Top SEO Interview Questions & Answers

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seo interview questions

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has always been one of the most popular methods of digital marketing and is widely adopted across various industries. SEO, in layman’s term, is a technique by which the traffic to a website or web page is increased by affecting its visibility on the search engine’s result pages. Due to the huge factor played by internet and search engines in this age of technology, SEO is an integral part of marketing for businesses having online presence.

SEO professionals are in great demand; so is the competition in the industry. To be successful in an SEO job interview, you need to prepare well.

Here are some of the SEO interview questions and answers that are frequently asked in an SEO interview:

Q1. What are the two types of SEO?

Ans. On-page optimisation and off-page optimisation

Q2. What is a backlink?

Ans. Any incoming links to a website or web page is known as backlink.

Q3. What is an outbound link?

Ans. Any link on a website that links to another web page or website is known as an outbound link.

Q4. Differentiate between on-page and off-page optimisation

Ans. On-page optimisation is used to regulate the site to be optimised through page coding. Off-page optimisation is not regulated by page coding.

Q5. Define Page Rank

Ans. For every web page, Google gives a rank according to its algorithm. This is known as Page Rank.

Q6. What is a keyword?

Ans. SEO keywords are words and phrases in the web content that make it possible for people to find a site via search engines.

Q7. Name some of the tools that you have used in SEO

Ans. Name all the tools that you have used related to SEO. Common ones are Google webmaster, Google analytics, SEO Moz, etc.

Q8. What is keyword density?

Ans. It is the percentage density of a particular phrase or keyword available on a website compared to the total number of words on the particular page.

Q9. What are meta tags

Ans. HTML meta tags are officially page data tags that lie between the open and closing head tags in the HTML code of a document.

Q10. Name the four important meta tags in SEO and what are 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

Q11. Differentiate between a do-follow and a no-follow link

Ans. A do-follow link acts a backlink that is counted by search engines and help in enhancing the ranking of a site.

A no-follow link, usually, does influence the ranking in search engine index.

Q12. What is an anchor text?

Ans. It is the clickable text in a hyperlink. It should be relevant to the page linked to, rather than generic text.

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Q13. What is 301 redirect?

Ans. A method by which a user is redirected to new URL from old URL.

Q14. What are the common SEO mistakes?


  • Not optimising for 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

Q15. What is Googlebot?

Ans. It is a kind of software used by the Google as a search bot to index a webpage.

Q16. What methods would you apply for decreasing the loading time of a website?


Some methods:

  • Optimise images without losing quality
  • Enable browser caching
  • Optimise CSS delivery

Q17. What is robots.txt?

Ans. robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots.

Also Read>> Digital Marketing Certification: All You Need to Know About

Q18. Which is better — Meta Robot tags or robots.txt?

Ans. Meta Robot tags are better as it helps in forcing the search engine crawlers not to index and display hidden pages. It also ensures that the link equity is not being lost, with the use of the ‘follow’ command.

Q19. What is Keyword Difficulty?

Ans. Keyword difficulty defines how difficult a keyword is to rank due to its popularity.

Q20. What is a long tail keyword?

Ans. Long tail keywords are phrases containing over 4+ words that make search results highly specific.

Q21. What is SEO friendly URL?

Ans. SEO-friendly URLs are those having proper length and file structure.

Q22. What is a landing page?

Ans. A web page which serves as the entry point for a website or a particular section of a website.

Q23. Which tools can you use to check the number of backlinks of a site other than your own?

Ans. Backlink finder, Open Site Explorer, Backlink Watch, and Alexa

Also Read>> Best Web Analytics Tools

Q24. What are the latest updates in Google search algorithm?

Ans. Google often updates its algorithm, so be prepared by keeping up-to-date

Q25. What is the Panda update?

Ans. Released first in 2011, this update is aimed to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites”, in particular “content farms”, and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.

Q26. What is the Penguin update?

Ans. First released in 2012, this update was launched to catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings.

Q27. What is Sandbox Effect?

Ans. The Sandbox Effect is the theory that websites with newly-registered domains or domains with frequent ownership or nameserver changes are placed in a sandbox (or holding area) in the indexes of Google until such time is deemed appropriate before a ranking can commence.

Q28. What are doorway pages?

Ans. 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 with the purpose of sending visitors to a different page.

Also Read>> Top Digital Marketing Interview Questions and Answers

Q29. What is the limit of a robot.txt file?

Ans. Googlebot reads only the first 500kb present in the robots.txt file.

Q30. What is Keyword proximity?

Ans. The distance between two keywords in a web page is known as keyword proximity.

Q31. What are the criteria for the uniqueness of a page?

Ans. Some of the criteria for the uniqueness of a page are code similarity, text similarity, page names, titles, headings, page titles and metatags.

Q32. Name some of the few black hat techniques that one should avoid

Ans. Link farming, doorway pages, cloaking, keyword stuffing and hidden text

Q33. How to remove toxic links to a site?

Ans. First use a link checker tool to find out the toxic links to the site, then use the ‘Google Disavow’ tool to remove the link.

Q34. What to do if your website is banned by the search engines for black hat practices?

Ans. Apply for re-inclusion after rectifying the wrong doings.

Q35. What is XML Sitemap? How is it important?

Ans. 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.

Also Read>> How to Start A Career In Digital Marketing?

Q36. What is DA?

Ans. Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP).

Q37. What is Google Pigeon Update?

Ans. Released in 2014, the update is aimed to increase the ranking of local listing in a search.

Q38. What is Google’s Rich Answer Box?

Ans. The Rich Answer Box is Google’s attempt to answer the searcher’s query directly without having to click on the link.

Q39. What is Bounce Rate?

Ans. It is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

Q40. What are organic results?

Ans. Organic results are those which are displayed on SERPs due to their relevancy, as opposed to those which are being advertised.

Q 41. 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.

Q 42. What are LSI keywords?

LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are the keywords semantically associated with the keyword entered by the users in any search engine.

Q 43. What is the role of a keyword in SEO?

A keyword can be a single word or a combination of words to form a phrase. Keywords are used in website copy to attract relevant and organic traffic. Search engines store keywords in their database and come up with the best possible match.

Q 44. Explain keyword stemming

It is the process of finding out new keywords from the main keyword from the search query. This is achieved by adding a prefix, suffix, or pluralization.

Q 45. What is body content relevance?

Body content relevance refers to a text that does not have any images on the web page. It helps to achieve a higher ranking in the search engines and ensure a good page optimization.

Q 46. What does it mean if nothing appears while searching a domain?

If your domain does not appear on the search, the reasons could simply be –

  • Search engines have banned the website
  • The page has not been indexed
  • Some canonical issues

Q 47. What is “Google Suggest” or “Autocomplete”?

As the name suggests, “Google Suggest” or “Autocomplete” is a function of Google, which shows associated terms to the users whenever s/he enters any word in the search bar. It is a collection of the most frequently search terms on Google.

Q 49. Remember the Panda update? What was it?

Panda Update is a search filter introduced by Google in 2011 to devalue the poor quality content and lower quality websites from finding their way into Google’s top search results. Panda aimed towards rewarding high-quality content by assigning a quality classification to the pages.

Q 50. What are Spiders, Robots, and Crawlers?

Spiders, robots, and crawlers are the same and are software programs used by search engines to explore the Internet and download the available web content.

Q 51. Explain the difference between do-follow and no follow backlinks.

Do-follow link – It is a standard hyperlink that allows search engines bots to index the links.

No-follow link – These links are the ones that don’t allow search engine bots to index the links. These are less valuable links.

Q 52. 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.

Q 53. What are social signals?

These are interactions of people with any web page on social media platforms; this includes likes, dislikes, shares, upvotes, pins, views, etc.

Q 54. What is Cross-linking? 

Cross-linking is the process of linking one site to another site. It may or may not belong to the same business or person.

Q 55. Why should you do Cross-linking?

Cross-linking provides reference sites to the user. These reference sites contain search-related content.

Q 56. What is NAP?

NAP is the acronym for 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.

Q 57. 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.”

Q 58. 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
  • The website is user-friendly
  • Links are not broken
  • Content is not duplicate
  • Smart keywords and tags are used

Q 59. How will you determine if a link is a bad link?

Bad links are usually –

  • Links from a low-authority or questionable domain
  • Links 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

Q 60. What is Google AdWords?

It is 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.

Q 61. 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.

Q 62. Name some Google AdWords ad extensions.

  • Affiliate location extension
  • Call extensions
  • Promote extension
  • Structured snippet extension
  • App extension
  • Site link extension
  • Callout Extension

Q 63. How you can 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.

Q 64. What is Google My Business?

It 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

Q 65. Explain Google Trends.

It 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 behaviour.

These are some of the popular questions asked in SEO interviews. Always be prepared to answer all types of questions — technical skills, interpersonal, leadership or methodology. If you are someone who has recently started your career in SEO, you can always get certified to understand the industry-related terminology, skills and methodologies.

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About the Author

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasib is a professional writer associated with He has written a number of articles related to technology, marketing, and career on various blogs and websites. As an amateur career guru, he often imparts nuggets of knowledge related to leadership and motivation. He is also an avid reader and passionate about the beautiful game of football.