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55 important Interview Questions for SEO

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by abdulmalick, Feb 6, 2009.

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  1. #1
    Hi,

    I found this 55 interview questions from allthingssem.com. It is very useful for SEO people searching for jobs. You can find out answers in google.com.

    Technical / Tactics

    Every SEO prefers certain tactics over others, but familiarity with many could indicate a deeper understanding of the industry. And while every SEO doesn't need to have a web developer background, having such skills can help set someone apart from the crowd.

    1. Give me a description of your general SEO experience.
    2. Can you write HTML code by hand?
    3. Could you briefly explain the PageRank algorithm?
    4. How you created any SEO tools either from scratch or pieced together from others?
    5. What do you think of PageRank?
    6. What do you think of using XML sitemaps?
    7. What are your thoughts on the direction of Web 2.0 technologies with regards to SEO?
    8. What SEO tools do you regularly use?
    9. Under what circumstances would you look to exclude pages from search engines using robots.txt vs meta robots tag?
    10. What areas do you think are currently the most important in organically ranking a site?
    11. Do you have experience in copywriting and can you provide some writing samples?
    12. Have you ever had something you've written reach the front-page of Digg? Sphinn? Or be Stumbled?
    13. Explain to me what META tags matter in today's world.
    14. Explain various steps that you would take to optimize a website?
    15. If the company whose site you've been workind for has decided to move all of its content to a new domain, what steps would you take?
    16. Rate from 1 to 10, tell me the most important "on page" elements
    17. Review the code of past clients/company websites where SEO was performed.
    18. What do you think about link buying?
    19. What is Latent Semantic Analysis (LSI Indexing)?
    20. What is Phrase Based Indexing and Retrieval and what roles does it play?
    21. What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
    22. What kind of strategies do you normally implement for backlinks?
    23. What role does social media play in an SEO strategy?
    24. What things wouldn't you to do increase rankings because the risk of penalty is too high?
    25. What's the difference bewtween PageRank and ToolBar PageRank?
    26. Why might you want to use nofollow on an internal link?

    Analysis

    A big part of SEO involves assessing the effectiveness of a campaign both relative to past performance as well as to competiting sites.

    1. Are you familiar with web analytics and what packages are your familiar with?
    2. From an analytics perspective, what is different between a user from organic search results vs. a type-in user?
    3. How do you distinguish the results of your search optimization work from a seasonal change in traffic patterns?
    4. How do you evaluate whether an SEO campaign is working?
    5. What does competitive analysis mean to you and what techniques do you use?
    6. If you've done 6 months of SEO for a site and yet there haven't been any improvements, how would you go about diagnosing the problem?
    7. How many target keywords should a site have?
    8. How do *you* help a customer decide how to their budget between organic SEO and pay-per-click SEM?
    9. You hear a rumor that Google is weighting the HTML LAYER tag very heavily in ranking the relevance of its results - how does this affect your work?
    10. Why does Google rank Wikipedia for so many topics?

    Industry Involvement

    Is SEO just a job to pay the bills? Nothing wrong with that, but some senior positions can benefit from more enthusiasm and interest that can be measured by work done outside of the office.

    1. If salary and location were not an issue, who would you work for?
    2. In Google Lore - what are 'Hilltop', 'Florida' and 'Big Daddy'?
    3. Have you attended any search related conferences?
    4. Google search on this candidates name, (if you cannot find them, that's a red flag).
    5. Do you currently do SEO on your own sites? Do you operate any blogs? Do you currently do any freelance work and do you plan on continuing it?
    6. Of the well-known SEOs, who are you not likely to pay attention to?
    7. What are some challenges facing the SEO industry?
    8. What industry sites, blogs, and forums do you regularly read?
    9. Who are the two key people - who started Google?
    10. Who is Matt Cutts?
    11. If you were bidding on a contract, what competitor would you most worry about?

    Open-Ended

    These questions are more about how an answer is given rather than the actual answer. They often scare interviewees, but with no wrong answer they're actually a good opportunity to shine.

    1. Tell me your biggest failure in an SEO project
    2. What areas of SEO do you most enjoy?
    3. In what areas of SEO are you strongest?
    4. In what areas of SEO are you weakest?
    5. How do you handle a client who does not implement your SEO recommendations?
    6. Can you get “xyz” company listed for the keyword “Google” in the first page?
    7. What do you think is different about working for an SEO agency vs. doing SEO in-house?
    8. Why are you moving from your current position and/or leaving any current projects?
     
    abdulmalick, Feb 6, 2009 IP
    dzi likes this.
  2. ezprint2008

    ezprint2008 Active Member

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    #2
    On #3. Could you briefly explain the PageRank algorithm?...

    PageRank in Google is a logarithm. The difference is that an algorithm is a process like a formula to solve a problem usually. Most of its variables are known with a process to realize the others unknown and its usually a process that is repetitive and somewhat simple as opposed to complexity.

    But a logarithm is more complex and its variables usually unknown except for a 'base' number or starting point.
    / used to try to solve or measure distance exponentially. Googles PageRank is said to be similar to Richter scale of measuring earthquakes.

    An easy way to explain it is = if you have 100 sites that have PR 1 .. the PageRank will not add 1+1 +1 etc.. to give you a PR 100, instead the logarithm has it set where maybe 2,000 PR 1 sites linking to yours may produce a PR 1 or 2 - and then the 'weight' , value , credibility, popularity, etc are factors that weight each variable of each site to give a wider measurement of each individual site that links to you ..and then factors all of these variables against the logarithm to determine where your PageRank for your site is at.

    If Google were algorithms ..that would be great, because it would be a simple process that would have much less weighting or unknown variables involved. But then we'd all have a PR 10 by now. :D
     
    ezprint2008, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  3. teo123

    teo123 Banned

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    #3
    A very nice collection of questions.


    Useful for buyer utilization AND for provider preparation. :)
     
    teo123, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  4. internetmarketingiq

    internetmarketingiq Peon

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    #4
    In your paper perfect world that is all lovely.

    But in the real world time is money, and if you can't cut your list down to a size that is manageable by the client and the candidate company it's not useful.
     
    internetmarketingiq, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  5. Sem-Advance

    Sem-Advance Notable Member

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    #5
    So then why would you take their content and post it here causing them problems with duplicate content??

    Given there is no link to their site you... are in violation of ethics as well

    Post original content or dont post!!!!!!!!
     
    Sem-Advance, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  6. tradeya

    tradeya Notable Member

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    #6
    very useful question. i dont dont how to answer may of them, that make me want to learn more about SEO. thanks for sharing.
     
    tradeya, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  7. Hyder Ali

    Hyder Ali Peon

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    #7
    Please i got that seo questions but the main problem is to answer them.

    Is there someone who can answer all the question or give some link?

    I want answer man.
     
    Hyder Ali, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  8. abdulmalick

    abdulmalick Active Member

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    #8

    I like to spread this to all SEO people because of useful one. So only i take this. This is not violation. I mention the website source also. :D
     
    abdulmalick, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  9. tattoos

    tattoos Notable Member Premium Member

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    #9
    :eek: I didn't understand most of that, I got lost just after the... "PageRank in Google is a"... but it sure sounded good... your hired! :D

    Cheers
    James
     
    tattoos, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  10. Maximizationator

    Maximizationator Peon

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    #10
    19. I have no idea.
    20. No clue.
    21. SEO is search engine optimization. SEM is search engine monopolization, or Google.
    22. Yes, very similar to a beaver or wood chuck.
    23. Yes, but I need the money.
    24. If you have to ask, then yes.
     
    Maximizationator, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  11. shabbirbhimani

    shabbirbhimani Active Member

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    #11
    shabbirbhimani, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  12. Maximizationator

    Maximizationator Peon

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    #12
    Whoa man! Taker easy.
     
    Maximizationator, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  13. abdulmalick

    abdulmalick Active Member

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    #13
    abdulmalick, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  14. Maximizationator

    Maximizationator Peon

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    #14
    I was kidding around. Thanks for the info.

    Aside from semantically close phrases, Google might also utilize syntax-based linguistics. Without necessarily "knowing" the meaning of words, phrases or sentences, a search engine can still classify nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, tenses, plural, and their relationships.

    A simple example would be a search for "green shirt". Google would know that "green" (the adjective) should appear before shirt (the noun). It might also return "green t-shirt" or "green cotton shirt." Interestingly, if you actually search the phrase "green shirt," shopping results appear first. Google has a database of shopping-related nouns.

    If you type in "pretty faces", Google displays images first. It has probably has a database of adjectives that signal visual cues. With "pretty faces", Google knows you're looking for a selection of something visual - Google images provides this. With the singular "pretty face", a branded japanimation series on Wikipedia comes in first with images in 4th.

    Then there might be similar cues to display video content - verbs. Obviously the words "video" or "movie" would help a lot.

    But if you really want to get complicated, they might soon be able to utilize subject-predicate-object relationships, grammatical scoring, spelling scoring (straightforward).

    I'd say that on-page factors are going to make a big comeback.
     
    Maximizationator, Feb 7, 2009 IP
  15. Maryzz

    Maryzz Peon

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    #15
    It's funny I thought I knew a lot more about SEO but if I went for a job with so many questions like that I would probably bomb out pretty quickly.
     
    Maryzz, Feb 7, 2009 IP
  16. makeitrite

    makeitrite Peon

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    #16
    After I view all those questions, I think I give up SEO job!
     
    makeitrite, Feb 7, 2009 IP
  17. dickieknee

    dickieknee Active Member

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    #17
    in reality, being able to answer these questions is not a measure of your ability in SEO, likewise many people know how to write a letter, but it does not mean they can be an author of a top selling novel.

    Your true measure of ability; are the results you have achieved, which websites have you optimised to get onto page one of google, if you are in SEO then you should have a phrase which makes you appear on page 1 of google for your own company


    clearly if you can answer all these questions.... then my questions is why are you applying for this job, you know so much that you should be in business for yourself and we cannot afford some one with so much knowledge...
     
    dickieknee, Feb 7, 2009 IP
  18. InputProductions

    InputProductions Banned

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    #18
    If I elaborated on the answers to all these questions for someone, they would be able to do the SEO on their own! I'd have to charge a few hundred bucks just for the interview.
     
    InputProductions, Feb 8, 2009 IP
  19. madeinEurope

    madeinEurope Peon

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    #19
    Everyone who can answer that correctly, can make better list for his personal use.

    Employer that does not have correct answers will have hard time getting results by this interview.
     
    madeinEurope, Feb 8, 2009 IP
  20. abdulmalick

    abdulmalick Active Member

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    #20
    Thanks for your info dude..!!!
     
    abdulmalick, Feb 8, 2009 IP
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