search engine after a search query or attribute.
How will you increase the Pagerank of a page?
By building more backlinks from authority sites and high page rank webpages.
21) Why the Title Tag in website is valuable?
Title tags are very essential in SEO, as it tells about the contents on that web page. Through title tags only the search engine will tell the user, what is there in the page.
22) What is considered as more significant, creating content or building backlinks?
Both are necessary, creating quality content is equally important to building backlinks. Although, building backlinks are useful in building authority to a site and for ranking as well, quality content is the first element that is considered to be more responsible for ranking.
What aspects of a hyperlink are important for SEO?
The place from which the link originates, The anchor text, especially the keywords in it is very important. The place to which the link leads and for back links the reputation of the web site from which the link originates is also crucial, because if you link to link farms, this might get you banned from search engines.
23) Can you mention the difference between SEO and SEM?
SEM (Search Engine Marketing), it is used for the promotion of website through Search Engine Result Page (SERP) , while to optimize the search result of your webpage or website SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is used.
24) What do you know about LSI?
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. This technique is established to obtain the data by relating the word to its closest counterparts or to its similar context. For example, if you are searching something with a 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?
To check whether your SEO campaign is working or not, the first approach is to check the websites statistics, which tells you about the origin of traffic. The other way of checking is to make a search based on the relevant keywords and key phrases and look for the search result. The number of search result will tell you whether your SEO campaign is working or not.
26) What is the meaning of competitive analysis?
Competitive analysis does the comparison, between the website I am optimizing, and the website that is ranked highly in search results.
27) What will be your next steps if your SEO methods or technique does not work?
My first attempt would to try analysis the problem and resolve them step by step
- Firstly I would try to see whether it is a new project, and then like to re-check the key words.
- Also, I would look for relevant key-words that can be helpful.
- Even though the webpage and website has been indexed well and still not appearing on the first 10 pages of search engine result page, then I would make some changes in page text, titles and description.
- If website is not indexed well or dropped from the index, than it might comprises serious issues and re-work might be required.
28) What is PPC?
PPC stands for Pay Per Click and is an advertisement campaign hosted by Google. It is segmented into two modules CPC ( Cost per click) and CPM ( Cost per thousand impressions) through flat rate and bidding respectively. In CPC, if the user clicks on the advert, only then the advertiser will be charged.
29) What is 301 redirect?
It is a method by which the user is redirected to new page url to old page url . It is a permanent redirect and it is also useful in directing link juice to new url from old url .
If you have a site that is targeted at a particular country only, which of the following are recommendable to do in order to rank well in country specific search results?
Use the appropriate language attribute in the HTML code of the page, The web site should be hosted in the same country, so that its IP falls in the range of IPs that are specific for this country. Have the web site written in the language of the country. Submit the site to local search engines, search engines use their own algorithms to determine the language of a a particular sites, even there are SEO experts who say that no efforts on your side are necessary for ranking well in country specific search results.
30) What are Webmaster tools?
Webmaster tool is a service provided by Google from where you can get backlink information, crawl errors, search queries, Indexing data, CTR etc.But now a days there are so many paid tools are available in market like Seo Moz, spydermate, bulkdachecker etc
A customer can give you an access to only one tool, which one will you choose, Webmasters or Analytics?
Of Course Webmaster tools, because these are almost the essential tools for the search engine optimization, we can have some analytics data in the webmasters as well. But now due to the inclusion of webmaster data in Analytics, we would like to have access to Analytics.
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.
What are the Social Media channels you have used for marketing?
I have used blogs like blogger, word press, tumblr etc, social bookmarking sites like Digg, Jumptags, Delicious etc., social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn etc., Video Sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo etc.
31) What is keyword density and what is the formula for knowing keyword density?
From SEO point of view, keyword density will definitely help to stand out your content from others. The formula to know the keyword density is ( Total number of keyword/ total number of words in your article) multiply by 100.
What is Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword difficulty identifies how difficult it would be to rank well for a particular keyword. and the value is higher for more popular words because it will be more difficult to compete with 1,000s of other sites for a popular word than with 10s of others for the less popular ones
32) What is robots.txt?
Robots.txt is a text file. It is through this file, it gives instruction to search engine crawlers about indexing and caching of a webpage, file of a website or directory, domain.
Which is better
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.
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.
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.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a page in the website which is designed to attract the visitors to contact/subscribe/buy a service or the product by reading few lines of important information about that particular service or the product on that page.
33) What will you do, for the company website you are working for, decides to move all the contents to new domain?
The first step would be to update the previous site with a permanent redirect to new page for all the pages. After that, I will remove the previous content from search engine in order to avoid duplicate content issues.
34) Can you optimize the website which has pages in millions?
From SEO point of view, for dynamic website, special additional SEO stuffs have to be implemented.
- Good Internal link structure
- Generation of dynamic title and description
- 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 Panda update?
Panda is to improve the search in 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 the code name for Google algorithm. Its main target is to decrease the ranking of that website that are violating the Google Webmaster guidelines. These guidelines are violated by using black hat techniques like cloaking and stuffing.
38) How will you neutralize a toxic link to your site?
Through Backlink Quality Checker you can know who links to your website. Now, you have to go to ‘ 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 remove it by using ‘Google Disavov tool’.
Do you know who Danny Sullivan is?
He is a Journalist who covers the field of web search, considered as search engine guru and editor at
Who is Matt Cutts?
He is the head of web spam team at Google.
From SEO point of view, which is better – one big site or several smaller site?
If you have enough content in the same niche it is better to have it in one big site because first, this way the site is easier to maintain and the great number of pages is good for ranking high in search results. Many small sites allow focusing on specific niches, therefore competing for different keywords.
How do you know how much to pay for a text link from another site to yours?
The price of a text link from another site to yours depends on many factors, The price is often different because it depends on the current rating of the site that will back link to us. The most important of which is the Web Site the back link originates from, because there can’t be universal prices for text links. when you don’t know the real price of a link, negotiating to drop the price is pointless and generally, reputable sites are not going to negotiate the price of their links.
Do you use separate SEO strategies for Google,Yahoo and Bing?
Yes I use separate strategies for Google,Yahoo and other search 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.
Which technique is unethical and can be a reason for banning?
Creating a doorway page instead a home page is considered as unethical because doorway pages are aimed at misleading search engines.
Explain some SEO practices?
Building back links. Rewriting the titles to include the target keywords, Rewriting dynamic URLs into static.
If you were a SEO for a technology web site, what would you do to build backlinks for it?
Four practices are a quite legal and recommendable way of building backlinks are:-
Post in technology blogs.
Submit articles to technology engines.
Exchange links with other reputable technology web sites.
Provide free syndicated content to partner-websites.
What are the advantages of submitting sites to search directories?
By submitting to a search directory, you get a back link to your web site. When your site is listed in search directories, this increases the chances that search engines will index it sooner, compared to when it is not listed. Submitting to search directories is a good Web marketing initiative. Because that increases the chances of having your web site index and when your site is listed in a search directory, you list its URL as well, so you actually get a valuable link
Submitting to search directories neither gets higher ranking nor gets your web site certified.
You have just launched a new web site. Unfortunately, nobody visits it, even search engines’ spiders don’t notice it. What can you do for its SEO success?
Submit the URL of the web site to search engines and search directories.
Difference between exit rate and bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the percentage of people who leaves a particular website just after visiting a single page on this and exit rate refers to the percentage of people who leaves from a particular page.
Can search engines see password protected pages?
In most of the cases Search engines are not different from regular users. Search engines cannot go anywhere that a regular user cannot go. If we have a password protected area on our website that cannot be accessed without a login and password then the search engines also cannot see it.
For seo which is better text links or graphical links?
Text links are better for SEO. Text links can contain the anchor text that our web page wishes to rank well for and that is an important factor in many search engines, especially Google. Image links are still valuable but do have less benefits compared to text links.
What is Google EMD updates?
The EMD Update – for “Exact Match Domain” – is a filter Google launched in September 2012 to prevent poor quality sites from ranking well simply because they had words that match search terms in their domain names. When a fresh EMD Update happens, sites that have improved their content may regain good rankings. New sites with poor content – or those previously missed by EMD – may get caught. In addition, “false positives” may get released