60 Popular SEO Interview Questions and Answers in 2022
Have you recently applied to an SEO job and got an interview scheduled! Well, congrats on your first step! Nonetheless, you must be going frenzy over the SEO interview questions and answers, are you? Fret not! We have got you covered!
Fortunately, for your ease, we have cataloged the questions into three parts:
- Fundamental SEO interview questions and answers
- Intermediate SEO interview questions and answers
- Expert SEO interview questions and answers
You can choose to read the whole or skip onto the prominent ones as per your comprehension level. Let’s get the ball rolling.
Fundamental-level SEO Interview Question and Answers
Q1. What is on-page SEO? State some on-page SEO techniques?
A. On-page SEO refers to all the practices that you implement on the page to optimize it for the search engines. Some of the most-useful on-page SEO techniques are:
- integrating relevant keywords into your page
- writing high-quality original content
- optimizing the title and meta tags
- optimizing images and alt tags
- internal linking practices
- site speed optimization
Q2. What is off-page SEO? Name some off-page SEO methods?
A. This is one of the most popular SEO interview questions and answers. Off-page SEO refers to all the optimization tactics outside your website to potentially affect search engine rankings for your website. It involves techniques like:
- Social bookmarking
- Social media engagement
- Guest posting
- Local listings
Q3. What makes a website search engine friendly?
A. A search-engine friendly website means that Google and other search engines can crawl it efficiently, interpret the data, and index it to their database easily.
Numerous factors make the website search engine friendly. These include quality content, titles, metadata, backlinks, site speed, etc.
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Q4. Give a brief about the SEO tools that you are most familiar with?
A. Moz, Ahrefs, Keyword Explorer are some of the tools that you can add you’re your list of SEO tools before the interviewer.
Q5. What are the attributes of an SEO-friendly URL?
A. SEO-friendly URLs are simple to read, short, and include the keywords that describe the content of the page. For eg: if you are searching for digital marketing courses, a URL such as https://www.iimskills.com/digital-marketing/ will provide you the context of what you are searching for.
Q6. What do you mean SERP?
A. SERP stands for Search Engine Result Page. It is the result page that appears when a user enters a search query. The page contains both PPC (pay-per-click) and organic results.
Q7. How do you measure SEO success?
A. While preparing for SEO interview questions and answers, you may want to research the company for this particular question. SEO success and key performance indicators (KPIs) are customarily company-specific. So, preliminary research will help you chalk out this answer well.
A possible answer could include tracking website traffic, conversions, newsletters and brochures signups, referral traffic, etc. Measuring SEO success is subjective to map out new and existing SEO strategies.
Q8. What is a Google bot?
A. Google bot is the web crawler that finds, crawls, and indexes websites.
Q9. What is robot.txt?
A. Robots.txt file is a robot exclusion protocol that tells Google crawlers which URLs the crawler can access on your website. In SEO, it is used to prevent the crawlers to access all or part of a website.
Q10. What are meta tags?
A. Meta tags are the elements of HTML that guide the users and search engines about the content of the webpage. In simpler terms, it contains the specks of information that describe the content of the webpage.
Meta tags include title tags, meta descriptions, robots, etc.
Q11. What are the most important Google ranking factors?
A. Google works on over 200+ algorithms, and the dynamics of algorithms keep changing with new updates. Some of the most important Google ranking factors prominent in the current age are:
- content quality
- user experience
- site speed
- core web vitals
- schema markup
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Q12. What is site speed?
A. The site speeds show how fast the content loads on your website and how quickly the users can view and interact with your content. Pages that load faster are considered more efficient and contribute to a better user experience.
Also, site speed is an important factor that Google considers for website ranking on search engines.
Q13. How do you optimize site speed?
A. Site speed can be optimized by integrating the following practices:
- compress images
- using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- reducing redirects
- reducing the number of plugins
- implementing Gzip compression
Q14. What do you mean by redirecting a page? Suggest some methods to do that?
A. Redirecting means to redirect or forward the user and search engines to a different URL or address.
The best ways to redirect a page are:
- 301 redirect: It is the permanent redirect that transfers full link equity to the redirected page. Most importantly, it is considered the best redirect method for any website.
- 302 redirect: It is used in case of a temporary redirect.
- Metafresh: Metarefresh works on the page rather than the server. They are most likely associated with five-second countdown text, which says- “If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.”
While 301 redirect is ideal for SEO, meta refresh is not recommended for SEO owing to poor usability and loss of equity passed.
Q15. What do you mean by link-building? Why does it matter?
A. Link-building refers to the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own websites. Link-building is an important ranking factor used by search engines like Google to rank websites. According to Google, links show that your site is worthwhile and credible. Hence,e it is considered an essential SEO practice.
Q16. Suggest some tools to check the backlinks of other sites?
A. Tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, SemRush, BuzzSumo, and Rank Signals are potent tools to check the backlinks of other websites.
Q17. What are keywords? Name a few types of keywords.
A. Keywords are the search terms or enquires made on search engines. In simpler words, keywords are the words and phrases users type in the search engine to search for something. Keywords can be short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.
Q18. What is a long-tail keyword?
A. Long-tail keywords are highly-specific keywords that contain four or more words. These types of keywords have low search volume but a high conversion rate for being highly specific.
Q19. What is keyword research? Suggest some tools to carry out keyword research.
A. Keyword research is the method of searching and analyzing the keywords or search terms that the users enter into the search engine with an aim to identify the intent of the audience.
Some of the trendy keyword research tools are:
- Google Keyword planner
Q20. Name some SEO plugins in WordPress?
- Yoast SEO
- Rank Math
- SEO Squirrly
Q21. What are some common SEO mistakes to avoid?
A. Some of the most common SEO mistakes are:
- not targetting the right keywords
- not using unique titles and meta descriptions
- repetitive usage of the same anchor link for every link
- poorly-written content
- low-quality links
Q22. What do you mean by white-hat SEO?
A. Assuredly, this is one of the most important SEO interview questions and answers. White-hat SEO refers to the methods and tactics used to improve the website rankings within the limits of Google guidelines. It involves creating search-engine friendly websites with a quality user experience. Moreover, it focuses on generating high-quality content, which provides relevance and value to its users. And thus, helps them to earn good-quality links. Unlike black-hat SEO, it refrains from using shady tactics to dupe search engines to gain short-term results.
Q23. What is black-hat SEO? Which black-hat tactics should you avoid?
A. Another favorite amongst the interview’s list of SEO interview questions and answers is black hat SEO. Black-hat SEO involves the use of shady practices to manipulate Google algorithms to acquire good search rankings. Basically, it goes against the Google guidelines to gain quick, immediate results.
However, black-hat SEO is a risky matter if one gets caught (which they would, sooner or later), Google imposes penalties. If your website gets intercepted for using black-hat practices, the penalties take a lot of time and effort to get removed. Altogether, black-hat might be useful to harness short-term results, but it’s definitely not an option for a long-term strategy.
Q24. Shed some light on the relationship between SEO and SEM?
A. SEO and SEM are the two pillars of digital marketing. While SEO (search engine optimization) is free, SEM (Search engine marketing) is paid. SEM utilizes pay-per-click advertising methods to get quick results. Nonetheless, their combination yields the best results for any business or brand.
Q25. What are the inherent qualities and skills for an SEO role?
A. This is a role-specific question in the guide of SEO interview questions and answers. To answer this question, you must go through the job description and have a good understanding of what they expect.
A possible answer could include excellent research and analytics skills, the ability to detect trends and adapt to change. Nonetheless, you can spot your own strong foothold skills and wire them together in this answer.
Intermediate-level SEO Interview Question and Answers
Q26. What is a canonical URL?
A. A canonical URL is a way of communicating to Google and other search engines that one specific page embodies the master copy of that page. When there are multiple modifications of a page, a canonical URL comes in handy to avoid duplicate issues.
Using the simple way- “a rel=canonical tag”; you can easily select and state the original version of a page to Google and attribute other similar pages as variations and not duplicate pages. You may want to share different methods to resolve canonical issues in this SEO question.
Q27. What is cloaking?
A. Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique, where the website shows different content and URLs to the search engines and human users. It involves duping search engine algorithms by displaying a keyword-stuffed webpage, which may otherwise be irrelevant to the user.
It is a form of doorway webpage technique that is badly penalized by Google and can lead to a total ban from Google crawlers.
Q28. What do you mean by keyword stemming?
A. Keyword stemming is a healthy SEO practice that involves adding more words to the stem of the keyword. Adding supplementary suffice, prefix, and pluralizations are some forms of keyword stemming. For example, the root word “buy” could stem to words like “to buy” “buying” “bought”, etc.
Here you may want to add that keyword stemming is a good practice that lets you use relevant keywords without over-optimizing or keyword stuffing.
Q29. What are rich snippets?
A. Rich snippets are the featured results rich in content (additional data or an image) that shows up at the top of an organic search result. The webmaster has the ability to structure data and mark up content to help search engines identify important information and serve it as a rich snippet. Rich snippets deliver better results at SERPs.
Q30. What is Google’s rich answer box?
A. Google’s rich answer box is a sensible feature that displays the closest result for the search query. It provides the direct answers at the top of SERP to help the searcher get the answer without having to click on the link.
In simpler terms, when a searcher types in a query, the Google scans through the page and serves the closest answer related to that query.
Q31. What is Google’s autocomplete feature?
A. The autocomplete feature is a specialized function available in Google and other search engines. When a user starts typing a query in the search box, this autocomplete feature offers a few options to complete the search. These options are usually based on popular searches and your personal search history.
Basically, the functions let you complete a search in less time and effort. Moreover, it comes in handy when searching using a mobile device.
Q32. What is AMP?
A. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. As suggested by the name, AMP is an open-source project used to enhance the readability and speed of pages on mobile devices. In simpler terms, it provides easy readability on mobile pages and improves the loading page time on mobiles to validate the user experience.
Q33. What is an XML site map? Why is it important?
A. XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemap is a map of your website’s URL. An XML sitemap lists the website’s important pages and facilitates search engines to find, crawl and index them.
Q34. What is a link audit?
A. Link Audit is a process to analyze the backlinks to estimate potential opportunities and problems in the backlink profile. Basically, a link audit helps you identify if your links are optimized for better site rank performance.
Q35. What is a disavow tool?
A. Disavow tool comes in the Google Search Console toolbox, which allows the websites to discount the value of an irrelevant inbound link. In simpler terms, it lets the website convey to Google that links from some domains must not be considered and thus avoided. Its use becomes evident to avoid bad-links penalities.
Q36. What do you mean by the Google penalty? How can you avoid it?
A. Google penalty refers to the negative impact on your website’s ranking owing to Google’s new algorithms or manual action taken by Google for breaching Webmaster’s guidelines. Google penalties can derail or totally debunk your progress as a website.
Here are a few ways to avoid Google penalties:
- Do not buy links
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Avoid cloaking and plagiarizing content
- Create a simple, user-friendly website
- Create original, relevant, and useful content
Q37. Differentiate between do-follow and no-follow links? Which is better?
A. A do-follow link passes link juice to the other website, whereas the no-follow links do not pass the authority to other websites. A do-follow link is preferable as it carries more value in terms of SEO.
Q38. How can you deal with link penalties?
A. To weed out link penalties, you can either remove the poor-quality backlinks manually or disavow them using the Google Search Console disavow tool. This way, you can get back your website authority and high rankings.
Q39. Define bad links.
A. Bad links or poor-quality links are simply the lines that violate Google guidelines. Such low-quality links can render penalties and dampen your search engine rankings. A few examples of inferior links are link farms, paid links, link wheels, or other black-hat link techniques.
Q40. Name some of the best techniques used for off-page SEO?
A. This is one of the sure-shot SEO interview questions and answers, which you must be prepared in advance. You can list the following off-page SEO techniques and elaborate on them to make an impression:
- Guest posting
- Forum posting
- Blog commenting
- Article posting
- Directory Submission
- Press releases
- Social bookmarking
- Regional directory submission.
Q41. Talk about the massive Google update that impacted SEO?
A. Amongst the varied updates released by the Gargantuan search giant Google, Panda(2011) and Penguin(2012) are the most prominent ones that impacted SEO front and center. While Panda picked out poor-quality content, Penguin bashed spammy link-building practices.
Google keeps updating its algorithms to curb spammy websites and feed best-quality content to its end-users.
Q42. Elucidate some of the biggest SEO trends in the current year?
A. With this question, the interviewer wants to check your updated knowledge in terms of SEO techniques. Undoubtedly, this is one of the vital SEO interview questions and answers. You would want to list the latest SEO trends here, some of which are:
- Google’s Core web vitals
- Video SEO
- Voice Search optimization
- Featured snippets
- High-quality backlinks
- Mobile SEO
- EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
Q43. Explain the Google Ads campaign?
A. Google Ads Campaign refers to a group of one or more ads, keywords, bids that partake the same budget, location targetting, and other settings. Google Ads campaigns provide you a good opportunity to create brand awareness, promote your business, sell products and services, and elevate your website traffic.
Q44. Elucidate the method to check whether the SEO campaign is working or not?
A. To check if your SEO campaign turned out to be successful, you must check the following things:
- Website statistics like impressions, rankings, domain authority, page rank, etc.
- Organic traffic
- Conversion rates
- Brand mentions
Q45. Tell me something about Google my Business (GMB).
A. Google my business is another provision offered by Google, which allows you to list your business on the Google search engine. It is an excellent method for “near me” search results and increases website visibility.
You can list yourself on GMB by listing:
- Adding business information
- Adding photos and images
- customer interactions
- Replying to Google reviews
Q46. How can you benefit from the competitive analysis?
A. Competitive analysis involves analyzing your organic competitors and knowing their performance and pitfalls to improve your website.
Benefits of competitive analysis can be:
- helps to understand the market and industry
- enhance targetting customers
- discover potential threats
- improve your products and services
- keyword targetting
- get an idea about pricing
Expert-level SEO Interview Questions and Answers
Q47. What is RankBrain?
A. RankBrain is part and parcel of Google’s complete Hummingbird algorithm, which is used to understand the intent of a search query. This machine-learning-induced algorithm uses artificial intelligence to grasp the intent and find relevant results for that query.
There is no better way than creating high-quality content to optimize for the RankBrain algorithm, as it hardly concentrates on keywords.
Q48. What is Page Rank?
A. PageRank is another algorithm by Google used for ranking pages on the search engine ranking pages (SERP). PageRank assigns a numerical value to a webpage based on its importance and relevance and further uses it to show in SERP.
Q49. What is PBN?
A. A PBN is a Private Blog Network that refers to a network of websites, which place a high quantity of links to another website. It is a black-hat practice done to manipulate search engines. It involves linking the network to your important website and transfer authority.
PBN are often built using expired domains, which had gained links and authority in the eyes of Google. However, this method is against Google’s webmaster guidelines as it can uplift a spammy website. Thus, they are usually hidden from search engines.
Q50. What is an HTTPS/SSL Update?
A. In the HTTP protocol, the data transfer between the site server and browser happens in text form, which is easily readable by anyone. With an SSL update on a site server, one can move from a non-secure HTTP protocol to a secure HTTPS protocol.
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which promotes secure communication on the World Wide Web. An SSL update adds a layer of security to the HTTP protocol with staunch encryption.
HTTPS/SSL update is most useful for websites that favor credit card/debit card transfers as it contains personal information, which may lead to a security breach.
Q51. What is EAT? Why Google gives it preference?
A. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, which determines the quality of a webpage.
As per Google’s update, it uses EAT as a quality control check to determine the overall quality of a webpage.
Q52. How to use SEO and PPC to boost sales?
A. Another one of the most important SEO interview questions and answers. In this question, you would want to unfurl how SEO and PPC strategies used together are sure fire-gunpoints to boost sales. While PPC can churn traffic and sales, SEO helps you to create brand awareness and brand authority.
In addition, you can put your experience to use here to showcase how you carried out PPC and SEO campaigns to boost traffic and sales.
Q53. How to use content marketing for SEO?
A. Content is the real-game changer when it comes to marketing, and SEO is the arm that helps your content reach the target audience. SEO optimizes your content for the target audience and lets you amplify your reach.
Content marketing can be done via blogs, videos, podcasts, ebooks, infographics, etc. All of it can be put under the purview of SEO for better results.
Q54. What is your approach to developing an SEO strategy?
A. Any HR would want to know about your approach to SEO strategy making it one of the conspicuous SEO interview questions and answers.
You would want to answer this one based on your personal experience and expertise. You can use considerate factors like envisioning short-end and long-term goals, competitive analysis, understanding and personifying the audience, etc to prepare the groundwork for your answer.
Q55. How to use website analytics to measure performance?
A. Website Analytics is a great tool to determine the website performance and track KPIs to reshape campaigns. Post-signing up at Google Analytics, one can analyze various metrics like website traffic, bounce rate, and other metrics to track what is working and what needs improvement.
As an expert, you would want to share your expertise on website performance checks coupled with examples to cast the right impression.
Q56. Share your experience in managing a marketing team?
A. Again, this question requires your personal experience, and this answer would be unique to your experience. Here, you not only want to generalize your roles and responsibilities but also demonstrate your leadership, delegation, and problem-solving skills. You can illustrate the same with examples from your work exposure; however, don’t blow up with boosting your skills too much.
Q57. Share your viewpoint on SEO dynamics in the future?
A. Everyone has their own interpretation of SEO prospects; however, you can go through some of the expert’s understanding of SEO dynamics to frame your answer to this question.
Here is a brief answer. With Google’s algorithms and updates taking turns, the SEO dynamics are sure to concentrate on quality content with exceptional user experience. As people’s query and voice optimizations take center stage, SEO is heading towards brand recognition. You can add more as per your research and understanding of the topic.
Q58. How do you remain current with Google and industry changes?
A. This is another central question in the list of the SEO interview questions and answers. SEO is a dynamic industry, and staying on the bandwagon is most necessitated. Google Webmaster’s pages, WebMaster Group, search engine exploration, Google’s SEO guide are some of the many ways to remain current with Google and industry changes. Spice it up more with your learning habits.
Q59. How to improve the site’s core web vitals?
A. Here comes one of the expected questions in SEO interview questions and answers. Here are a few steps that you can lay emphasis on:
- Lazy image loading
- Optimize and compress images
- Enhance server response time
- Optimize page speed
Q60. What is dwell time? Why is it important for SEO?
A. Dwell time alludes to the time period a visitor stays on your website after one finds it on SERP and before going back to the result page. If a visitor goes back within seconds of clicking your link, that means they didn’t find your content much useful. However, prolonged dwell time is fundamental for SEO as it signifies the worth of your content.
Offering additional actions or query resolutions is essential to increase dwell time. Remember, this one is one of the most vital questions for SEO interview questions and answers this year.
FAQs related to SEO interview questions and answers
Q1. What SEO means?
A. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process to optimize the website, content, links so that the website becomes easily findable, relevant,
Q2. What is a SERP in SEO?
A. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, and it refers to the page a user lands on when one makes a search query. Due to SEO, ranking on SERP pages has become highly competitive because users tend to click on the top results of the first SERP.
Q3. What are SEO tools?
A. SEO tools are used to analyze the overall health of the website. These tools assist you to identify success, opportunities, and weak points that you need to work on to gain visibility on search engines.
SEO is an ocean that you have to deep-dive and swim across to garner experience and improve each day. If you are headed on the avenue of being an SEO expert, then staying current on SEO trends is a must.
With that in mind, we have curated the most popular SEO interview questions and answers based on our research work. I hope these questions help you hail your interview and grab your dream job.
Feel free to add up more SEO interview questions and answers in the comment section to help your peers.