SEO Interview Questions and Answers

  • Oct 10, 2018

  • by Saurabh Kumar

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SEO Interview Questions and Answers

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique to increase the traffic of a website for its products, services, or content. It helps a company to boost relevant traffic and sales leads, which has a positive impact on profitability. SEO is not only about increasing traffic but also about boosting organic and relevant traffic. SEO experts have a great demand in today’s market scenario. There are various types of SEO interview questions for beginners, which may help them crack an interview effectively.

Here we have enlisted the most frequently asked SEO interview questions for beginners, and the right way to answer them.

What is SEO and its importance?

  • SEO is a technique used to increase the ranking of a business website for its products, services, or content. It helps in obtaining organic yet relevant traffic to the website. SEO helps in building a brand or taking the business to another level by making a strong online presence.
  • Most of the users tend to click one of the links from the top five results. SEO is important to place the company link in the top list. It plays a crucial role in increasing client base and revenues of the business.

Name few search engines

  • Globally used search engines are Google, Yahoo, AOL.com, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Baidu.

Founders of the search engines.

  • Google – Larry Page and Sergey Brin
  • Yahoo – Jerry Yang and David Filo
  • AOL.com – Steve Case, Mark Sheriff, Jim Kimsey, and William von Meister
  • Bing – Operated by Microsoft revealed by CEO Steve Ballmer
  • Baidu – Robin Li and Eric Xu


What is a website, web hosting and web server?

  • A website is a central place of collection of related web pages that includes information about a company like its products, services, or content.
  • Web hosting is an activity that enables storage space and access to the website.
  • Web Server is a computer programme with a domain name and IP address that helps the visitors to visit their choice of websites when requested. It accepts the request sent through HTTP.

What is crawling and indexing and the difference between them?

  • Crawling is a process via which search engines filter the web pages for accurate indexing.
  • Once, crawling gets over, Google collects relevant information to form an index including some specific words from search queries. Then, search engine answers the queries by looking up the index and showing the most relevant pages.
  • Crawling and indexing are quite misunderstood by the SEO industry. Crawling analyses the content page whereas indexing shows up results once the user enters the query. It is possible for Google to index without crawling.

What is SERP?

  • Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a list of results that search engine responds when a search query is entered.

What is PageRank?

  • PageRank (PR) is a calculation developed by founders of Google which evaluates the quality and quantity of a webpage. This calculation determines the importance and rank of the webpage on the scale of 1 to 10.

What is On-page and Off-page SEO?

  • On-page SEO is a method of optimizing individual web page to achieve high and relevant traffic to the webpage.
  • Off-page SEO helps in improving the current position of a website to rank higher in SERP.

What are backlinks?

  • Backlinks are the hyperlinks in one website that are linked to another website.

Keyword Related Questions

What are keywords and how can you differentiate it with long tail keywords?

  • Keywords are the words that the user sends to the search engine when they are searching for any product, service, or content.
  • Keywords are bifurcated as long tail and short tail. A long tail keyword is the ones having more than three words.

What are LSI Keywords?

  • Latent Semantic (LS) Keywords are related to the keywords that the user is searching for.
    For instance, if the keyword is SEO interview questions for beginners. Then the LSI can be SEO interview questions or frequently asked SEO questions.

What are black hat techniques and white hat techniques? Name some techniques for each?

  • Black hat techniques are aggressive SEO strategies that do not use SEO guidelines. Whereas, white hat techniques are approved by most of the search engines and follow codes and guidelines for SEO.
  • Some black hat techniques are Paid Links, Spam Comments, Duplicate Content, etc.
  • Some white hat techniques are Mobile First, Keyword Research, Link Building, etc.

What is Google My Business?

  • It is a platform to manage the online presence of a company or organization across Google.

What is Sandbox Effect?

  • It is an unproven filter that prevents amateur websites from listing on the top of the Google results.

What is keyword proximity?

  • It refers to the closeness of keywords with one another.

 What will be your next steps if your SEO methods or technique don’t work?

  • Marketing the business or content using e-mail marketing, native advertising, social media, or blog outreach.

 What is Content Marketing?

  • It is a type of marketing that includes valuable, relevant, knowledgeable, and consistent content to drive action from customers.

 What is RankBrain in SEO?

  • RankBrain is an artificial intelligence method that helps Google to process some rare queries for the users.

 How do you research keywords?

  • Replacing the business activities with keywords; finding related keywords; finding mix head terms in each area; analysing how competitors are ranking using the same keywords; using platforms like Google AdWords.

 What is Canonicalization?

  • Canonicalization helps in preventing duplicate or identical content visible on multiple URLs. It tells the search engine about the desirable version of URL a user wants to see.

ON Page Interview Questions

 What are meta tags and heading tags and difference in them?

  • Meta tags are the words that are hidden in the code. They generally form their place inside the head area of HTML.
  • Heading tags are used to create the headings. H1 is the title of the content followed by multiple tags H2, H3, H4, and so on. For instance, the H1 tag of an article is SEO interview questions for beginners followed by sub-headings like on page interview questions, SEO based questions, etc.
  • The main difference between these tags is where they appear. Meta tags appear in the head area of HTML whereas heading tags appear in the body of content.

 What is a Canonical URL?

  • An authorized URL is the tag that explains the attribute of the page and solves a duplicate content issue.

 How can you define SEO friendly URL?

  • Using keywords in URL; a structure relevant for long-term use; avoiding superfluous words; minimizing dynamic URL strings; consolidating different versions of the website; correct use of canonical tags.

 What is Sitemap?

  • The sitemap is information on the web pages and their relationship with each other. Search engines use the sitemap to crawl the websites.

 What is Page Title?

  • Page tile is a short description of a webpage that is visible on the top of the browser window and in the description of SERP.

 What is Meta Description?

  • A meta description is a short description of the page content which is visible in the web browser. Meta description mostly occurs when a user enters a phrase or description in the search box.

 What is robots.txt?

  • It is an exclusion standard used by the websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots.

 Difference between XML sitemap and HTML sitemap?

  • XML is for search engines. Whereas, HTMP sitemap is for the users. XML is the behind the websites details used by the search engines and HTML are the overview and information of the business for the visitors.

 What is image ALT text?

  • It is a text that is added to an image. This text helps search engine to understand the image and what is about.

What is 301 redirect?

  • 301 redirect is a permanent method of redirecting a website to another URL. It tells the user that the current URL is moved to another and redirects the visitor to the new website.

 What is the limit of a robot.txt file?

  • 500 KB

Off Page Questions

What is a do-follow link and a no-follow link?

  • A no-follow link is an HTML attribute that tells search engine bots that a hyperlink should have no influence on the ranking in the index.
  • Do-follow links are all links that are not marked with a no-follow attribute.

 What is internal linking?

  • An internal link is a hyperlink that takes to another page or an image or document within the website or domain.

 Importance of backlinks in SEO?

  • While calculation of the relevance of the website, the number of quality backlinks is given importance. Hence, backlinks increase the scope of SEO.

 What are doorway pages?

  • Doorway pages are created to manipulate indexing by optimizing keyword ranking that acts like a door between content and the user.

 What is a 404 error?

  • Error 404 means that that the client was successful in communicating with the server. But, the server failed to understand what was requested by the user.

 What is anchor text?

  • Anchor text is a link text or clickable text in a different colour.

 What is domain authority and page authority?

  • Domain Authority and page authority is a method of calculating the score of a website and how will it rank on SERP.

 What is search engine submission?

  • Search engine submission is when a website is directly submitted to a search engine to boost the ranking of the web pages.

 How can I see what pages are indexed in Google?

  • Through site query or by using google search console.

 What types of submissions do you prefer in off pages?

  • Blogging, blog marketing, search engine submission, social bookmarking, link baiting, etc.

 Name the four important meta tags in SEO and what are their character limits?

  • Meta Keyword: 200 characters
  • Meta Title Tag: 60 characters.
  • Description Tag: 150 characters;
  • Robots Tag: N/A

 What is keyword density?

  • Keyword density is the number of percentages a keyword or phrase is visible on the webpage.

 What are the common SEO mistakes?

  • Poor website structure, common content, duplicate content, wrong keywords, keyword stuffing, improper title or meta tags, missing external and quality links, etc.

 What is Googlebot?

  • It is a software used by Google to collect information and documents to create the index for the Google search engine.

 What are outbound links and inbound links?

  • Inbound links are the links that are coming to your website from another website.
  • Outbound links are the external links going to different website from your website.

Google Algorithm Related Questions

 Google ranking factors?

  • User experience, structured URL, optimized and rich content, links, accessible from mobile, speed.

New update in Google algorithm?

  • Fred Update

 What is Google Hummingbird?

  • Google Hummingbird is an algorithm designed with special characteristics of speed and accuracy.

 What is Mobilegeddon?

  • Mobilegeddon is an algorithm designed to increase the effectiveness of websites when accessed from mobiles or smartphones.

 What is the Google Pigeon Update?

  • It is an algorithm designed to increase local ranking. It has an effect on the changes in Google maps along with Google search.

 What is Google Penalty?

  • It is a penalty for any malfunction of algorithm update or use of a black-hat technique or intentional penalization used to increase SEO ranking.

 What is the Google Algorithm?

  • The Google algorithm helps in ranking and returning to relevant results based on a systematic and step-by-step procedure.

 What is Google Panda and Google Penguin?

  • Google Panda is to change the Google ranking system. This update is aimed to change the ranks of low-quality and thin sites and bring the high-quality sites to the top.
  • Following Panda, Penguin was aimed to eradicate web spam and manipulative linking techniques. Hence, bring the high-quality website to the top.

 What is the goal of Google Analytics?

  • The goals of Google Analytics help to track specific interactions on the website. When the visitor performs a specific action, the user defines it as a goal.

 What is a funnel in Google Analytics?

  • Google funnel is useful to track the path visitors use to land on your pages and identify the page in which they land. This is called a funnel because you are determining or setting up a pathway to track your visitor’s activity.

 What are sessions?

  • A session in a particular time given to interchange information between communicating devices.

Analytics and Webmaster Related Questions

 Difference between webmaster and analytics tool?

  • Webmaster tools report how engines interact with your site. Whereas, analytics tools report how users interact with your site.

 What is HTTPS/SSL Update?

  • HTTPS is a standard security update of HTTP which can be done by installing the SSL certificate.

 Name some of the tools that you have used in SEO

  • Google Analytics, Google keyword planner, open site explorer, Moz local listing score, and guest post tracker.

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

  • Using CSS sprites, image optimization, check on current speed, avoiding self-hosted videos and enable browser caching.

 What is a toxic link and how to remove toxic links from a site?

  • Toxic links are the links to your website which have viruses or malware from spam websites. It can be removed by using the Google Disavow tool once the link is checked in the link checker.

 What is Bounce rate?

  • The percentage of visitors bouncing back only after visiting one page is known as bounce rate.

 What is organic traffic?

  • Traffic that visits your website based on search engine rankings and which are not paid is known as organic traffic.

 What is Disavow tool?

  • Disavow tool enables the publisher to inform Google that they don’t want particular links due to issues like affected with virus or malware or any other problem.

These SEO interview questions for beginners are the most useful, which help boost the confidence for the upcoming interview. We wish you all the luck!

About author

Saurabh Kumar
  • Saurabh Kumar

A marketing enthusiast with a fascination for technology, an interest in tinkering with data and systems, and 4+ years of experience at ebookers, Saurabh Kumar co-founded Envigo, a digital marketing agency, in the year 2007. His passion for Digital Marketing led him to launch a data-driven digital marketing solutions agency.

View posts by Saurabh Kumar

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