18 SEO Questions & Answers to Read Before a Job Interview
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become one of the main topics of discussion in today’s internet-hungry world. As an SEO team leader by experience, I had the privilege of interviewing many people interested in SEO-type work. In the interviews, I was looking for the person in front of me to understand that first and foremost the website you are optimizing is meant for people, flesh and blood, and not for a machine. Another criteria I focused on in the interview process, was to make sure my potential hires are updated to the industry changes and are reading the leading SEO blogs on a regular basis. I also make sure to look for a strong understanding and knowledge of web analysis tools such as: Google Analytics, Webmaster tools and more… I believe that the following list of questions will better help prepare you for your job interviews. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
1. What are the 2 types of Search engine optimization?
- 1 1. What are the 2 types of Search engine optimization?
- 2 2. What are the top 5 factors for high ranking website?
- 3 3. What are backlinks?
- 4 4. Where can I see all the back links to a website?
- 5 5. What are outbound links?
- 6 6. How many Meta tags are there and where are they placed on a website page?
- 7 7. What is the maximum length of each Meta tag?
- 8 8. What are some of content management systems that you worked with and witch one is the best CMS for SEO?
- 9 9. How do you preform keyword research? What platforms do you use?
- 10 10. What is “keywords stuffing” and what action would you take to avoid it?
- 11 11. What is a Black hat SEO? And what are some of the techniques that they use?
- 12 12. What is 301 redirect and when would you use it?
- 13 13. Tell me what do you know about Panda & Penguin algorithm updates and there effects on SEO industry?
- 14 14. Are you familiar with any other Google algorithm updates?
- 15 15. What is ORM?
- 16 16. What is robot.txt file? And why would you implement it on your website?
- 17 17.What are “nofollow” tag and why would you use them?
- 18 18. What is rel=canonical? And what is the difference between canonical and 301 redirect?
On page SEO (Meta tags and internal links, web analysis) and off page SEO (mostly link building).
2. What are the top 5 factors for high ranking website?
This a bit controversial question since every SEO experts’ dream is to crack Google’s search engine algorithm. My personal answers is based on Moz’s 2013 research, you can read more about it here. I would also add: high quality content & user experience as major factors for ranking.
- MOZ Page Authority
- Number of Google +1’s,
- Number of unique c-blocks linking to the page,
- Number of unique IPs linking to the page,
- Number of Root Domains Linking to the Page.
The back links are all the incoming links to your website.
One way to get a full report of your backlinks is by login in to your Webmaster Tools account. On the left drop-down menu go to the “search traffic” and choose “links to your website”. You can also use tools such as Backlink Checker or Moz link analysis.
Outbound links are the opposite of back links; they are all the links from a given website to other domains
There are 3 types of Meta tags: Title, Meta description and Meta keywords. Meta tags are places at the header of the web page (Head). Matt Cutts announced in 2008 that Google no longer uses Meta keywords in their website ranking.
7. What is the maximum length of each Meta tag?
Meta Title length is 65-55 characters, Meta description is 150 -160 characters and Meta keywords limit is 200 characters.
8. What are some of content management systems that you worked with and witch one is the best CMS for SEO?
WordPress is the most famous Content management system(CMS) and is considered the most Google friendly. It is also the best CMS for SEO. But there are other content management platforms such as Joomla and Wix and more…
9. How do you preform keyword research? What platforms do you use?
First I would make a list of important, relevant KW based on what I know about the website. Then I’d go to Adwords “keyword planner” to find the search volume for each of the keyword and would look for high volume long tail keywords that I have the highest chance to rank high.
10. What is “keywords stuffing” and what action would you take to avoid it?
Keyword stuffing occurs when a web page is loaded with keywords in the Meta tags or in the content of a web page. The repetition of words in Meta tags may explain why many search engines no longer use these tags. In order to avoid Keyword stuffing, you need to make sure that the content on the website is written by a professional writer and that there is no hidden text on the webpage (example: text in the same color as the background).
11. What is a Black hat SEO? And what are some of the techniques that they use?
Black hat SEO are unethical techniques to promote a website in search engine. Some of the techniques that are considered Black hat are: Cloaking, Doorway pages, Spamdexing, Scraper site Link farming, Keyword stuffing and more.
12. What is 301 redirect and when would you use it?
301 means “moved permanently” and is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested. One would use 301 redirect to permanently move a site to a new domain.
13. Tell me what do you know about Panda & Penguin algorithm updates and there effects on SEO industry?
Panda & Penguin algorithm updates were launched by Google in 2011. Their purpose was to fight spammers and SEO’s black hat industry. The algorithm updates caused many websites that used black hat techniques to disappear from the Google search and made the whole industry focus on high quality content and user experience rather than spam link building.
14. Are you familiar with any other Google algorithm updates?
Hummingbird was launched in September 2013, the update focused on the meaning behind the words put in Google search engine in order for the user to receive the best answer. Google also made another update in 2015 that focused on mobile friendly website.
15. What is ORM?
ORM is another field of SEO industry and it deals with client’s Online Reputation Management. Some of the keywords ORM companies focus on are: brand name, brand name review, brand name is bad. They attempt to create new assets with those keywords to push the negative reputation lower on the search engine result page.
You can divide the ORM work to 3 parts:
- Monitoring company’s online brand and following brand mentions around the web.
- Building assets on that brand name
- Fixing and minimizing damage to the brand
16. What is robot.txt file? And why would you implement it on your website?
Robot.txt is a txt file that is uploaded to the website and it includes all the pages that you, as a website admin, wouldn’t want to be scanned by search engines.
17.What are “nofollow” tag and why would you use them?
Nofollow links are not indexed by the search engines. We use nofollow tags to affiliate links or to outbound links that we are not interested to index to our website.
18. What is rel=canonical? And what is the difference between canonical and 301 redirect?