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 an online presence. SEO helps business owners create fast and robust websites that are not just user-friendly but also rank higher in search engines. This, in turn, brings potential customers to their sites and eventually led to better conversion rates. SEO is an extremely reliable way to gain traffic is to achieve a higher rank.
SEO statistics by Forbes cite Borrell Associates to indicate that by 2020, Organisations will be spending remarkably $80 billion on SEO services.
SEO is an indispensable part of the digital marketing plan of any business, be it small, mid-sized, and even large. These businesses require skilled professionals who can contribute towards improved business visibility, better branding and web traffic, a high ROI, credibility, and detailed insight into customer behaviour. This write up lists some of the SEO interview questions and answers that will help you to crack your next SEO interview –
Q1. What are the different types of SEO?
Ans. There are three different types of SEO –
On-page SEO – On-page or on-site SEO includes practice strategies to optimise an individual page on a website and improve the rankings of a website, and earn organic traffic.
Off-page SEO – This process also refers to techniques for improving a website’s position in the search engine results page (SERPs).
Technical SEO – Technical SEO is the process of optimising a website for crawling and indexing, and help search engines access, crawl, interpret, and index the website in a hassle-free manner.
Q2. What is a backlink?
Ans. Any incoming links to a website or web page are known as backlinks. High-quality backlinks help the web pages to rank up and have better visibility on the search engines.
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. Outbound links help to extend the relevancy signal of the webpage and boost SEO rankings if they come from authority sites.
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, whereas off-page optimisation is not regulated by page coding.
Q5. What is Page Rank?
Ans. PageRank is one of the algorithms used by Google, where it gives a page rank to determine a web page’s relevance or importance.
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 Search Console, Neil Patel SEO Analyzer, Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Longtail PRO, Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, Woorank, Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer, 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 a 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 mention their character limits.
Ans. 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 as a backlink that is counted by search engines and help in enhancing the ranking of a site, while 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.
Also, Read>> Top Marketing Tools.
Q13. What is 301 redirect?
Ans. 301 redirect is a method by which a user is redirected to a new URL from an old URL.
Q14. What are the common SEO mistakes?
Ans. Some of the most common SEO mistakes are –
- 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. Googlebot is the web crawler software used by Google as a search bot to index a webpage.
Q16. What methods would you apply for decreasing the loading time of a website?
Ans. Methods that can be applied to decrease the loading time of a website are
- Optimise images without losing quality
- Enable browser caching
- Optimise CSS delivery to reduce HTTP request
- Avoid self-hosted videos
Q17. What is robots.txt?
Ans. robots.txt is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots.
Q18. Which is better — Meta Robot tags or robots.txt?
Ans. Meta Robot tags are better as they help 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 an 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 that 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 to send 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 on 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 are some of the black hat techniques that should be avoided.
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, and 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 wrongdoings.
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 the 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 the organic results?
Ans. Organic results are those that are displayed on SERPs due to their relevancy, as opposed to those, which are being advertised.
Q41. Explain the usage of an anchor tag in SEO.
Ans. 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.
Q42. What are the LSI keywords?
Ans. LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are the keywords semantically associated with the keyword entered by the users in any search engine.
Q43. What is the role of a keyword in SEO?
Ans. 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.
Q44. Explain keyword stemming.
Ans. 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 pluralisation.
Q45. What is body content relevance?
Ans. 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 optimisation.
Q46. What does it mean if nothing appears while searching a domain?
Ans. 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
Q46. What does it mean if nothing appears while searching a domain?
Ans. 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.
Q48. What is a SERP?
Ans. SERP or search engine result page is the list of results obtained after a user’s search query on a search engine.
Q49. Remember the Panda update? What was it?
Ans. 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.
Q50. What are Spiders, Robots, and Crawlers?
Ans. 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.
Q51. Explain the difference between do-follow and no-follow backlinks.
Ans. Do-follow link – It is a standard hyperlink that allows search engine 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.
Q52. What is Search Engine Submission?
Ans. 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.
Q53. What are the social signals?
Ans. These are interactions of people with any web page on social media platforms; this includes likes, dislikes, shares, upvotes, pins, views, etc.
Q54. What is Cross-linking?
Ans. Cross-linking is the process of linking one site to another site. It may or may not belong to the same business or person.
Q55. Why should you do Cross-linking?
Ans. Cross-linking provides reference sites to the user. These reference sites contain search-related content.
Q56. What is a NAP?
Ans. 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.
Q57. What is a Google Penalty?
Ans. 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 penalisation for various black-hat SEO techniques.”
Q58. How will you avoid the Google penalty?
Ans. 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
Q59. How will you determine if a link is a bad link?
Ans. 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
Q60. What is Google AdWords?
Ans. 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.
Q61. How does Google AdWords work?
Ans. 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 optimised. The better the Quality Score and bid amount, the better would be your ad positioning.
Q62. Name some Google AdWords ad extensions.
Ans. The most popular Google AdWords ad extensions are –
- Affiliate location extension
- Call extensions
- Promote extension
- Structured snippet extension
- App extension
- Site link extension
- Callout Extension
Q63. How can you improve conversion rates?
Ans. 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.
Q64. What is Google My Business?
Ans. 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
Q65. Explain Google Trends.
Ans. 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.
Q66. Which type of website is good for SEO purposes?
Ans. Every website is good for SEO purposes; given it has the following features –
- Meta tags
- No canonical issues
- Optimised URL
- Redirected URL
It is always a good idea to build a website in HTML for a better SEO perspective.
Q67. What is cloaking?
Ans. Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique, where the user receives different content or information as compared to that presented to search engine crawlers. The aim of cloaking is better indexing. Cloaking is against Google guidelines, as it provides users with different information than they expected.
Q68. Is HTML case-sensitive?
Ans. No, HTML is not a case-sensitive language, and the users can write their codes in any case. However, HTML coding is usually written in lower case.
Q70. Which of the following is the least important area in which to include your keyword(s)?
- Meta Keywords
- Internal Anchor Text
- Meta Description
- Body Text
Ans. (1) Meta Keywords
Q71. Which of the following would be the best choice of URL structure (for both search engines and humans)?
Ans. (5) blog.naukrilearning.com/category/article/563
Q72. Which is the best way to maximise the frequency with which your site/page is crawled by the search engines?
- Frequently add new content
- Search for your website more frequently in the major engines
- Increase your “crawl frequency” in Google Webmaster Central
- Submit your website through Search Engines’ Submission form
- Add a short “crawl delay” parameter to your robots.txt file
Ans. (1) Frequently add new content
Q73. Which of the following pieces of information is NOT available from current keyword research sources?
- Estimated volume of searches per month
- Cost per click paid by PPC advertisers
- Demographic data on searchers who use a particular term/phrase
- Popular terms/phrases related to a given keyword
Ans. (2) Cost per click paid by PPC advertisers
Q74. For search engine rankings & traffic in Google & Yahoo!, it is generally better to have many, small, single topic-focused sites with links spread out between them than one, a large, inclusive site with all the links pointing to that single domain.
Q74. If a webpage serves as a “sitemap,” linking to other pages on a particular domain in an organised, list format, is important because?
Ans. Because it might help search engine crawlers to access multiple pages on that site, easily.
Q75. Which search engine patented the concept of “TrustRank” as a methodology to rank websites and webpages?
Ans. Yahoo! patented the concept of “TrustRank” to rank websites and webpages.
Q76. What can be an acceptable way to show HTML text to search engines while creating a graphical image for display to users?
Ans. CSS image replacement can be used to create a rule in the CSS file that replaces the text with an image based on a given class.
Q77. What is a domain name?
Ans. A domain name is the name of a website, and it identifies more than one IP address. With a domain name, you don’t need to remember the long strings of numbers.
Q78. What is a TLD?
Ans. TLD or the top-level domain is the last part of an Internet address. For example, in learning.naukri.com, the TLD is .com.
Q79. What is ccTLD?
Ans. ccTLD or country code top-level domain extension assigned to a country. It is maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
Q80. Explain link popularity?
Ans. Link popularity is defined as off-the-page-criterion to manage quality content and the value of a website. It refers to the number of backlinks that point towards a website.
Q81. What can we do if the website got penalised?
Ans. When our website gets penalised, then we have to understand why this situation occurs and fix the issue properly. After that, what has to apply for re-inclusion.
Q82. Name the social media channels used for marketing?
Ans. There are some social media channels which are used for marketing:
- Video-Sharing sites: Netflix, Metacafe, Liveleak, YouTube, Vimeo, Ustream, etc.Blogging Platforms: Medium, Ghost, Squarespace, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc.
- Social networking sites: Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google+, Skype, Viber, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, etc.
- Social bookmarking sites: Dribble, Pocket, Reddit, Slashdot, Digg, Jumptags, Delicious, StumbleUpon, etc.,
Q83. Explain the Disavow tool?
Ans. The Disavow tool is defined as a section of Google Search Console. It helps us to minimise the value of a backlink to restrict link-based penalties. It also works for the site to shield it from unwanted links that may cripple the website’s reputation.
Q84. Mention the syntax of the Robots Meta tag?
<meta name=?robots? content=?instructions for crawler?>
In the given syntax, we can add multiple values of robots meta tags as a placeholder as we have written: “instructions for the crawler” as a placeholder.
Q85. Explain what CTR is?
Ans. In search engine optimisation, CTR (Click-through Rate) is calculated by dividing the number of times a link emerges on a search engine result page by the number of times it is clicked by users.
It is determined as the higher number of clicks, the higher will be the CTR. Therefore, it is one of the important metrics in PPC ads which helps the users to measure the results and finds how adequate the campaigns are.
Q86. Explain what Alexa Rank in SEO is?
Ans. Alexa.com is a website that provides a wide range of services out of which one is Alexa rank. This rank is a metric that ranks websites in a particular order on the basis of their popularity and website traffic in the last three months.
Q87. Name the different techniques used in off-page Seo?
Ans. Following are the techniques used in Offpage SEO work:
- Blog Post
- Article Post
- Forum Posting
- Yahoo Answer
- Blog Comment
- Directory Submission
- Social Bookmarking
- Press Release Submission
- Deep-link Directory Submission
- Regional Directory Submission
Q88. Explain what anchor text is?
Ans. Anchor text is defined as a visible hyperactively link to another page. On writing an article, we provide a link to the specific keyword present in the article is known as anchor text.
Q89. How do you optimise an URL?
Ans. You can optimise URLs for keywords, and it should be short, simple, and easy for readers to understand.
Q90. Mention some of the reports in Google Analytics.
Ans. Following are the reports in Google Analytics:
- Mobile performance report
- Traffic acquisition report
- Content efficiency report
- Keyword analysis report
- New vs Returning visitors
- Landing pages report
- Bounce rate vs Exit rate report
Q91. What is AMP?
Ans. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source project that is used by the publishers to manage the readability and speed of their pages on mobile devices. It provides easy readability to mobile pages and makes the loading process speedy for better user experience. This venture was started by Google, WordPress, Adobe, and some other companies in 2015.
Q92. What is HTTPS/SSL Update?
Ans. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a protocol used for secure communication on the World Wide Web. With the help of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), we can add a layer of security to the standard HTTP connection. It encrypts all the available data or communication between the server and the browser.
Earlier websites use the HTTP protocol where the data is transferred between the site server and the browser as plain text. So, it is simple for anyone to read your data. Websites that consists of sensitive data like credit card details and personal information were using HTTPS instead of HTTP. An HTTPS connection offers the following benefits:
- Data Integrity
- Website Authentication
- Data Encryption
Q93. Explain what the hidden text is?
Ans. Hidden text is defined as one of the oldest SEO technique to enhance the ranking of a site. It is the text which is invisible or hidden for visitors, but the SEO engine can read it.
Q94. Explain what article spinning is?
Ans. Article spinning is a black hat SEO technique to enhance the SEO of a website. Here, in this strategy, one article is written in a few different copies and in such a way that each copy is considered as a new article. These are uploaded as a fresh article to create the illusion with low quality and repetitive content as the first article.
Q95. Is Google use the keyword meta tags?
Ans. No, Google is not using the keyword meta tags in web search rankings. It is said that Google ignores the meta tags keyword because it is misused.
Q96. How do you separate words in UR?
Ans. To separate words in URL, we can use hyphens. Take a reference of the given image:
Q97. What are the reasons for HTTP 404 errors?
Ans. HTTP 404 errors are considered as the technical errors by the client-side, which indicates that is occurred by the mistake of the client, such as the particular page is not present at your website. If the page has existed on your website, it would have been indexed by the crawler, and it shows on the server.
Q98. What is error 503?
Ans. Error 503 is known as 503 Service Unavailable”. It is an HTTP status that indicates the server is not accessible to handle the request. It happens because when the server face heavy traffic or when maintenance is executed on it.
Q99. Explain Image Alt Text?
Ans. Image Alt text is a feature in SEO that is attached to an image tag in HTML. It resembles in the blank image box when the image is not displayed due to a broken URL, slow connection, or any other issue.
Q100. Explain Mobile-First Indexing?
Ans. Mobile-first indexing indicates that Google uses the mobile version of the content for indexing.
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.