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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.

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.

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.