SEO Interview Questions and Answers for 2024

SEO or search engine optimization is a series of techniques applied to improve a website's visibility on the search engine to appear in the top search results prompting more people to visit the website. With most of the businesses having an online presence, this is increasingly becoming tough, needing the involvement of skilled SEO professionals. SEO therefore now offers flourishing career opportunities. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert professional with sound knowledge of SEO, you will have to prepare yourself well to succeed in your interview. With this set of top SEO interview questions and answers 2024 at all three levels, along with the tips and tricks of how to prepare for the Search engine optimization interview, you will be able to face the interview confidently. Hope, you will find this well-researched and well-framed SEO questions concept, levels, and the covered hints immensely helpful for the interview. We wish you all the success in your next interview!

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Beginner

This is a frequently asked question in SEO questions for interview.  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on optimizing content to get traffic from organic search results, that is, it gets traffic without any money invested in online advertisements. On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) focuses on getting traffic and visibility from both organic and inorganic or paid search.

Both are equally important for a business. SEO provides the foundation of conversion and retains the traffic generated by SEM strategies. Whereas, SEM quickly generates revenue for a business. Blending carefully SEO and SEM, a company can create a stronger digital marketing campaign with better performance and noticeable results. Actually an SEO specialist with a Digital Marketing Certificate will be the best person for these kind of tasks, having the knowledge of both SEO and SEM.  

An SEO specialist analyzes and optimizes a business’ digital/web content to ensure that the target audience can find the business easily via online searches, develop and execute an SEO strategy to help a business rank well on Google and drive organic traffic to the website. All this needs special knowledge of SEO and cannot be effectively done by all and sundry.

Expect to come across this popular question in interview questions on SEO.  

The primary goal of SEO is to improve the visibility of a website by securing higher rankings in search pages which, in turn, increases business prospects. SEO is thus a subset of web marketing, in which the focus is to improve the ranking of a website on a search engine page by implementing specific techniques. All the initiatives here will be driven organically, that is, without having to spend any money on advertisement.

LinkedIn is by far the most suited social media platform especially for B2B, as it is the best professional networking site for B2B marketers. 

For B2C, Facebook would be more suitable as it caters to a wider range of personas. Similar to LinkedIn, it is not limited to a specific set of audience. However, it is not as helpful for B2B as the reach k to anybody and everybody dilutes its niche value. 

Most visitors/information seekers do not go beyond the first page of any search engine to find the information they are looking for. Therefore, getting found on the first page preferably near the top position is a challenge for businesses. 

Because having a website is useless unless it is found and people visit. If they appear in the second or even third or fourth pages of any search engine, the chances of them being seen by a visitor are very slim. The methods and techniques that businesses use to get their websites to appear on the first page or at prominent positions are called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. 

In other words, SEO is the practice of taking action to increase organic traffic from search engines to their websites without having to spend money. It is the method of increasing unpaid search to their websites.

Many times, businesses get visitors to their site without having to spend on advertisements on search engines. This kind of traffic is called organic traffic. Whereas, those who visit the site by clicking on a company’s ad are called inorganic traffic or paid visitors.

The first step would be to use SEO as the website needs to be found in Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP).  

When a visitor searches for anything (called a query) on a search engine page, it returns pages full of results matching the query. The pages are ranked from 1 to n depending on the number of result pages that match the query. This is where SERP comes in. The aim of any business is to rank on page 1 because that is the most-visited page. SEO leverages technical methods to achieve this objective.  

Therefore, without SEO, any digital marketing strategy will be useless. Secondly, SEO is free. Once the site gets crawled and indexed which takes some time, then SEM should be used. 

 To see if search engines like Google and Bing have indexed my site, I need to enter "site:" followed by the URL of my domain. For example, "site:mystunningwebsite.com/". 

The results will show all of my site's pages that have been indexed, and also the current meta tags that are saved in the search engine's index. But if none of my pages appears, it means that my site has not been indexed yet. 

It's no surprise that this one pops up often in common SEO interview questions.  

Search engine optimization works by way of: 

  1. Optimizing a website's content
  2. Conducting keyword research, and
  3. Earning inbound/incoming links to increase a particular content’s ranking and the website’s visibility. 

SEO is the product of search engines and these search engine companies develop ranking factors and also how and when to use those factors to ascertain the most relevant content for a given search. But before determining the most relevant content, it must crawl and index the pages. What we see as results are the effect after the webpage has been crawled and indexed by a search engine. 

Search engines use crawling with the help of crawlers also called spiders to search new and old websites to employ links to find and re-find material. 

Search engines use indexing to store online information to show it in search results whenever required. Crawling is followed by indexing. 

After crawling and indexing, a search engine evaluates sites using its ranking criteria, which among various other factors, include: 

  • Backlink profile 
  • Speed 
  • Use of keywords 
  • Compatibility with mobile devices. 

Search engines employ algorithms which are a set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, and filter through all the data to provide users with the exact results they need. These algorithms are quite complicated and use thousands of various ranking indicators to decide which websites to display for each query and also the SERP ranks. 

A common question in SEO questions for interview, don't miss this one.  

noindex” is a tag or HTTP/ response header to indicate that the page should not be indexed by search engines and thus should not appear on the search engine's result pages. noindexed pages may still have the link juices flowing through them but will not rank them as individual entries in the search engines. 

A business may noindex low-value content or content that it does not want users to find on a search result. It allows a page to open for an audience but the business's authority will not be affected by this low-quality content that the business does not want to appear on a SERP. 

‘Noindex’ is primarily used to prevent indexing content by search engines and they will drop that page entirely from Search results, regardless of whether other sites link to it.

No they don’t. The reason is, if a page is not indexed by Google, it will not show up in search results and hence not affect SEO.

One of the most frequently posed SEO interview questions for freshers, be ready for it.  

A “nofollow” is an HTML tag that when added to a hyperlink, allows webmasters to control whether search engines follow a link or not. 

For example, a page, say ‘Insider Blue’, has a URL of another site say ‘Smart Insights’ which allows search engines to visit Smart Insights’ website and also credit the website with the link or pass on the link juice so to say. 

each link is scored by the search engines, supporting SEO: 

<a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/" title="Smart Insights">Visit Smart Insights</a> 

Now if I put a rel="nofollow" tag in the HTML, the nofollow tag instructs the search engines NOT to visit the site or rather not to ascribe credit to boost the ranking of the destination site based on the link or not to pass on the link juice. 

Now if I put a rel="nofollow" tag in the HTML, the nofollow tag instructs the search engines not to give credit to boost the ranking of that destination linked site ‘Smart Insights’ or not to pass on the link juice. 

<a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/" title="Smart Insights" rel="nofollow">Visit Smart Insights</a>

A staple in SEO interview questions for beginners, be prepared to answer this one.

Backlinks are when another site includes a link to one of my webpages and when crawlers/spiders go through that external site, they will reach my site through that link as long as they are allowed to follow it. The same thing happens for other websites as well if I link them in my content. 

Links matter for a website but backlinks are quite harder to get than internal links, due to the fact that these come from outside of a company’s business.  A backlink is rather a vote of confidence from any external party indicating that my content is worth linking and appearing on a SERP. It is difficult to get since I do not have control over this external vote and takes a lot of effort and time to gain this vote of confidence. 

This question is a regular feature in the latest SEO interview questions, be ready to tackle it.  

The full form of SERP is search engine results pages which are web pages that internet users or visitors get to see when they search for something online using a search engine, such as Google. 

The user enters their search query or types the words and phrases which are called keywords. Based upon them, the search engine presents them with result pages. 

Every SERP is unique. Even for search queries performed on the same search engine using the same keywords or search queries, the result pages could come different. 

The reason is, all search engines customize the experience for their users by presenting results that are based on various other factors beyond their search terms. For example, the user’s physical location, browsing history, and social settings. 

While Google is definitely the most popular search engine, there are a few others that enjoy some following. The other search engines apart from Google are: 

  • Bing 
  • Yahoo 
  • You Tube 
  • Baidu  
  • AOL  
  • Ask.com 
  • Excite 
  • DuckDuckGo 
  • Wolfram Alpha 
  • Yandex 
  • Lycos 
  • Chacha.com  

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric of search engine metric score ranging from 0 to 100 representing how well a website will rank on SERP. That is to say, it’s a qualitative measure of the properties of a website and affects search engines’ overall rankings and visibility. It was developed by Moz. 

The higher the DA, the better the chances of a website to rank higher in SERP compared to its competitors. This is why companies use DA to study and evaluate how well they’re performing in their digital strategies and keep and focus on producing quality and valuable content, link building, and other SEO tactics to increase authority. Though authority is a strong indicator of your overall SEO performance, it isn’t the only way to guarantee search ranking and visibility for a website. 

Therefore, if a business’s site is appearing in the SERPs more than its competitor’s site, it is likely to have a higher DA than the competitor’s site. 

Moz’s algorithm evaluates the number of links and linking root domains into a single score and uses this score to track the ranking strength of a website or to compare other websites over time. 

But the DA score tends to fluctuate. For example, if an authoritative website acquires a huge number of new links, every other site’s DA would fall relative to that website. 

A site’s DA can be checked for free using different tools such as Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker or Moz’s Link Explorer.  

Page authority or PA is another popular quantitative score developed by Moz to show how a particular page will rank on the SERPs. PA scores range from 1-100 , the higher the score, the greater the probability of ranking.

People think that it is websites that get ranked in a search engine, but actually it is individual web pages that get ranked.  

However, it is the domain as a whole that plays a role in determining which web page gets ranked. It is a fact that domain names do not play a part in the overall ranking of a website on search engine pages. Still, a domain name could be an influencing factor in a business's UX by providing a positive user experience and brand image as well since it becomes the most recognizable aspect of a business. 

Web hosting also called hosting or web site hosting, is an online service that helps a business with the housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more of its websites so that it can publish its website files onto the internet for anyone with an internet connection to access. Such a service is provided by a web hosting service provider.

This is a frequently asked question in SEO questions asked in interview.  

It is an HTML attribute to tell a search engine what an image is about since search engines cannot understand the image or what it is about. Also, if for any reason, the image fails to get displayed on a browser, one can read the alt tags and understand what the image is about. Alt tags optimize the image for image searches and are an important Google ranking factor as well.

Search volume is the number of times a keyword is searched for by visitors in any search engine each month. Here’s an example of it:

Search volume is important because it helps us estimate how much potential traffic, we could get by ranking for that keyword. For example, the keyword “what plants grow in the desert” has a volume of 210 monthly searches in the United States and a global volume of 420 searches per month. 

Investing in a keyword with high search volume has the potential to attract more visitors to a website but the flip side is, lots of searches also tend to be more competitive to rank for. Here again, comparatively new websites or local businesses optimize around relatively low-volume long-tail keywords whenever possible as they are less competitive and easier to rank for.

Expect to come across this popular question in digital marketing SEO interview questions.  

  • Keyword frequency means the number of times a particular keyword appears in a web page’s content. While distributing a keyword appropriately can optimize a website, using them excessively can quickly become a case of keyword stuffing and invite penalties for the site. 
  • Keyword difficulty is a metric that tells us the level of effort it will take to rank in the top 10 organic results of Google for a particular keyword due to its high popularity and use.   

Competitive Density is a metric denoting how competitive or expensive it is to rank an ad at the top of the search results. It depends on the number of advertisers bidding on a particular keyword. 

As a rule of thumb 1-2% keyword distribution is ideal. Therefore, for a blog or article, the primary keywords which could be one to three could be used 10-20 times depending on the keyword placement, relevance, and difficulty. Keywords should be placed in content, alt texts, meta description, headlines, subheadings and paragraphs. It is good to have up to three primary keywords and some secondary keywords as well that must be blended naturally in the content merging with the flow.

Bounce rate denotes the percentage of people who land on a page but leave without performing a specific action such as staying there for a certain amount of time, clicking on a link, filling out a form or making a purchase.  

On an average, the bounce rate for most websites varies between 26%-70% and can vary depending on the industry, where the traffic comes from, and where they land. 

 As such Google does not confirm bounce rate as a ranking factor but just a metric. 

While bounce rate is not a confirmed Google ranking factor, we need to improve the bounce rate of a site. The reason behind this is, a high bounce rate is often a symptom of the weakness of the site and other SEO factors like slow loading, low-quality web design, a mismatch between content and the searched keywords, bad user experience, and poor mobile optimization. Also, a lower bounce rate generally indicates that the content is engaging or useful, which Google cares about a lot. 

A must-know for anyone heading into SEO interview, this question is frequently asked in Search Engine Optimization interview questions.  

Similar to sports penalties, at their core, Google penalties are designed to punish websites that have done something wrong. Though these penalties are handed out manually as well as algorithmically via Google Search Console. Such penalties could be very difficult to lift, so it is best to avoid them.

They may impact the websites of companies who may not always have an idea what went wrong, though they can still see the penalty impact on a site’s performance in search results and even beyond like removing a site from search results entirely. 

On the other hand, those who practice black-hat SEO or violate Google policies deliberately, they too face such severe punishment.

The manual penalties are handed down by a Google employee due to violating Google’s Terms of Service like a virus infection, cloaking, redirects, or buying links. When any site receives a manual penalty, the site owner company will need to appeal to Google to reindex the website, that is, to put it back into the search engine results. 

An algorithmic penalty on the other hand, happens automatically, without manual mediation from Google. These often happen due to an algorithm change designed to rank websites of value higher than those with weaker content or relevance. 

The algorithmic penalties are called Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. They may be imposed upon websites with duplicate content, keyword-stuffed copy, slow loading times, or a lack of incoming links. With such a penalty a site might still be ranking in Google searches, but probably at a reduced rate. 

There are many things that might trigger Google penalty, but some common factors include: 

  • Spyware, adware, or viruses. 
  • Hidden links or text. 
  • Cloaking or showing a different version of a webpage to the search engine robots. 
  • Deceptive redirects where a visitor without any clicking is automatically taken to another page.  
  • Pages stuffed with irrelevant keywords. 
  • Keyword stuffing that is overloading a content piece with keywords. 
  • A huge amount of duplicate content. 

In a nutshell, Google penalties are triggered by any action a website takes to fool a search engine or tarnish the user experience in some way. 

It's no surprise that this one pops up often in common SEO interview questions.  

The analytics tool from Google used to track and analyze a website or an app’s performance is called Google Analytics. It has both free and paid versions and helps us access a wide range of data and reports on website traffic and website visitor behavior. The kind of data Google Analytics tracks includes: 

  • How do visitors arrive on a website and their characteristics? 
  • How do users interact with a website's content? 
  • How many of the website visitors convert? 

Things we can accomplish using Google Analytics: 

  • Evaluating the performance of the marketing campaigns 
  • Page performance of a website and how to optimize the pages 
  • Track conversions and purchases 
  • Deciding target audience of content and marketing

A common question in SEO technical interview questions, don't miss this one.  

A domain is a part of the web address that anyone would use to find a website or a page of the website online. It consists of a string of texts associated with the numerical IP address of a website that is much easier for people to remember and search. 

Every website has an IP address or a unique string of numbers that connect computers to web servers. Such IP addresses are suitable for computers but difficult for humans to remember, and hence domain names come into the picture. A domain name gets connected to a website's IP address making it easier for humans to remember and search for a website while the browser can find the specific web server that hosts the website with the help of the associated IP address. 

One of the most frequently posed SEO interview questions for freshers, be ready for it.  

A slug is the part of the URL or uniform resource locator that identifies the address of the individual page. The slug is located at the end of the URL after the domain and any subdirectories. 

Let’s look at this URL for example: 

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-optimize-urls-for-search 

The elements of this URL are: 

  • Protocol: https 
  • Subdomain: blog 
  • Domain: hubspot.com 
  • Subdirectory: marketing 
  • URL Slug: how-to-optimize-urls-for-search 

At its minimum, a URL is composed of the protocol and the domain and thereafter additional elements are added depending on the page and where it is within a site's structure. 

In this example, a visitor has a clear idea of where the person is, and what one is going to read. It is an optimized URL that search engines understand and the readers also understand plus it doesn’t look like spam at all.  

For optimizing a URL I need to: 

  • Keep it as simple and short as possible - a shorter URL also has the advantage of being easier to remember for a visitor who can return to the content without bookmarking it. 
  • Delete the extra words from the URL slug - words that add little or no meaning to the URL. For example, “and" or "that” can be removed. 

For example, if an URL slug is how-to-optimize-your-urls-for-search-quick-tip can be shortened to how-to-optimize-urls-for-search. 

  • Include relevant keywords- a way search engines and we humans as well learn about a website page content is through the keywords in the URL. Hence, I will include keywords in my URL slug. I will ensure they align with the actual page contents.   
  • Make it reader-friendly- that is the readers should understand what to expect if they click on the link. 
  • Separate words with hyphens- and not with underscores or try to squeeze a bunch of words together. 
  • Won’t use slugs that already belong to other pages – because using similar or duplicate slugs can cause errors or Google can treat as duplicate content. In either case, it will hurt SEO performance. 
  • Avoid using dynamically generated URLs because they contain parameters that are automatically generated when the page is loaded  causing crawling issues resulting in poor performance, compared to static URL which is consistent every time it is accessed. 

A must-know for anyone heading into SEO interview, this question is frequently asked in top SEO interview questions.  

The main difference between organic search and paid search is that organic search is free and paid search incurs a payment from the advertiser to the search engine company. 

When we submit a search to a search engine, the results display both paid and organic listings, but the paid listings will have the word “Ad” attached to them. If I Click on a paid listing, the advertiser will pay for that click. But if I click on an organic listing, the website owner will pay nothing.

Intermediate

Nofollow links, which are hyperlinks with a rel=“nofollow” tag, are simple, yet very crucial for SEO. Search engines do not pass the PageRank or link juice across nofollow links and Google does not crawl these nofollow links either. We can use nofollow tags in many cases, including: 

  • Paying for advertisements and/or links to my website- using a nofollow tag means I can pay for links on sites I believe will deliver quality traffic without running the risk of being penalized by search engines for buying links. Though this is not a good SEO practice. 
  • Link to competitors without supporting their SEO 
  • Prioritizing indexing and crawling of my own website. Nofollow tags can be used to ensure search engines prioritize links to the important website content of my own site, instead of linking to generic pages, such as Sitemap, Contact Us and Registration. It is also called "page rank sculpting" and is used for large and complex websites. 
  • Links are not always about the ‘credit’ but about traffic as well. For example, Wikipedia includes nofollow tags in all its external links but still receives a lot of traffic which shows that relevant links are still an effective way of traffic generation despite the inclusion of nofollow tags. 
  • All the popular social networks use nofollow tags in most of their external links, still have an important role to play in SEO; plus their contribution to other key aspects of digital marketing strategy, like consumer engagement. Links from social networks help immensely in establishing a business’s brand, keep it active and well shared, and lastly helping to build a company’s ‘social score’ which is a key to SEO success. 

A staple in SEO questions for interview, be prepared to answer this one.  

There are several practices involved:

Internal linking 

If we want crawlers to get to every page on your site then we need to ensure every page on the company site has a link pointing to it.  

Visiting a website, say, https://www.target.com/ we can easily follow the links in their navigation to get from page to page. Here if we click on women’s clothing, we can see even more links to different types of clothing and further links to even more specific types of clothing within that menu. There are links leading to every page, which a crawler follows.  

For a site without a lot of internal links, HTML sitemaps can give crawlers the links to follow on this site because such sitemaps are for people and search engines both, and they list links to every page on a site. The best internal linking practice is to include links to every page throughout relevant content and in navigational tabs as well on the site.  

Backlinks 

It is very important to get backlinks which are links from other websites coming to a company’s website. When the crawlers visit that external site, they’ll reach your site through that link as long as they’re allowed to follow it. 

XML sitemaps 

Google Search Console must have an XML sitemap of a company’s site which should contain all of the company page URLs so that the crawlers know what needs to be crawled. XML sitemap can be created using an XML sitemap tool or even by using a plugin that is compatible with the site’s CMS. 

However, if certain pages are not to be crawled and indexed in the sitemap, then those links shouldn’t be included. For example, a landing page for a really targeted email campaign.  

Robots.txt 

A robots.txt file communicates with the Google crawler informing it about which URLs are to be accessed. It is mainly used to manage traffic to reduce server load by preventing Google's crawler from crawling unimportant pages on a website.

SEO tools help in understanding the potential of a webpage for its good or high placement on search engine ranking pages by providing a lot of information. 

Again, if a company has more than one website, SEO tools can help to assess each site’s performance on the fly. Many entrepreneurs or even start-ups with multiple websites spend a lot of time and energy putting a lot of data in spreadsheets and analyzing it manually. But it becomes overwhelming after a point and runs the risk of the reports being inaccurate. Here any SEO software can save hours of effort and generate accurate reports at a click. 

SEO tools help to analyze: 

  • Keywords 

Keyword Analysis is the process of ascertaining the most common search terms that relate to a company’s website and also the competitors using those words. They help search engines determine which sites to match to users’ queries. 

SEO tools save us time from tedious keyword research and data analysis. These tools help us to see what’s working and which parts of the strategy could benefit from some tweaking. They also provide reports about how a business should measure up to competitors and where the greatest opportunities lie. What’s more, they allow us to measure search performance in countries, regions, or languages. 

A tool that can be used: Google Keyword Planner. 

  • Content 

Content must always match search queries for best SEO performance. The way to achieve this would be to include keywords in titles, descriptions or tags. Furthermore, the content must be readable, relevant and unique so as to rank high in the organic search along with the relevant keywords inserted. As search engine algorithms look for all these parameters, such content has an increased possibility of gaining search preference and scoring good analytic results in an SEO tool. 

The SEO tools for content analysis factors into account: 

  • Keyword ranking potential 
  • Search intent relevance 
  • On-page SEO optimization 
  • Technical SEO 
  • Content comprehensiveness 
  • Competitor analysis 

The goal of any content is to create useful, engaging, and relevant content. Doing an SEO content analysis takes a step closer to that and content analysis tools can be used for: 

  • Creating content from scratch 
  • Optimizing existing content assets to improve performance 

Free tools that can be used: Google Search Console, Google Analytics 

While Google Search Console is more focused on search engine visibility, Google Analytics is user-oriented which means it tells how website visitors interact with a website. 

Google Analytics is used to measure: 

  • Pageviews: total number of pages visited by users 
  • Users: the number of unique website visitors coming to the website 
  • New vs returning visitors: compares returning website visitors to new visitors. 
  • Average time spent on page: how much time people spend on the webpage. 
  • Bounce rate: percentage of visitors who visit only one page of a website and leave. 
  • Traffic sources: where does the website traffic come from that is via organic, email, social, etc. 

Besides, we can understand the top-performing content and also the search terms people use to find a website to inspire. It helps to prepare the content strategy. 

  • Backlinks 

Backlinks are links to a site from another site, and are also important for a good ranking. Sites with a high amount of traffic or high-performing authority sites can help drive traffic to a company’s site. The number of times a company’s site gets links from other sites also affects the company site’s ranking. Some of popular tools for the purpose are: 

  1. Semrush 
  2. Sitechecker 
  3. Ahrefs 
  4. Moz 
  5. Majestic 
  6. SEO Spyglass 
  7. SE Ranking 
  8. Nightwatch
  • Domain 

Google or any other search engine scans the URLs for keywords in order to determine the content of the site. Having keywords in the URL, therefore, helps Google or any other search engine to ascertain what the page is about. It is one of the factors in matching a company’s site to a visitor’s search. 

Some of popular tools for the purpose are: 

  1. Semrush 
  2. Searchmetrics 
  3. Moz
  • Ranking: 

Revised content 

Some SEO tools are specifically designed to measure the ranking of websites. They not only measure the ranking potential of a website, but also of the individual pages by comparing them to the competitor websites.  

Since the purpose of a business is to keep ranking high in SERP, optimizing website content with keywords, publishing unique content frequently and attempting to get backlinks to the site whenever possible are the steps to help. 

Some of popular tools for rank analysis are: 

  1. SE Ranking. 
  2. Semrush. 
  3. MOZ Local. 
  4. Serpstat. 
  5. Moz Pro. 
  6. Ahrefs. 
  7. AgencyAnalytics. 
  8. Raven Tools. 
  • Traffic 

Revised content section 

Many SEO tools analyze and measure the visitors/users from outside and measure things like a)from where do they come, b)how often they visit c)how do they navigate within the site and d) the keywords they used for searching. The SEO tools that are good at this kind of traffic analysis are: 

  1. SE Ranking 
  2. Semrush 
  3. Moz Local 
  4. Serpstat 
  5. Moz Pro 
  6. Ahrefs 
  7. AgencyAnalytics 
  8. Raven Tools 
  9. BrightEdge 
  10. Sitechecker 
  11. UpCity 
  12. Conductor 
  13. SearchMetrics 
  14. Yext 
  15. GrowthBar 
  16. Spyfu 
  17. Majestic 
  18. SimilarWeb Pro 
  19. Synup 
  20. RankWatch 
  • Social media 

Revised content section 

There are some social media analysis SEO tools that are capable of smartly analyzing data from various social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter. They can measure a)how many visitors/users accessed a blog or other subpages b)how often articles were shared or linked via social media and also c) identify trends in social networks by analyzing the frequently used keywords. Some good tools for this purpose are: 

  • Google Analytics 
  • SocialPilot 
  • HootSuite 
  • Agorapulse 
  • Social Status 
  • Google Analytics 
  • ShortStack 
  • Keyhole 
  • Rival IQ 
  • Sendible 
  • Mention 
  • Brand24 
  • Whatagraph 

Revised content section 

Additionally,Some tools that offer both free and paid services for more in-depth options are: Searchmetrics, Moz, SEMrush, Ryte, Sistrix etc. 

This is a frequently asked question in SEO questions for interview.  

SEO uses many techniques and is a complex process. There are various types of SEO, although all have the same goal of optimizing a website for improved visibility on search engine pages. 

There are twelve main types of SEO. 

White-Hat SEO 

It simply means following the best SEO practices that are in line with the terms and conditions of the major search engines, including Google. It improves the search engine ranking on the SERPs and is the best way to create a successful website. The White-hat SEO practices are  

  • Use keyword-rich, descriptive and useful meta-tags 
  • Provide quality services and content to the website’s visitors 
  • Make your website easy to navigate  

Black-Hat SEO 

This is a dark SEO and exploits weaknesses in Google's search algorithm to attempt to rank higher in the search results by using means like spammy or paid link-building strategies, keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc., to get ahead of others or competitors in the search engine results. These practices may give instant results at times, but they can severely impact the website of a company negatively and even a total ban, if detected by Google.  

Gray-Hat SEO 

As the name implies, Gray-hat SEO practices belong neither to the white-hat nor black-hat category as the terms and conditions regarding the issue are unclear or gray or in other words, the material or content that gets published in this category of Gray-hat SEO remains ill-defined. 

Although Gray-hat SEO practices will not result in the site ban from search engines but can have negative consequences and lose traffic. 

On-Page SEO 

To improve rankings and user experience businesses use the methods of optimizing web pages’ title tags, internal links, HTML code, URL, images, and many other on-page elements. Collectively this is called on-page SEO. The on-page factors are: 

  • Writing informative, relevant, and engaging content for your website's users at the same time optimizing for Google bots. 
  • Putting HTML tags to emphasize important sections of the content. 
  • Checking broken links or content duplication. 
  • Reducing the file size of photos for faster loading.  
  • Structuring the URL of all pages to ensure they are clear to understand and to the point.  

Off-Page SEO 

Anything or everything a business does outside of its website to help it rank higher in Google's search results can be called off-page SEO. Right from getting good social media advertising, and getting clients to give good reviews on online forums to getting links from credible websites in the same niche, everything comes under off-page SEO.  

Technical SEO 

It includes the technical parts of doing SEO with its primary goal to assist Google's bots in successfully crawling, interpreting, and indexing a website's pages. For example, creating an extensive XML sitemap and making the site mobile-friendly are only some tactics that come under technical SEO to help web spiders filter and categorize the website pages based on their content.  

International SEO 

International SEO involves getting organic traffic for a website from different areas and languages. Factors like the target markets’ cultural context, allowing making transactions in their currency and language, using the right format for dates and times based on the place they are listed and conversing in their native tongue are considered here. The aim is to create a good online experience for the target audience of the business that is taking international SEO efforts. 

Local SEO 

Such type is very helpful to local businesses in reaching out to the local audience by analyzing their behavior through maybe trillions of searches and is one of the most important types of SEO as it helps the business become more visible in local search results on Google. Local SEO practices help local businesses with the opportunity to rank higher in the search results and the local map pack at the same time. In turn, this helps grow the business and increase traffic to the local website. 

e-commerce SEO 

Very useful for stores with online presence or e-commerce businesses as it is one of the best ways to get traffic by paid search, but the SEO costs are much less. Such SEO practices help to make an online store website rank higher whenever someone searches for a product or service as it’s important to have the website appear in the SERPs. Otherwise, the business will lose critical access to potential and qualified e-commerce customers. 

If done properly with competitors' research, focus on homepage SEO, and website architecture, then e-commerce SEO can optimize an e-commerce website to bring traffic and increase search volumes. 

Content SEO

Content SEO refers to creating unique content, be it writing, graphics, or videos, to help a website rank higher in SERPs. The three things that need to be considered while working with content SEOs are copywriting, site structure, and keyword strategy. A balance of all these elements is required because without quality content, even if the site structure and keyword strategies are met, the website will fail to rank. Likewise, no matter how good the quality of the content is, without using keywords appropriately and the right site structure, the content will not be found and hence it won’t gain traffic or traction. 

Content needs to be checked before and after publishing and must be tracked continuously for its performance. Optimization needs to be done whenever required like adding new products or services or updating the information. 

Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO is different because a website must be equally and properly viewable from various screen sizes of mobiles and tablets. As most customers access websites from mobile phones, if they have a bad experience chances remain, they will never return. Here an excellent site structure, style, and page speed will not make any difference to mobile users to change their minds and access the same site from a computer. 

Negative SEO

Negative SEO means using practices aiming at lowering competitors' search rankings so that a business can overtake them or gain an advantage over them. Such practices include breaking into someone's site and creating a suspiciously large number of low-quality links to it or publishing negative feedback or reviews about them on numerous internet forums and discussion boards. If caught, such a business may face a variety of legal consequences. 

Expect to come across this popular question in SEO questions for interview.  

Schema markup is code that helps search engines understand content and produce better search results. It is a language used to represent the actual structured data and recognize the meaning and relationships behind entities, they can serve rich results, or rich snippets.

There are 32 types of schema that Google understands. These are: 

  • Article 
  • Book 
  • Breadcrumb 
  • Carousel 
  • Course 
  • Dataset 
  • Employer Aggregate Rating 
  • Event 
  • Fact check 
  • FAQ 
  • Home Activities 
  • How-to 
  • Image license 
  • Job posting 
  • Learning video 
  • Math Solvers 
  • Movie 
  • Education Q&A 
  • Estimated salary 
  • Podcast 
  • Practice problems 
  • Q&A 
  • Recipe 
  • Software app (Beta) 
  • Speakable 
  • Subscription and paywalled content 
  • Video 

Schema markup produces rich snippets, which often bring higher click through rates and traffic than the regular search results though its primary function remains to help search engines better understand content and provide easy-to-read information plus connecting the dots about the company, its products etc. that Google understands better than plain text. It helps in branding and also offers a relevant solution for some non-branded queries. 

Some common Schema examples are: Logo Markup, Local Business Markup, Review Markup, Sitelink Markup, Product Markup. 

There is no evidence of Schema improving a website ranking but the rich snippets do make a webpage appear more prominently in SERPs. Obviously, this improved visibility improves click-through rates. 

A must-know for anyone heading into SEO interview, this question is frequently asked in SEO technical interview questions.  

There are several ways of improving Google rankings. To improve my company’s site, here are the key steps I would take: 

Improve my on-site SEO 

It is one of the speediest ways to improve your Google rankings. Here, I will: 

  • Make sure that the keyword is towards the beginning of the title tag. 
  • Make content at least 1800 words. 
  • Add relevant keywords 2-3x on the page. 

Add LSI keywords

To confirm to Google that my content is actually about a particular topic, I will use Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords which are related to main keywords and semantically relevant too. For example, if my primary keyword is website, some LSI keywords could be pages, domain, online, web pages etc. 

Monitor the technical SEO 

Since technical SEO problems can really hurt a site’s SEO like mobile optimization, site/page loading speed, therefore the technicalities need to be reviewed off and on to ensure that my site works well. 

Match Content to Search Intent

If people generally get what they’re looking for from my page, I can expect the ranking to improve. Therefore I will not only make my content relevant but use relevant keywords as well that people usually use. 

Reduce bounce rate

As bounce rate indicates the percentage of people visiting my site and leaving immediately without viewing other pages, I need to keep it at an optimal level. To ensure this I will ensure: 

  • Lining up the content with Search Intent is a great way to improve your bounce rate 
  • Pushing content to the top of the page so that it remains above the fold 
  • Structure the page so it’s easy for people to find what they’re looking for. For example adding a little table of contents at the top of the page so that readers know what to expect out of the content, adding visuals, videos, charts, screenshots etc. 

Find more keywords to target

Since keywords are most integral factor of SEO ranking, I need to optimize my page around several different keywords so that more people using different but related keywords can find my page fast. 

Publish high-quality and long form of content

High quality content will make people share the content on social media platforms and Google algorithm also finds them useful. 

Publish more visual content

Since visual content have a better appeal and recall value, I will use different forms of visual content like: 

  • Infographics 
  • Maps 
  • Charts 
  • Flowcharts 
  • Videos 

Build Backlinks to my site

A very effective way to improve ranking is securing backlinks which is nothing but people vouching for my page/site as worth visiting. Though link building is a painstaking, elaborate and time consuming process, it is the best way to establish a site’s authority. 

Content promotion

A piece of content is of no value unless it is promoted and reaches more audience. I will do this via Broken Link Building, Guest posting, use keyword-rich anchor text in the backlinks. 

Track and Monitor Results

A well ranking site also needs constant monitoring and I will ensure this using Google analytics to track organic traffic. 

Boost CTR

Using title Tags that stand out, short, descriptive URLs, rich snippets will help in improving the click through rate or CTR. 

Use Internal Linking

Link from one page on my site to another page on my site also helps in rank improvement of my site. 

Long-tail keywords though with very low search volumes convert at a much higher rate than those keywords having high search volumes. The reason is, people using long-tail keywords are looking for something specific and are likely to move along in their buyer journey with a very strong possibility to convert. 

For example, as per SEMrush, the keyword “Honda dealership in Chicago.” gets 320 searches per month which is comparatively low compared to the more general keywords like terms like “Honda dealership” which gets a lot of search volume but is much more difficult to rank for. 

Therefore, the more general keyword “Honda dealership” is not only difficult to rank for but also less likely to convert when compared to more specific “Honda dealership in Chicago” which is a long-tail keyword targeting buyers from Chicago only. 

It's no surprise that this one pops up often in interview questions on SEO.  

Featured snippets are expanded search results displayed that come in the form of lists, paragraphs, or charts, that answer the questions that users ask in the search bar. A featured snippet is not an ad and Google chooses the most relevant source that answers a search query to the closest as a featured snippet. 

Marketers like featured snippets because these allow them to outrank competitors, boost conversions, and drive tons of targeted traffic. Sometimes a featured snippet is called “Position 0” because it shows up before traditional search results. Therefore marketers optimize for them to get traffic.

A common question in Search Engine Optimization interview questions, don't miss this one.  

301 is one of many possible HTTP status codes like 404 - Not Found, 403 - Forbidden and, 500 - Server Error. 

301 redirect is like a mail forwarder. If I move a piece of content away from a specific URL to some other location, a visitor visiting the old location will get a 404 - page not found message. 

But to improve a user journey, I can ask the server to forward visits from the old URL to a new location where I have shifted the using a 301 redirect. If a visitor now visits the old URL, the server will send back the 301 - Permanently Moved status code, and then move the visitor on to the new location. 

But the entire thing happens so fast that the user will not be aware of it and will simply land up on the piece of content that the user was looking for though there will be a change in the URL which an observant user will notice. 

The other helpful use of a 301 redirect is with the search engines which understand correctly where content has moved to keep their index up-to-date. This is the reason why 301 redirect helps in SEO and should be used. 

Yes, it does. A company undeniably will want people to recognize its brand, business and what its website is all about which an SEO-optimized domain tells them and becomes more likely to be clicked. 

Spammers purchase domain names with their targeted keywords, for example, “get-rich-fast.info” or “buy-cheap-rolex.biz.” to get their desired results like increased click-through rates and higher rankings on search engines. 

Having the right domain name can help a business target its audience and accelerate its search engine placement. Branding and keywords are the two ways a domain can impact the SEO of a company. 

  • Branding domains 

The domain name of a business should be based on its brand so that users can find, remember, share and identify the business online. It is better to choose a domain name at the time of choosing the business name. In other words, if a business already has a business name, it should use it as its domain name as well. 

  • Keyword domains 

This is an alternative to the branding domain where a company can choose a domain name that contains keywords about its business, products, services, etc. For example, if a start-up specializes in pets photography it might get better search ranking results with a domain name like petportraitphotography.com. 

Top-level domain (TLD) signifies the last segment of a domain name that is to say, the part that follows immediately after the "." (dot) symbol. For example, in the address: https://www.google.com, the “.com” portion is the Top-level domain (TLD). 

TLDs have two categories: generic TLDs and country-specific TLDs. 

Some of the popular TLDs include: 

  1. .com 
  2. .org 
  3. .net 
  4. .gov 
  5. .biz 
  6. .edu

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the entity that coordinates domains and IP addresses for the internet. 

One of the most frequently posed SEO questions for interview, be ready for it.  

The most common SEO mistakes include: 

Broken Links or dead links 

 It means that is a web page that can't be found or accessed by a user, for various reasons. Web servers often return an error message when someone tries to access a broken link. 

Dead pages 

It indicates web pages with no outgoing links, or the ones that include no header or footer links and no main navigation sections, thus creating a dead end. Because such pages give users no further navigation opportunities and the only way is backtracking to where they landed from or manually typing a new address, such pages are called dead pages. 

Crafting Content around keywords 

Many writers begin developing their content marketing pieces with the SEO keywords they would like to include in the article and start from there. It could prove a blunder in the end.  

Poorly written, Keyword stuffed content 

Such kind of content does not give any value to the readers. Similarly, content that is overstuffed with keywords or uses very broad keywords is also undesirable since either they are bad to read or will not be found at all, defeating the purpose of its creation. 

Poor loading time 

Slow load time is a common issue affecting SEO results because often websites are managed by individuals with less formal training which can affect the site’s efficiency, especially when they upload images that are too large. 

Lacking unique title 

The title should invoke the interest of the readers, should contain keywords and readers should find them useful to click and read on. 

Ignoring technical SEO factors and User Experience 

Search engines are now extremely concerned with the end user’s experience on the website. Issues like poor loading speeds or a bad user experience, such technical SEOs will hinder ranking, and these factors could quickly become more critical for SEO success.  

Over-optimizing 

Over- optimization of keywords does not work these days. Instead of trying to hit a certain keyword density, focus should be on making relevancy.  

Poor internal links 

On a website, Google explores things like how the pages, blog posts and other content link to one another, to determine which pages are most important and also for which topics and keywords they are most relevant. If it doesn’t find, it affects ranking. 

Ignoring meta descriptions 

Poorly written (or entirely missing) meta descriptions are a common oversight though such descriptions provide a critical context for search engines and customers too. 

Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are metrics which are often confused to mean the same thing. However, there are several differences. A DA indicates how well a domain will rank on search engine pages, whereas a PA shows how well a particular webpage will rank on the search engine pages. The detail differences are: 

  • Purpose

Domain Authority helps us know the status of a website property compared to its competition and predicts the chances of ranking in the SERPs. 

On the other hand, Page Authority, predicts how a particular page will rank on the SERPs thus helping us to prioritize and define the actions we need to improve or develop based on the individual page with the scopes for improvement. 

  • Data

While, Domain Authority data is drawn from Moz’s web index tool and considers several factors, including links and linking root domains, Page Authority considers over 40 factors like link counts and others excluding keyword or content optimization. 

  • Calculation

Both Domain Authority and Page Authority are calculated by the Moz algorithm backed by machine learning on a scale of 1-100.  

For Domain Authority, it evaluates the linking root domains and the number of links existing on a website, whereas for Page Authority it takes into account link counts and other factors but for an individual page. 

  • Scope

The scope of Domain Authority is to consider an entire website, while Page Authority relates to an individual web page or pages but not the entire website. 

A staple in common SEO interview questions, be prepared to answer this one.  

Keywords also known as search queries, key phrases or SEO keywords are words or phrases that visitors or users type on search engines like Google, Bing etc. to find information on a chosen topic of their interest. 

In SEO, keywords are used in content in order to rank at the top of Google or any other search engine results for that same keyword. 

Keywords are the foundation of both SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing or the search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns where they are used in paid ads. For SEO, a target keyword can bring quality and targeted traffic to a website and for PPC right keywords can put a site positioned above the organic results. 

In PPC, the advertisers bid for specific keywords to appear at the top of search results for those specific keywords.

For example, digital marketing is doing paid marketing for a car dealership. Using the keyword say “Toyota for sale in San Jose” will bring a prospective buyer pretty close to buying.  

Compared to this, a search query like “best midsize sedans” is for someone looking for information about mid-size sedans and rather at an awareness stage in the buying funnel. 

Hence such keywords would be better if used in a blog post which is written around such a topic and it would be optimized for those keywords, thereby bringing the content early up on the SERP page for the visitor looking for the information. 

In 2015, Google released its newest mobile algorithm update with the aim to give users/visitors mobile-friendly websites a boost in smartphone search results. Media outlets and SEO experts gave the new update the nickname of “Mobilegeddon.” 

As for its impact on any website, Google’s new mobile friendly algorithm will only impact searches on mobile devices. The aim is to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages and bringing non mobile friendly pages down or in other words Mobilegeddon of the mobile friendly algorithm will only impact mobile rankings and it will not have any impact or effect on desktop and tablet rankings. 

The new mobile algorithm evaluates a website in a page-by-page way. While some of the pages could be deemed not mobile friendly, others could benefit from this algorithm which runs in real-time. Though as per Google, a page cannot be partially mobile friendly, it is either mobile friendly or not and there is no gray area in-between.

The ways to test if a site is already indexed by Google as mobile friendly website are: 

  • Using Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. 
  • Checking the mobile usability reports within Google Webmaster Tools. 
  • Checking if the site has a mobile friendly label in mobile searches. 

Google Suggest or Autocomplete is a function Google offers to users to easily complete their query by suggesting possible extensions of what they are currently typing while making a search or giving a search a query. As someone starts typing in the search box, a box drops down giving options to finish the search without having to type further thus trying to save users’ time by finishing the search request on their behalf.

So far as its SEO value is concerned, it offers a resource of what Google sees as the most popular searches using a base word. A company can use this function while conducting keyword research. The reason is, if Google adds a search term to Google Suggest most definitely it is because it considers it as popular and therefore important.  

Event tracking means monitoring the interactions users have with a website. When visitors or users engage with a website effectively, it results in high conversion. So, to understand how engaging a website is, a company needs to track its website events and the data gained helps to optimize the conversion rate and thereby reach the business goals. 

Downloading eBooks, signing up, visiting a specific page, making a purchase etc. are some examples of event tracking. 

Events can be tracked with the help of Google Analytics which monitor user engagement on a website by way of: 

  • Outbound links 
  • Media downloads such as eBooks 
  • Users’ drop-off points 
  • The number of form submissions 
  • Website elements 
  • The time spent on a task, for example reading a blog 
  • The page load time  

This question is a regular feature in interview questions on SEO, be ready to tackle it.  

Link building is a strategy that a company uses to get other websites to link back to it and in SEO it is called backlinks. Some of the most popular link-building strategies are: 

  • Content marketing 
  • Email outreach 
  • Broken link building 
  • Unlinked brand mentions 
  • PR 

From the SEO point of view, it is very important because the more high-quality backlinks a page has, the higher it can rank in search engines and backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors. Companies, therefore, use link-building strategies to rank high in Google search results and other search engines as well, where the quantity of backlinks matters for ranking. 

This is a frequently asked question in SEO questions for interview.  

Link building can be done by way of: 

Asking for Links

This is when we actively contact a website and ask them to link to ours. We can ask to link to: 

  • Blog posts 
  • In-depth guides 
  • eBooks 
  • Visual posts like infographics, SlideShares 
  • Case studies 
  • Original research and data 

There are tools available like SEMrush's Link Building Tool and others to quickly find prospects to reach out to.  

Add Links

Adding links means going to another website and manually adding my link there. For example, we can manually add links to social media profiles, business directories, forums, communities, and Q&A sites like Quora, blog comments and user profile pages. 

Though manually adding SEO links is one of the easiest ways, it is also the least effective as these types of links often come from low-quality sources and Google does not give too much weight to them. Because it is self-endorsement and not earned or editorially given without asking for. 

Earn Links

This is when other websites give links to ours without asking them to. Creating outstanding high-quality content that people want to link to is the best way to earn links. When someone wants to link to a resource or helpful reading then linking happens naturally. 

The few different types of content people prefer to link to are: 

  • Visual assets like infographics, charts, diagrams, etc. 
  • Original research and data like industry analysis, surveys, proprietary research, etc. 
  • Online tools and calculators 
  • In-depth guides and tutorials 

A good backlink is something which has attributes like: 

  • Authority

In terms of SEO “Authority” refers to the overall quality of a website or a webpage. The higher the quality score of a website, the more weight its backlinks carry for Google and a link from a high-authority website is more valuable than one from any other site as it can help a page rank higher. 

For example, a link from Moz will likely have a much bigger impact than a link from a small website that is hardly known. A website’s authority can check using SEO tools like SEMrush's Backlink Analytics tool etc. 

  • Relevance

Relevancy also matters for a backlink to be useful. Links need to come from websites that are relevant to mine. For example, if my company is into the business of SEO consulting, getting a backlink from an authoritative site about real estate may not help in my rankings. The more relevant the backlinking site, the better. 

  • Placement

Placement of a backlink on a page is important for Google and a good backlink is one that appears within the main body of a webpage. Google considers different probabilities involving the possibility that a reader might click on a link depending on where it is located and the higher it appears up on the page, the more authority that link carries compared to links in sidebars or footers or low in a page’s content may not be worth as much as the one that is placed higher in the page’s body. 

  • Anchor Text

The clickable text that appears in a hyperlink is anchor text and is important because both search engines and readers use it to understand what a linked page is about. Therefore, the more relevant and descriptive the anchor text, the better for SEO. For example, an anchor text, “how to store coffee,” tells Google that the linked page that follows is about how to store coffee. 

  • Nofollow vs. Follow

The “Nofollow” link attribute tells search engines not to follow the outbound link which can be to a different company’s site or some other site or page of the same company. That way the link juice is not passed on. 

It is a type of link-building and content marketing strategy in SEO where a writer from a business/company contacts another website (usually via email) and offers to write for them. Once done the writer adds a contextual link back to the writer’s own website/blog. It happens via agreement and could be free or may be asked to pay a small admin fee. 

Guest posting can provide monumental opportunities for SEO and sales goals. The things that guest posting can do for a company are: 

  • Audience introduction

Writing blog posts for other sites allows the author to get in front of their audience, thereby raising the writer’s brand awareness to potential prospects who may be unfamiliar with the writer’s brand. 

  • Elevates the brand trust

If a company’s brand provides quality content, visitors will come back for more. Building authority in a sector or niche goes hand in hand with building customer trust in that sector. Guest posting on other related sites allows the company to establish its depth of knowledge in the field. 

  • Helps in getting more site visits

When a writer’s article goes live on another site, it can bring months and years of traffic, depending on the popularity of the site where the article has been posted and how helpful and engaging the post is. 

  • Helps to get backlinks

Because backlinks form the backbone of Google ranking, guest posting on a good and authoritative site in the sector could get a backlink. 

I improve the landing page quality by: 

  • Reducing page load time 
  • Using a strong headline 
  • Including a supportive tagline 
  • Optimizing user experience 
  • Producing fresh, original, and quality copy 
  • One idea one landing page 
  • Using Good visual imagery 
  • Clear CTAs 
  • Using relevant keyword 
  • Easy navigation 
  • No excessive links 
  • Using trust symbols 
  • Maintaining brand connection 
  • Creating a simple, quick to fill lead capture form 
  • Following Google guidelines 

A link audit analyzes the current links, also called the link profile of a website and evaluates how good they are for the site. Link audit also shows if there are any risky links and shows a business can improve its link strategy. Furthermore, even if a company’s site does not have any risky links, a site still could be under performing which a link audit can fathom. Besides, link audits can also help a business to size up a competitor and enhance SEO. 

An SEO link audit also uncovers the existing “technical” issues, some of which might severely impact the SEO efforts of a business. Two of the most common ones that a company can accurately conduct an SEO link audit for, are 404 issues (page not found) and Canonical Issues.

Expect to come across this popular question in SEO questions asked in interview.  

Mobile-first indexing is Google's indexing of websites prioritizing their mobile formats over their desktop versions. Earlier the reverse used to be true but now with mobile users consisting of the bulk of search traffic, Google decided to bring mobile-first indexing.

NumPy provides several functions for concatenating and splitting arrays. 

To concatenate two or more arrays, you can use the concatenate function: 

import numpy as np 
arr1 = np.array([1, 2, 3]) 
arr2 = np.array([4, 5, 6]) 
concatenated = np.concatenate((arr1, arr2)) 
print(concatenated) # [1 2 3 4 5 6] 

The concatenate function takes a tuple of arrays as input and returns a single array that contains all the elements from the input arrays, in the order they were provided. 

You can also specify the axis parameter to concatenate the arrays along a specific axis: 

import numpy as np 
arr1 = np.array([[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6]]) 
arr2 = np.array([[7, 8, 9], [10, 11, 12]]) 
concatenated = np.concatenate((arr1, arr2), axis=0) 
print(concatenated) # [[ 1 2 3] 
# [ 4 5 6] 
# [ 7 8 9] 
# [10 11 12]] 
concatenated = np.concatenate((arr1, arr2), axis=1) 
print(concatenated) # [[ 1 2 3 7 8 9] 
# [ 4 5 6 10 11 12]] 

In the first example, we concatenate the arrays along axis 0 (rows), resulting in a 4x3 array. In the second example, we concatenate the arrays along axis 1 (columns), resulting in a 2x6 array. 

You can also use the vstack and hstack functions to stack arrays vertically or horizontally, respectively: 

import numpy as np 
arr1 = np.array([1, 2, 3]) 
arr2 = np.array([4, 5, 6]) 
vertical_stack = np.vstack((arr1, arr2)) 
print(vertical_stack) # [[1 2 3] 
# [4 5 6]] 
horizontal_stack = np.hstack((arr1, arr2)) 
print(horizontal_stack) # [1 2 3 4 5 6] 

To split an array into multiple smaller arrays, you can use the split function from NumPy. 

The split function takes the array to be split and the number of splits as input, and returns a list of arrays that have been split along the first axis. 

For example, consider the following array: 

import numpy as np 
arr = np.array([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) 

To split this array into 3 smaller arrays, you can use the split function as follows: 

splitted = np.split(arr, 3) 
print(splitted) # [array([1, 2]), array([3, 4]), array([5, 6])] 

The split function returns a list of 3 arrays, each containing 2 elements from the original array. 

You can also specify the axis parameter to split the array along a different axis. For example, to split a 2D array into smaller arrays along the rows: 

import numpy as np 
arr = np.array([[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6], [7, 8, 9]]) 
splitted = np.split(arr, 3, axis=0) 
print(splitted) # [array([[1, 2, 3]]), array([[4, 5, 6]]), array([[7, 8, 9]])] 

In this example, the split function returns a list of 3 arrays, each containing a single row from the original array. 

You can also use the vsplit and hsplit functions to split arrays vertically or horizontally, respectively: 

import numpy as np 
arr = np.array([[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6], [7, 8, 9]]) 
vertical_split = np.vsplit(arr, 3) 
print(vertical_split) # [array([[1, 2, 3]]), array([[4, 5, 6]]), array([[7, 8, 9]])] 
horizontal_split = np.hsplit(arr, 3) 
print(horizontal_split) # [array([[1], [4], [7]]), array([[2], [5], [8]]), array([[3], [6], [9]])]

Advanced

Google My Business or GMB is a free listing service where businesses that do not have websites can add their information by listing:

  • Google maps 
  • Operation hours 
  • Contact information 

Revised content section 

GMB ranks on Google locally and offers free online business listing opportunities with information that visitors or potential customers from local can find when they give search words to find their desired service or product locally. 

For example, if someone looks for an auto garage in a nearby locality and gives a search “auto garage near me,” some local results of auto garages near the said locality or location will appear. 

The garages do not have to have a website to be found on the search result in this case. Just by creating a listing on the GMB directory, the owners can get a great source of free traffic to the business. GMB is also great because it improves customer interaction because clients can leave reviews, and business owners respond. 

Revised content 

Since GMB helps in the local listing, I can implement SEO for a brick-and-mortar business first by listing it and then implementing SEO methods to push it to the top of SERPs. 

Social Media is another way of doing SEO without a website. It is a very effective way of doing SEO and claiming important spots on Google’s first page for your business.

As social media platforms are highly popular, they can help in getting a high rank for a business quickly. 

Social Media SEO can be done in two ways. 

  • Optimizing the social media sites: so that the researchers can quickly find me within the social network. For example, I can use optimization techniques on LinkedIn if I am in the business of providing electrical service which will ensure that my business shows up when a person searches for “electricians.” 
  • The second way social media helps is, my social profiles show up on Google SERP. They appear first when someone searches my name, but SEO makes it easier to find my profile if my name is common. 

YouTube Channel

Google owns this very powerful marketing channel YouTube. Businesses prefer to market something via YouTube because it is the second largest search engine. When someone searches for something on Google search, video results appear on the SERP along with text results. YouTube is a powerful SEO place. 

It becomes a form of SEO if the searcher clicks on a video in the SERP and is redirected to the video’s YouTube page and the video gives value to the visitor like helping in understanding or doing something. Educational videos and ‘how-to’ videos are the best for doing SEO. I can choose relevant keywords that match the search terms and the videos will appear on the search page making it easy for the researcher to click. 

Therefore, though a website is quite helpful in online marketing making SEO possible, businesses can do SEO without it as well, by leveraging other SEO techniques.  

There are almost 15 different search engines that can be used in place of Google but they do fall short in certain aspects. The popularity of Google is beyond doubt because of its efficiency and speed and has the largest catalog of web pages. Google is the most preferred among businesses as it means reaching out to the largest volume of consumers. 

As far as search volume is concerned, Google leads with a worldwide market share of 92.25% followed by Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and Yandex.  

The SEO differences between the search engines are: 

Google SEO vs Bing SEO

If we review the top two contenders in the web space (or even others), by and large they do not differ but they have different algorithms that can rank a site in completely different ways. One keyword may have a very large difference in positions in different search engines. 

Different search engines handle keywords differently

Targeted keywords may not work well on Google when compared to Bing which uses targeted keywords as a ranking parameter. So far as targeted keywords are concerned a business may perform better on Bing compared to Google. 

Meta Keywords-a big thing for Bing, not for Google

When ranking websites, Bing takes meta keywords into consideration while for Google meta keywords are not a crucial ranking factor. 

Backlinks: Quality vs Quantity

Google treats the quality of backlinks most seriously. For example, if a business gets too many backlinks from a website with low domain authority, Google may believe that the business is artificially building links and may take it negatively. 

Whereas with Bing, both quantity and quality matter at the same time with special preference given to backlinks from domains like .edu, .org, and .gov. 

Importance of Social Media

Bing considers social signals to play a crucial role in how they rank websites therefore having a good social media portfolio is extremely good for Bing ranking. But for Google, social signals are not that important and Google rank is not affected by social rank significantly, though having a good social media profile is good. 

Gauging Videos, Images, and Other Content

The search algorithm used by Bing is capable of understanding the images and videos on a business website the more diverse the content the better for Bing. Whereas Google is a bit text-preferring and favors websites with more engaging and quality text on them. 

Yahoo SEO

The SEO parameters of Yahoo are very similar to that of Bing because it is powered by Bing though there are differences. 

Yahoo considers domain age a lot and hence a new website takes time to rank on Yahoo as it prefers a website with a sizable domain age because they relate it to authenticity. 

Compared to this, Google is more vested in the content on the page instead of the age of the website making results better on Google than on Yahoo for new websites. 

Keyword Usage

Yahoo, like Bing, prefers targeted keywords for better ranking meaning that the SEO practices that a business does to increase Bing ranking will also have a positive effect on Yahoo. 

Google considers targeted keywords not as a crucial factor, but content and context (the search intent) matter more than keywords for ranking. 

Meta keyword importance

Metadata and the Meta keywords are crucial to Yahoo for better ranks but not to Google and their effects are insignificant, though too much of their optimization might invite undesirable results in Google ranking. 

Baidu SEO

Baidu is the Chinese version of Google and like Google it has invested itself in creating better search engine results for its users and also developing additional technology like AI. So far as Baidu SEO is concerned, the differences between Baidu and Google are: 

  • Time taken to get listed on Baidu is much more than Google as Baidu’s algorithm scrutinizes a website in more detail compared with Google apart from checking if it follows the Chinese content rules. 
  • Though it takes more time to get listed on Baidu, recognizing SEO changes is much faster than Google. It means new websites have a better chance with Baidu to readily get exposure than Google where no matter the SEO quality, getting a site to rank is really tough. 
  • Baidu reviews content quite differently from Google. Baidu gives importance to videos, pictures, music and other leisure content which means the more vibrant and dynamic a page is, the better it will rank. Whereas Google focuses primarily on text quality, content engagement, and originality as crucial to rank. 

Backlinks of Baidu are similar to Bing and Yahoo and look for quality as well as the number of backlinks, meaning the more backlinks a site gets the better its chance to rank on Baidu. Whereas Google considers backlink quality to quantity. 

A must-know for anyone heading into SEO questions for interview, this question is frequently asked in the latest SEO interview questions.  

I do Geo-targeting for a website by adding location names in meta page titles and text, plus writing about events and attractions within a specific area. For driving conversions via geo-targeting, I use these tests: 

Experiment With Languages

I try to match the page language to the visitor’s country of origin or even the local language. Either I test the entire funnel in different languages or I test a specific KPI on the page (CTA click, time on site, etc.) and measure its performance. 

Match Local Currency

I experiment with another currency based on a region or country though I keep it simple and try it on one popular product or landing page. Then I measure sales in combination with location to see if the conversion rates show any difference if I display the currency of the visitor’s country? 

Evaluate serving local

I test to match the offer on pages (product, service, message, etc.) to the visitor’s specific location. I measure funnel performance for visitors that are geo-targeted versus a control group to see if people find it helpful or confining in a way. 

Paid marketing campaigns

I run different campaigns for different locations by varying their marketing message according to the segment and audience location. Also, I experiment with sending traffic from a geo-targeted banner to a geo-targeted landing page (having language, currency, offer, etc. of that area) and also to a generic page to see what converts better. 

Experiment with visual elements

I test different visual design elements based on the visitor’s location to see if they provide better (or worse) conversion rates. For example, bright colors are accepted by one culture, which could be way different from another culture. Often I use holiday themes or national flags. 

I use various ways and means to ensure winning Google featured snippets. Such as: 

Thinking like the audience

To win featured snippets, we need to answer questions fast and short, use headers, and stay within 50 to 60 characters. For example, answering questions in the “people also asked” section of Google for a keyword can also help. Also thinking about what people are generally asking helps.

I also update or create new content that provides the answer to the main question and people also ask sections. Here I remain cautious to keep the answer short, clear and to the point because the faster I am able to provide the information the users want, the more likely I am to win. 

Content/question finding

I collect content ideas from “Answer The Public” focusing on answering how, what, when, where, why, or who. 

Keyword research

I do keyword research because it is very crucial to landing those featured snippet spots. I often take the help of a couple of keyword research tools like SEMrush, Google Trends, Ahrefs or Moz to learn whether a search query will bring up featured results. 

Also, I notice if I already rank high for a particular keyword and see if Google currently brings up featured snippets for those keywords. If yes, then I try to rank for it by finding (and answering) the questions people have about that topic and format our content to include tags related to those questions. 

Answering multiple questions

I have observed that if a page ranks for one featured snippet, usually it gets featured in other related search queries because of the snowball effect where I can earn more and more snippets.

So, instead of working to optimize dozens of articles for snippets, I focus on updating a handful and really digging deep into the answer.

I define the main terms, explore steps if the topic tilts to that format, and answer as many of the “people also ask” questions as possible. This way I manage to create quality content that both users and search engines will like.

Maintaining the optimal word count

Since the aim of featured snippets is to quickly answer users’ questions I keep my section tight and concise so that Google can easily feature my content. I use lists, paragraphs, steps etc. instead of keeping everything together in a paragraph. 

I try to keep each content section not more than 50 words and not shorter than 40 words. 

Using Headers

I use H1 for the title, H2s for main points, H3s for supporting points under H2s, and so forth. Also, I ensure adding “Step 1, Step 2” or “Rule 1, Rule 2” to each heading phrase, so that Google places them in chronological order in case I create a list snippet.  

Including a “How-To” Section to the website

Adding a how-to section or a Q&A or frequently asked question section to my site gives me a far better chance of landing the coveted spot 0. 

Adding high-quality images and video

Because many people are visual, that is they learn visually and prefer visual content. I consider adding photos and images to help me rank for featured snippets. Often, I take the help of the Canva tool for this to create professional-looking images fast. Whenever situation and chance permits, I create videos as well just simply using my smartphone and trying to add a transcript for almost all of my videos. 

It's no surprise that this one pops up often in the top SEO interview questions.  

RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system that Google applies with its current search engine algorithms to provide better results to user queries. Using machine learning, RankBrain will be using mathematical processes plus an advanced understanding of language semantics to learn more about how and why people search; and finally, apply those findings to future search results and can actually be considered a new ranking signal. 

Despite its status as a ranking signal and its significance to the future of Google search, RankBrain isn’t introducing much impact to SEO though it is regarded as a ranking signal. 

Its effects will be felt on exceptionally complicated, ambiguous, or poorly worded long-tail queries, but the traditional best practices will remain the same. For example, if someone wants to optimize for queries related to ice cream, for ambiguous search queries “that sweet cold dessert people have at birthday parties” Rankbrain will help to translate it to more concise, relevant and appropriate terms.

A common question in senior SEO interview questions, don't miss this one.  

Usually, I do it in these simple steps: 

Step 1: Benchmark our Backlink Profile Against Competitors 

Though this is not a must, I prefer it as it gives me a fair amount of insight into our competitors’ link-building strategies and helps in giving our own profile the most reasonable evaluation. 

In the backlink analytics, I type out three or four competitors’ domains, and I get everything I need to understand whether we are trending in the right direction with our link-building strategy. I get information like the number of backlinks/referring domains/referring IPs, authority score, backlink types, link attributes, and referring domains. 

Step 2: Find and Evaluate Each Backlink 

After understanding if our backlink portfolio is relevant to the competition, I find the main issues that are obstructing us from beating them. I look into finding the spammy links that harm our rankings, valuable links we might be losing or the gaps in our link-building strategy we are having. 

In the backlink audit tool I look at attributes like, overall toxic score due to too many harmful scores pointing to our site, too high or too low total number of analyzed backlinks, the small number of referring domains or if we are having too many links coming from just one domain that might cause Google suspicion, a high toxic score of referring domains, a high percentage of dofollow links, presence of money and compound anchors which are considered potentially toxic by Google, any spike in gained or lost backlinks in a certain time. 

Step 3: Clean Up Our Backlink Portfolio 

A backlink audit is more than finding and clearing toxic backlinks. It can also help to identify new opportunities for getting high-quality links and improve the link-building strategy overall. 

One of the most frequently posed SEO executive interview questions, be ready for it.  

Google treats links as one of the top three ranking factors and likes to see a well-rounded backlink profile, one that looks natural. Getting too many links of only one type, for example exclusively from affiliate blogs may look fishy to Google and if it suspects that we have paid for backlinks then we are gone for serious damage to our SEO efforts. 

Hence, I focus on creating a strong, natural backlink profile, which means a mix of no follow and follow links, with different variations of anchor text, and from websites with different tenure and authority, right from a respected industry publication to our start-up blogger. 

I keep all these goals in mind and follow some strategies: 

Develop Linkable and Shareable Quality Content

The best way to get natural links is to develop content that people would like to link to. So, my content strategy for my company is a mix of: 

  • Industry research 
  • In-depth how-to content 
  • Statistics 
  • Local guides 

Sometimes I also try the skyscraper technique of finding the top content ranking for a keyword, developing our own version that iterates and improves on it. Then with a better version I reach out to the websites linking to the original content and suggest updating their version by linking to our piece of content.  

Convert Mentions Into Links

I set up a free Google alert to scour the web for mentions of our company name or the names of our management board. Whenever a website mentions us, but does not include a link, that becomes our backlink target. Then I reach out and thank them for the coverage and ask if they wouldn’t mind linking to our website so that their readers can easily get additional or more information. 

Guest Blogging

I find relevant publications in our niche and research which blogs and outlets our customers follow. Then I reach out with our pitch to write for them for the mutual benefit of getting more viewers. I also have partnered with a few digital marketing agencies to upscale our link-building efforts since they work with ghostwriters and have connections with publications. They write on our behalf and help get our write-ups accepted. 

Community Connection

I already have a list ready of the industry partners we work with, vendors, and satisfied customers. I create case studies sometimes of our satisfied customers which they share (the links) on their own blogs. 

Anchor Text Optimization

The visible and clickable texts in a hyperlink are anchor texts and in browsers, they are often underlined and in blue color. SEO-friendly anchor texts are crisp and relevant and useful, that is they lead to pages that are related to the discussion of the original page and give more value-added information to the reader. I ensure this and also link to our website naturally within our articles and include a keyword where ever possible. 

A staple in SEO exceutive interview questions, be prepared to answer this one.  

There are hundreds of metrics that can help us in tracking SEO activities and Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. But to stay focused we use a few metrics only that we have already found are the most critical for our business and we keep tracking those metrics regularly. 

Keyword Ranking

Our website’s keyword rankings offer a great snapshot of how our website is performing within the search engine result pages because these are the basics of our SEO strategy. 

From Google Search Console I notice the queries users made that were responsible for our website showing in the results. I follow this practice on a monthly routine, so that I can use this extra information to our advantage. For example, if a search intent is related to content we created that is great, but if not then I see that we need to rework on maybe the on-page content or HTML tags to tell Google bots more clearly what the content is about. 

I monitor the progress of certain keywords and phrases, and these insights tell me what content is working and showing up in the SERPs, and which content may need a little push. Because if we want our SEO metrics to improve we must focus on creating useful and relevant content that our users are looking for. 

Organic Traffic

Typically, the more keyword rankings our content earns the more organic traffic we get. But this is not always the case. There are times I observe organic traffic stays the same despite additional keyword rankings, our landing pages not ranking high enough, or maybe our page titles or meta descriptions are not wooing users to click. I pay close attention to all such on-page elements and try to improve upon them to make our content useful to both our users and Google search engine. 

Conversions

The ultimate goal of our website is to ensure good traffic and also the traffic that actually converts. For this I need to view our conversions through the lens of quality vs. quantity. We always look forward to new crowds on our site, but if I get only two or three people converting out of 100, then there is a bigger problem I must solve here. 

When I get a low conversion rate, I take a step back and look at your website from the lens of a consumer. What is getting in the way of them converting? Could it be a lack of information, a slow website, problems checking out, or our contact information is hard to find? Just determining the cause of the problem can be the difference between a handful of conversions a quarter and hundreds of conversions a month. 

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

The higher CTR simply means that people are getting engaged with our content and ready to convert. I use Google Search Console for this. I have a simple formula. My CTR is 10% if our site appeared on a results page 100 times in a week, and 10 people clicked on it. Use this metric to see how effective our title tags and meta descriptions are in attracting users' attention. 

If I see low numbers in this metric I optimize our meta descriptions, titles, URLs and try to acquire some featured snippets that are relevant to our business. Sometimes I run SEO split tests and apply changes and usually I get good results. 

SERP Visibility

I use the position tracking tool of our SEO toolkit to check our website’s visibility which is a metric to get a bird’s eye view of our SEO progress. Also, I keep our business listing information updated to improve search visibility. 

Backlinks

I keep monitoring our backlinks with backlink analytics to get valuable insight into the progress of our link-building strategies, pay attention to the list of links we didn’t build ourselves as potential link opportunities we can explore in the future. I remain attentive to identifying new backlinks and the backlinks that are deleted as the number of new backlinks to our site is valuable information to have as we review our link-building efforts. 

It's not uncommon for this SEO technical interview question to arise frequently during SEO interviews.

Those snippets of text that describe a page’s content are meta tags, and they 

don’t appear on the page itself, but only appear in the page’s source code. 

Actually, those are essentially little content descriptors that tell search engines what a web page is about and are seen only in HTML, usually at the “head” of the page. The word “meta” denotes metadata which is the kind of data these tags provide that is data about the web page’s data.

The four types of meta tags are: 

  • Meta Keywords: no longer relevant now.
  • Title Tag: is the text we see in the SERP and at the top of a browser and search engines view this as the “title” of the page.

  • Meta Description: the brief description of the page.
  • Meta Robots: a direction to search engine crawlers or robots or “bots” telling them what they should do with the page. 

For example: 

  • Index/noindex: tells the engines whether to show our page in search results or not. 
  • Follow/nofollow: tells the engines what to do with links on our pages, that is, if they should trust and “follow” the links to the next page or not. 

Meta tags can have a very real impact on search engine marketing in the ways like: 

  • The Title Tag can impact search engine rankings hugely. 
  • Descriptive tags may encourage users to visit our site. 

Silo structure in SEO is a type of website architecture where content about a specific topic is grouped, isolated, and interlinked to create clean and distinct sections of related content on a website.

Each silo consists of a main silo page and related content, all of which are interlinked, but the content in one silo does not link to the content in another silo which is why it’s called silo structure, because the content is isolated in silos. 

It is quite popular in SEO because: 

It helps Google to find our pages

Because internal links are one of the ways Google finds new pages, we ensure that all of our pages are interlinked in some way or another. Because Siloing creates a logical hierarchical structure with consistent internal linking, it helps Google in locating the pages. 

It boosts rankings

The two main reasons why siloing may help to boost rankings are: 

  • Better flow of PageRank(PR) 

PageRank(PR) shows how Google gives value to a page based on the quantity and quality of pages linking to it. 

Backlinks bring PR flows into a site, and internal links make PR flow around it. Siloing helps PR flow between them since all pages in a silo are interlinked. As a result, if one page in a silo starts attracting lots of high-quality PR-boosting backlinks, some of that PR is shared with other pages in the silo through internal links. 

Siloing creates a good user experience

Because internal links are useful for SEO and users both helping them to navigate a website, siloing can improve user experience, as it brings similar topical pages together. For example, siloing places content about Steve Jobs, iPhone, and iPad together and just fewer clicks away and helps users to find relevant content more easily. 

Also, the internal links between pages within them are contextually relevant as siloing creates internal links to and from pages about similar or related contextually relevant topics. 

This question is a regular feature in interview questions on SEO, be ready to tackle it.

Bad backlinks can damage a website and Google’s “Disavow Links Tool” can help protect a site from link-related penalties due to bad backlinks lurking, unknown to the site owner. Google’s Disavow Links Tool allows us to tell Google to ignore specific backlinks for ranking purposes. 

How we do this is simple: submit a text file containing the linking pages or domains that you want to disavow via Google Search Console (GSC). 

https://ahrefs.com/blog/google-disavow-links/ 

Disavowing runs a risk. A link that looks “bad” could still help a site. Even Google sends caution words to users that incorrect use of this can potentially harm a site's performance in Google SERP. Google suggests using this tool only if a site sees a significant number of spammy, artificial or low-quality links pointing to the site and they are causing issues for the site. 

Despite the warning however, the fear of a penalty leads SEOs to delete links aggressively. 

To be in a better situation, Manual Action is the best thing to follow when it comes to the use of the disavow tool. 

Apart from this, two situations could be there when disavowing links is probably (but not definitely) the right choice: 

  • A dramatic rise in low-quality links correlating with a sharp drop in the site’s ranking. For example, if my stable site just disappears from search results after an influx of bad links it is a must situation to go for disavowal. Even otherwise, without waiting for a sharp drop, proactive situation analysis and disavowing can protect a site.) 
  • If by chance it is known that a suspicious backlink profile was done by paying for those links in the past or still it happens, a disavow of those links is necessary. 

This is a frequently asked question in SEO questions for interview.  

A. Paid links

As per Google these are non-editorial, dofollow links designed to pass PageRank. 

  • Dofollow site-wide links with exact-match anchor text 
  • Dofollow links from unrelated sites/content 
  • Dofollow links from pages with obvious footprints for example, “Sponsored Post.” 

B. Private Blogging Networks (PBNs)

Although Google started de-indexing PBNs, they still exist and links from them do not qualify for any white-hat link-building strategy. 

C. Links from low-quality directories

Low-quality directory submissions do not work and many businesses use nofollow links to them. But some unethical SEOs claim it to be not true while pitching their “services” to unsuspecting or non SEO-savvy website owners or businesses. Although links from a handful of high-quality or niche-specific directories might be worth the fee, this is not an effective way to grow site authority. 

D. Links from hacked sites

Links from hacked sites will guarantee a penalty from Google. 

E. Backlink spamming

Backlink spamming is intentionally linking back to a competitor from hundreds or thousands of low-quality websites. An unwarranted jump in the referring domains of a site in Site Explore is a definite indication that a site has been hacked. 

PBN is a private blog network of websites that are created with the purpose to link out to another website and improve its organic search visibility. Here the feeder sites pass the link equity back to the main or principal site to boost its authority and rank. 

PBNs camouflage it as though the main/principal website has “earned” links from other websites on merit as backlinks are a Google ranking factor in the first place. It is an attempt to show Google that people like and trust the content. 

It is just an attempt to manipulate Google algorithm and Google places action as a violation of its webmaster guidelines which includes such a practice in the category of black hat SEO. But PBNs still work for many websites. 

Many still use PBN because: 

link-building is a very tough game. 

Ideally, everyone should earn their backlinks organically but in the real world, it does not always work as desired. In the first place, creating great, linkable content is hard, not everyone’s cup of tea, and not always possible because a company needs to focus on its core business too and cannot devote time and resources to create stellar content all the time. Perhaps only marketing companies can do this but not others. Second, even if a business manages to do so, it still has to rely on other website owners linking back to it and the results are never guaranteed and extremely time-consuming. The business could spend days setting up outreach campaigns and sending hundreds of emails but may still fail to get new backlinks. 

Expect to come across this popular question in the latest SEO interview questions.  

When people conduct a search online, they have a purpose in mind. For example, they might be planning to buy a new car, and so they keep researching car models, or may be looking for a local service like a dentist, a pathological lab or a fast-food outlet. They type words and phrases related to what they wish to view on the internet, and this desire or wish to seek something is called search intent. Google’s changing algorithms have made content relevance more important than ever and due to this many SEO’s focus on search intent to get a better rank in Google SERP by matching their content to the search intent of the users. 

A proper understanding of search intent helps in doing improved SEO by: 

  • Creating a more effective content strategy by targeting keywords that align with the needs of the target audience. 
  • Creating relevant content by understanding the users' needs and creating content that satisfies their needs. 
  • Ranking higher in search results by showing search engines that a particular business’s content is valuable and relevant to its users. 
  • Giving better user experience by giving the users what they want they’re more likely to view a business as an authority and keep coming back.  

There are four types of search intent: 

Informational Intent 

When someone is looking for information on a certain topic that comes under informational intent. It is possible that they don’t know what exactly they’re looking for, nevertheless use keywords to guide their search, for example, by typing ‘How to fix a flat tire.’ 

Typically, such people are at the beginning stage of the buying journey 

 Knowing how to target this type of search intent helps a business’s website’s ranking and brings in more traffic by creating the right kind of content for such search intents. They ensure that: 

  • The website is well-organized and easy to navigate as visitors who search for information want to find it fast and easily. 
  • Using keywords that are relevant to the topic to help with visibility and ranking ensures that the site appears high on the search results pages. 
  • Answering the questions people commonly ask online. 
  • Providing valuable, informational, accurate, reliable content that meets the needs of your audience as they look for such kind of content.  

Transactional Intent 

Transactional intent refers to users who are looking to actively buy a product or service. 

Such users have a specific item in mind, and might also be searching for the best deal. Additionally, they may be looking for further information, so they might use terms such as ‘review’ or ‘product reviews’. They might also search for listicle-style ‘top ten’ articles or comparisons to help inform their decision. 

Navigational Intent 

When users search for something very specific and they already know the brand or website name, their searches come under navigational search intent.  

Such users typically enter relevant keywords into a search engine, like ‘Photoshop tutorial’ ‘Adobe tutorial’ etc. In other words, users use very relevant keywords that are sure to give them the most accurate and useful results for their query. 

Commercial Intent 

When users have already made up their minds to buy something but want to learn more about a company or product before making a purchasing decision such intent comes under commercial search intent. For example, if a user gives a query like ‘buy sports shoes near me’ it is clear that they are in a buying or commercial mood. ‘Buy ', ‘purchase ', ‘deal’ and ‘discount’ are some of the typical words they use. 

However, there are hybrid queries as well, for example, a combination of commercial and informational intentions. 

Different social media platforms have different social elements depending on how we use them or perceive them. For example Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are mostly treated as real social media platforms, but what about Medium or Quora which also attract a lot of users?  

Secondly, backlinks from social media platforms do not contribute to a company’s SEO activities. Of course, social signals like the great sharing of a link or a huge traffic help in increasing brand recognition and indirectly contribute to the company’s SEO.  

Thirdly, social platforms help in another way in the SEO activities of a company and that is via content. Many times Quora answers or Reddit discussions keep appearing in Google results and often rank high as well. It indicates that the high domain authority these platforms enjoy pulls them on SERP and a company can leverage such platforms to rank content.  

Considering everything, it looks like Pinterest is a social platform that is still underutilized. It may have a huge unexplored potential so far as visual content is concerned. To add another to the list in my point of view would be Taboola for content.  

Though no one has a clear idea how Google’s search algorithm actually works, still a set of factors could be more influential than the rest, like: 

  • Page Title 
  • Backlinks 
  • Load Time of the Page 
  • Mobile Responsiveness and Usability 
  • Domain Age & Authority 
  • Page Content 
  • Keyword Prominence in Page Content 
  • Core Web Vitals, etc. 

It will depend on the situation. For example, a visitor on my website page reads long-form content and after covering halfway, comes across a small form which he fills in and submits. But he is yet to finish the rest of the article and I want him to do it without further ado. Here I will use the AJAX form submission method because it allows sending data in the background, without the need to reload the site. In other words, he can keep reading the rest of the article without doing anything.

Whereas, if after the form filling my reader has nothing else to do on that page, then definitely I will redirect him somewhere else. For example, I am a SaaS service provider, so as soon as my visitor completes and submits the account creation form, I can send him to the homepage or dashboard etc.  

What finally I want to say is if a page offers scope for more action after the form submission for a visitor, then ajax submission is preferable. Otherwise, he should be redirected to a new destination. 

I will take these steps: 

  • I will research xyz.com business, its business model, pricing strategy, industry, competitors, etc. 
  • Do market research to understand the primary customer acquisition channels, brand authority, how vast their online presence, etc. 
  • Do SEO research to understand organic presence, overall SEO strategy, best performing keywords, pages that rank at the top of SERP, content generation for SEO, etc. 
  • Perform research based on industry keywords, product feature-related keywords, problems/solution-related keywords, etc. 
  • Organize keywords using keyword search intent and what stage of the funnel the users are at. 
  • Prioritize bottom of the funnel keywords that have commercial intent. 

Usually, the marketing channels that I use to boost our SEO activities are: 

  • Content marketing: we generate content in various formats for a large number of search queries on Google and Youtube. 
  • Email marketing: we have our subscriber list whom we email to drive traffic to a newly published piece of content. 
  • Social Media marketing: We promote our content on LinkedIn and Facebook. Visual content like Infography we promote in Pinterest. 
  • Paid marketing: if we notice certain keywords convert really well for you but we are getting only limited traffic we resort to paid marketing. 
  • PR: to generate press mentions to start social conversations and share about our company/product. We also use the existing press mentions to generate new ones and continue the cycle. 

There could be many reasons behind a sudden drop in keyword ranking. I would try to figure out if:  

  1. If some change has happened on our site. For example, I would explore the content header code, robots.txt, sitemap, and page URLs. Such things could have happened inadvertently by me or by someone else in the company who has access. 
  2. I might have made some changes, like an important update but Google is yet to know about it which could be due to a crawl rate error or something else. As a result, our website has started having issues. 
  3. Some Google search algorithm updates/ changes have happened that affected some of our website pages and the keyword rankings have dropped. 
  4. Google Search Algorithm update – maybe Google has released a new update that has affected several pages on our website and thus the keyword ranking dropped.
  5. There could be many external factors as well including our competitors releasing better content than ours which has received better results in SERP, or some new market trends that have impacted consumer behavior etc.

A must-know for anyone heading into SEO interview, this question is frequently asked in advanced SEO interview questions.  

There are many factors that influence the conversion rates of a website. For me, the important ones are: 

  • Giving value proposition to our customers by telling them in what way we are better than others and how our product or service can help to eliminate their pain points and make their life better. Eliminating all jargon, we need to highlight our unique or differentiating elements or unique sales proposition.  
  • We need to have a well-defined sales funnel that will help us to guide our prospects or leads in the right direction with the proper message/content specific to each stage of the funnel without mixing up everything. 
  • Objection handling by way of addressing the crucial objections that website visitors might have in our sales copy. 
  • Trust building by designing the website professionally, making it device-independent or mobile-friendly, bringing relevancy in our website content and message, personalization, testimonials and case studies, links to active social profiles, security message on the payment page, removing any spelling or grammatical mistakes, using proper language, words and sentences appropriate to the sector.  
  • Avoiding distraction-causing elements like giving too many options as it leads to the paradox of choice, keeping things simple like reducing the number of fields from any kind of form, guiding users in every step, reducing the number of clicks visitors need to give etc.  
  • Increasing credibility by way of including positive comments from social media, reviews, and video testimonials; that is doing everything that shows our prospects about the quality of our product or service and placing our happy customers in front of them. 
  • Creating the emotion of urgency in our copies, call to action, emailers etc. so that visitors take note of them and take immediate action. It can be done in many ways like by way of giving a limited time offer, giving a discount for a period, promotional offer or even giving discount/offer to returning customers etc. 
  • Painting a healthy and professional comparison picture where ever possible. For example, in video, banner, infographics, and content. It not only boosts confidence in the mind of prospects but is also a good way of enticing customers from our competitors. 
  • Eliminating risk factors as much as possible and where ever possible by offering a replacement warranty, 24 hrs. customer support, money-back guarantee or some other unique proposition to build a sense of a risk-less deal.
  • Let me reply to the second part first, why should I care about LinkedIn SEO. It is because:
    • I can expand our brand’s search footprint by enhancing the SEO impact of our LinkedIn page. 
    • Can bring traffic to LinkedIn Page by powering up its SEO and increasing the odds of being discovered not only just by members using LinkedIn but by relevant web searches also that we would have missed otherwise. 
    • Well-defined messaging-once we craft our content for LinkedIn Page around keywords and terms important to our business the outcome is, these themes get clearer to readers making more sense to them. 
    • Increased relevance- by aligning our content to our customers’ search intent will make the contents naturally more relevant and valuable to our target audience. 
  • We optimize our company’s LinkedIn SEO by:
    • Adding keywords to the beginning of our tagline considering it like an “elevator pitch”. The keyword should be based on searched intent, that is, the terms that the LinkedIn members normally use while discussing things related to our business. At times this language could be slightly different than what we generally use, nevertheless we need to speak their language. We use relevant keywords at the very beginning of our organization’s introductory tagline so that it helps the search engine and the users to quickly understand what our business is about. 
    • To determine the keywords, I think about our offerings, industry, location and specialties which are important sources to get keywords from. Of course, I use tools like Ahrefs and SeMrush. There are other tools as well. Once I make a list of the keywords, I sprinkle them throughout our contents. 
  • In our ‘About’ section I ensure to apply SEO best practices. Using relevant keywords we craft an engaging overview that answers questions our audience might have like:
    • What future do we want to help create? 
    • How do we create that future? 
    • Who are we? How do we work? 
    • What makes our brand different? 
    • Then we add a tagline that sums up our brand in one line. Lastly, we talk about our products/services.
  • Mentioning our website URL.
  • Mentioning further company details like size, industry, and specialties to paint a complete picture of our organization as a business that gives complete information and gets 30% more weekly views.
  • Posting SEO-driven, high-quality, meaningful long-form content since articles published on LinkedIn are good for both visibility on LinkedIn itself and in organic search as well plus they are also crawled by search engines. Therefore, such content is more likely to show in searches outside LinkedIn as well.
  • We ensure our LinkedIn Page is complete in all aspects making even the casual browsers stick around. We use our logo and banner image.
  • Regular updation of the LinkedIn page is extremely important and we follow it to maintain visibility of our followers and Google ranking too. Posting consistent fresh content gets indexed and helps the search engine recognize our Page as an active and valuable source of information.

Cloaking is a kind of unfair use of SEO techniques or malpractices of SEO techniques done to get a SERP ranking fast. In cloaking, a website has an original version of a URL, page(s) or content which is presented to the search engines to get ranking, while the original version is completely different. 

Also, there could be lots of reasons why a site might decide to cloak. It could be that it is heavy in visual elements but light on text more heavily on Flash.  

However, cloaking faces serious consequences including a complete site ban. 

SEO cloaking can take a variety of different forms all coming under black hat SEO and all of them seriously violate the webmaster guidelines. Some of the most common forms are: 

Implementing Hidden Text 

Some website owners install invisible text on various pages to manipulate search engines. 

 Keeping the foreground color same as the background color is the simplest way of doing this, but some also use JavaScript or CSS to disguise text, 

User Agent Cloaking 

Here a dedicated program called a user agent is used in place of a traditional user to evaluate web visitors and determine which version of a cloaked site should be presented. It is done by sending a piece of code directly to the server and when a visitor is identified as a crawl bot, it is shown specially prepared cloaked content. 

IP Cloaking 

The most common form of cloaking in SEO where a user is redirected to the desired site through a second site that already has a high Google ranking. 

Google’s update on page title: 

The page titles that appeared in SERPs were dynamic and would change depending on what users searched for with Google generating 80% of titles based on content’s meta/HTML title tags and the rest from the content itself which included ALT tags or pieces of anchor text too. This affected the click through rates. Because, the website owners or companies had no control over how titles were displayed and needed to optimize content text more often. 

Google is now replacing this with a more static system and expects a 50/50 ratio between content and meta titles while selecting the title that will appear, which means, Google will pick one or the other irrespective of the search term being used. Though Google may still change it if it sees the availability of better text to match search intent, it won’t be as dynamic and changeable as it was before. Additionally, Google will choose an excerpt from the page if the meta title doesn’t reflect what the page is about. 

In other words, the search result title will still be generated based on the HTML title tag and content of the page but now more focus will be given to the visible content on the page, especially H1, H2 tags which means on-page content will be even more impactful in the generation of the search result titles. 

Content recycling is a good way of marketing as it gives the freedom to figure out how content pieces can be repurposed and adapted for different platforms or channels to attract more traffic. Sharing the repurposed content on different platforms will gain additional traffic which will positively impact the SEO. 

Secondly, content repurposing can directly be used to rank for a group of related keywords by breaking the original content into smaller resources each targeting some keywords from the group. Another benefit of doing this is, each time we will not have to create a new content and invest time and energy.