Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

I have seen a few of these at other sites, but Aaron at TheMadHat.com has put together another nice list of questions for SEO professionals. If you are hiring as SEO pro, this may help you and if you are looking for a job, you should at least quiz yourself to see what you know.
Comments14 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from g1smd 2509 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Some of those questions have no bearing on whether someone will be any good at the job.Others seem just a little odd. I mean, someone who you hire to write the back-end processing and validation for a shopping cart will have no need of knowing anything about PageRank for example.There are whole areas of important SEO knowledge, that people might have, that you asked nothing about, too.

Avatar
from oldschool 2508 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I hear what you are saying.  In reality, anyone can be a great interviewer and answer the right questions, and then come on board and do a lousy job.  I just though it was a good quick list to be aware of, and mainly from the standpoint of someone looking for a job.  I have my own list of questions that I have used and trust me, I have wanted to just say "ahh... thanks for your time" after a few answers.  Here is one I love to ask when interviewing employees that will handle SEO tasks - "what is the most important component of a Search Marketing campaogn?"Two of my favorite (disqualifying) answers were "page rank.. definately" and "meta tags".

Avatar
from emanuelh 2508 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The best SEO worker knows only a tiny fraction, not more than a few percent, of what he would like to know about the details of Google’s ranking algorithm. And he knows nothing about the actual relevance score of each page in the SERPs, including those he optimizes for clients or for experiments. The worst SEO worker thinks that there’s only little more beyond what he knows. By testing knowledge you’ll never hire the person who can cope with the increasing unknown and penetrate into it a little bit.

Avatar
from TimDineen 2507 Days ago #
Votes: -1

One problem worth pointing out is that any of the people who can answers all of the great SEO interview questions... those people simply aren’t available for hire.

Avatar
from emanuelh 2507 Days ago #
Votes: 0

TimDineen, what is "a great SEO interview question"?

Avatar
from TimDineen 2507 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@emanuelh - SEO job interview question: "What do you do for fun in your spare time?"If the answer is "read Sphinn" or something similar I’ll take that over experience and get started with some training activities...

Avatar
from TimDineen 2507 Days ago #
Votes: 0

FYI: I don’t disagree with the techniques here.  It’s just hard to qualify any candidates in the SEO field these days.

Avatar
from emanuelh 2507 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Why is it hard to qualify any candidates in the SEO field these days?

Avatar
from Halfdeck 2507 Days ago #
Votes: 1

If I actually had to answer those questions, I’d end up writing a book :)Why are you hiring an SEO? is a good question to ask yourself before you ask any of those questions.Are you looking for a consultant? Are you looking for someone who will negotiate link deals? Are you looking for someone with power user accounts on Digg, Stumbleupon, or Reddit? Are you looking for an editor that goes over your copywriter’s work? Are you looking for someone who is good at building link bait tools, or someone who can consistently attract attention with compelling blog posts? Are you looking for someone to analyze internal link structures and troubleshoot site issues (e.g. 301 implementation, duplicate content, etc)? Or are you looking for someone who is going to drive up sales with PPC?What are you looking for?Not a single person in the SEO industry I believe can do all those things all at the same time. Consulting, for example, is all well and good but its worthless if you have no one to implement anything in a timely manner.In other words, before you start playing the 20 questions game, ask yourself what exactly that you want. Then you can throw out most of the questions that don’t apply (like the difference between toolbar PR and PageRank - a social media marketer doesn’t need to know stuff like that).

Avatar
from oldschool 2506 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ Jill - I know that is another school of thought - to hire fresh and train people yourself (I believe SEOMoz does that).  The down side of course is that you can train someone to either work for or become your competition. @ Halfdeck - that is a good question to ask "why are you looking for an SEO?".  I sad thing that I have seen with non SEO folks hiring SEO folks is that their "why" is that "they want more traffic" but they don’t really know enough to manage that person or know whether or not they are doing a good job.  In one instance, I was personally asked by an employer "how come we’re not #1?" after doing a few weeks worth of work.  That was very revealing.@ TimDineen - RE: "those people simply aren’t available for hire." - I am not so sure about that. I think that many SEO’s that are not in management level positions, especially if they don’t feel their is an opportunity to move up in their current position, would make themselves available for the right opportunity that presented itself.

Avatar
from leadegroot 2506 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The comments on the article are the oddest that I have seen in a long time!:shakes head:

Avatar
from TheMadHat 2505 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I was wondering why I started getting a bunch of comments on a post I wrote over a year ago. Thanks for the Sphinn oldschool.The point of that post was to simply gather a list of questions. Doesn’t mean all of them are relevant or that all of them need to be asked, and there are certainly more things you need to ask.@g1smd - what does hiring someone to code the back end of a shopping cart have to do with SEO?@Jill - agreed on the training angle...that’s likely what I’ll be doing from now on unless it’s something I won’t be very hands on with.@Halfdeck - This was the end of 2006...and I was looking for someone with a high level picture of everything SEO related at the time. Of course if you’re hiring for a specialized position a lot of those questions won’t apply, so you would ask them.This wasn’t really a end all interview question post...it was an idea gathering post.

Avatar
from oldschool 2505 Days ago #
Votes: 0

You’re welcome MadHat - it continues to make its way around the web.  I found it from another post that I was reading, but I can’t recall which it was.

Avatar
from jagadeeshmp 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great but need to be revised to current trend, give a link from the current post and talk about new one’s :)

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: