15+ Technical search engine marketing Interview Questions for Your Subsequent Hires


Technical search engine marketing requires technical and analytical abilities along with a superb understanding of how Google and different engines like google work.

A technical search engine marketing have to be conversant in the hottest CMS techniques and know not less than the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Along with that, a superb technical search engine marketing ought to know the elemental guidelines of search engine marketing and be capable to determine if a web site breaks these guidelines.

Lastly, a technical search engine marketing should be capable to supply attainable fixes to the issues recognized on the web site and be capable to decide whether or not the fixes have been applied accurately.

However how will you confirm that your subsequent technical search engine marketing rent has these abilities and data?

On this article, you’ll discover 15 pattern job interview questions that can show you how to determine whether or not the particular person you might be interviewing is the suitable candidate for a technical search engine marketing place.

Let’s get began!

1. How Do You Test Whether or not A URL Is Listed By Google?

The location: command is the only method to shortly examine if a given URL is in Google’s index.

Each technical search engine marketing ought to know the positioning: command and, ideally, a bunch of different Google search operators that permit for filtering and narrowing search outcomes.

As well as, you might also ask the candidate how they might examine what number of pages are listed by Google and what essentially the most correct method of doing that’s.

Right here your perfect technical search engine marketing rent ought to reveal familiarity with the Google Search Console Protection report and point out the way it differs from the positioning: command.

The site: commandScreenshot from seek for [searchenginejournal.com], Google, July 2021

2. How Do You Block A URL From Being Listed?

With this query, you wish to see whether or not your potential technical search engine marketing rent truly is aware of the aim of a no-index tag and doesn’t confuse it with blocking a web page in robots.txt.

They need to know that robots.txt is for controlling and optimizing crawling whereas no-index tags are for retaining pages out of Google’s index.

As well as, you might also ask about the very best methods to guard a web page from being accessed by everybody, together with curious individuals (i.e. defending it with a password along with including a no-index tag).

If the particular person says that you must block such a web page in robots.txt, then it means they nonetheless have plenty of search engine marketing homework to do.

3. What Are The Most Necessary search engine marketing Rating Elements, In Your Opinion?

After all, there isn’t any definitive reply to this query. However listening to the particular person’s perspective on Google rating elements could inform you a large number about their data & expertise.

A superb technical search engine marketing specialist candidate will:

  • Again up their solutions with information or – higher – information primarily based on their very own expertise or search engine marketing exams they carried out.
  • Be keen to point out you their very own web sites and discuss concerning the search engine marketing methods they used to develop the websites.
  • Keep away from absolute statements (e.g. these items are Google search engine marketing rankings elements with this quantity of weighing for each web site).
  • Perceive the distinction between correlation and causation.
  • Not be afraid of claiming “it relies upon” or “I don’t know” the place it is sensible.

4. What search engine marketing Myths Have You Had Sufficient Of?

Solely an individual with not less than some data and understanding of search engine marketing will be capable to reply that query.

A whole beginner in lots of circumstances will usually current search engine marketing myths as final search engine marketing truths with out providing any of their very own insights and commentary.

In case you are searching for an skilled technical search engine marketing skilled, ask them to elaborate on their favourite search engine marketing myths and the way they cope with them each day.

5. What Is Your Favourite Web site Crawler And Why?

Web site crawlers are most likely an important instruments for technical SEOs.

You wish to guarantee that your future technical search engine marketing makes use of a bunch of various search engine marketing crawlers (each desktop and cloud-based), is aware of learn how to use them effectively, and is ready to carry out superior search engine marketing analyses with their assist.

Screaming Frog SEO SpiderScreenshot from Screaming Frog, February 2022

For instance, everybody can plug the area identify into the crawler and begin the crawl however solely an skilled technical search engine marketing skilled will know:

  • configure the crawl to examine precisely what they wish to analyze (e.g. examine the PSI metrics in bulk for all pages).
  • execute JavaScript to check the rendered HTML with the supply HTML.
  • change the person agent if the crawl doesn’t wish to begin.
  • truly interpret the info the crawler presents.
  • prioritize the problems the crawler highlights.

You need your subsequent technical search engine marketing specialist to be conversant in all or many of the hottest crawlers, reminiscent of Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Deepcrawl, JetOctopus, and so forth.

6. How Do You Analyze Web page Pace And Core Net Vitals?

Your potential technical search engine marketing rent ought to use each the Google PageSpeed Insights software (the Google Lighthouse report) and the Core Net Vitals report in Google Search Console to research the pace and efficiency of the positioning earlier than drawing any conclusions or giving suggestions.

The purpose with this query is to examine that the particular person:

  • Actually is aware of the distinction between lab information (the info offered by Google Lighthouse) and subject information (the info offered by the CrUX report) and is aware of which of them to prioritize (i.e. subject information).
  • Is aware of when it’s finest to make use of the GSC Core Net Vitals report (i.e. to examine pages in bulk) and the PSI software (to get an summary of 1 particular web page, often the homepage).
mobile performance reportScreenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

Ideally, your candidate additionally is aware of different pace and efficiency instruments, reminiscent of GTmetrix or WebPageTest, and is aware of learn how to use crawlers to research the lab efficiency of pages in bulk.

7. What Are Some Fast Technical search engine marketing Wins?

On this query, you need your potential search engine marketing rent to attract on their expertise.

Despite the fact that there isn’t any finest reply right here, you wish to see that the particular person can actually differentiate between low-impact, high-impact, low-effort, and high-effort technical search engine marketing optimizations.

For instance, it at all times makes an enormous distinction should you compress photos on the web site and convert them to JPEG or WEBP. In the meantime, it could probably not assist rather a lot to rebuild the complete web site (and use a ton of assets within the course of) to get it from 92/100 rating to 98/100 in PSI.

Generally an enormous technical search engine marketing win shall be merely to eliminate that 10 MB picture that masses on each web page as an alternative of asking builders to recode the positioning to avoid wasting 0.1 s by higher optimizing JavaScript.

8. A Web site That’s Been On-line 9 Months Is Getting Zero Visitors. Why?

Ask for the attainable causes that come to thoughts.

Generally the options to issues in search engine marketing are easy – for instance, the positioning has no natural site visitors as a result of a no-index tag has not been eliminated or just GA will not be working accurately.

Different occasions, they require a ton of technical and information evaluation that goes effectively past checking the indexability of pages.

With this query, you need the particular person to reveal their skill to search for options, assume critically, and be inventive.

Performance ReportScreenshot from Google Analytics, February 2022

9. How Do You Test If Googlebot Might Have Issues Accessing Web site Content material?

A superb technical search engine marketing skilled should know one thing about JavaScript rendering and the potential issues that JavaScript-based web sites could face.

Right here you need the particular person to reveal:

  • At the very least primary data of the subject of search engine marketing & JavaScript (i.e. their familiarity with Martin Splitt from Google).
  • Their data of instruments that permit for evaluating rendered HTML with supply HTML, reminiscent of Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Rendertron, and – clearly – the URL Inspection software in GSC.

10. What Instance Errors Might An XML Sitemap Have And How Would You Deal with Them?

I see individuals focus an excessive amount of on XML sitemaps with small web sites (a few lots of of URLs or much less) and too little on that for enormous websites (multi-million-page websites).

In relation to XML sitemaps, you need your subsequent technical search engine marketing rent to point out that they know:

  • What XML errors might be categorized as low-impact (e.g. utilizing deprecated parameters) and high-impact (e.g. indicating non-indexable pages).
  • When you will need to put plenty of concentrate on the XML sitemap (e.g. with enormous websites which will have indexability and crawlability points versus small web sites).
  • use XML sitemaps to enhance and optimize the crawl price range of the positioning.
  • What pages ought to be included within the sitemap and the way totally different CMS techniques generate XML sitemaps.

11. How Do You Carry out A Technical search engine marketing Audit?

With the assistance of this query, you wish to examine if the particular person has their very own search engine marketing course of for auditing a web site.

Do they use a set of various instruments to do this? Or do they depend on a totally automated audit the place the software (not the particular person) decides what points the positioning has and what their priorities are?

At this level, you might also:

  • Ask the particular person to point out you the examples of technical search engine marketing audits they’ve carried out.
  • Get them to elucidate how they approached explicit points.
  • And have them discuss concerning the outcomes their suggestions introduced (if they’ve been applied).

12. You Found That A Web site Has A whole bunch Of Duplicate Pages. What Do You Do?

With this query, once more, you need the particular person to reveal their important considering skills and need to search for options.

There isn’t a proper reply right here however an skilled technical search engine marketing specialist ought to point out the next of their solutions:

  • Checking the index standing of those pages to guarantee that these duplicates truly create an issue.
  • Checking the user-declared and Google-selected canonicals for these pages (presumably with the brand new URL Inspection Software API).
  • Checking the place these pages are within the inside linking construction of the web site.

As well as, you might also ask the particular person when duplicate content material will not be a difficulty and learn how to examine if the positioning truly has this drawback.

If the particular person is saying that the positioning could get penalized for duplicate content material, it means they’ve some catching as much as do.

13. What Do You Use Google Search Console For? What’s Your Favourite Use Of That Software?

Google Search Console, normally, ought to be the primary search engine marketing software for technical SEOs.

You need your future technical search engine marketing rent to share with you the way they use the software and the way it helps them to realize their search engine marketing targets.

Google Search Console coverage reportScreenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

There isn’t a single right reply to that query once more however you most likely need them to say the next:

  • The Protection report and what its particular buckets are for.
  • The Web page Expertise report and its limitations.
  • The Crawl Stats report and the way it may be used to research how Google crawls the web site.
  • The Safety report and the way you need to use GSC to examine if a web site has been contaminated.
  • Methods to make use of GSC to research inside linking.

14. How Do You Test If The Web site Makes use of Structured Knowledge And Whether or not It Is Legitimate?

Structured information could be a specialty itself inside search engine marketing however you continue to need your technical search engine marketing to:

  • Be conversant in instruments, reminiscent of Schema Markup Validator and Google Wealthy Outcomes Check and know the distinction between them,
  • Know learn how to use crawlers, reminiscent of Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to research structured information in bulk for a lot of pages,
  • Be conversant in search engine marketing Chrome extensions like Detailed search engine marketing that permit for shortly wanting up what forms of structured information are used on a selected web page.

Right here, you might also ask the particular person concerning the distinction between structured information, wealthy outcomes, and featured snippets.

Folks usually confuse these.

15. What Are Your Favourite search engine marketing Assets?

This can be a completely open query however the extra assets the particular person cites, the geekier they’re.

An absolute should is that they’re conversant in Google Search Central, learn the Google search engine marketing documentation, and watch the search engine marketing workplace hours with John Mueller.

Google Search CentralScreenshot from Google Search Central, February 2022

For those who rent an search engine marketing geek, you might be certain they’ll by no means miss any significant search engine marketing information and shall be pleased to check and implement new methods.

Bonus: Sure Or No Questions

Open questions are nice for seeing how an individual thinks and the way deep their data truly is.

Nevertheless, sure and no questions can also show you how to examine if an individual updates their data continuously and actually is aware of these items.

Listed below are just a few sure and no questions on technical search engine marketing to ask your potential rent.

Ask them to justify their solutions to get much more perception:

  • Is structured information a Google rating issue?
  • Do errors within the Protection report in GSC at all times point out an error in your web site?
  • Can you employ Google Search Console to research inside hyperlinks on the web site?
  • Can Google penalize you for duplicate content material?
  • Is it attainable for Google to deal with a 302 redirect as 301?
  • Are you able to inform Google concerning the new area to your web site differently than via a 301 redirect?
  • Do you have to noindex class and tag pages?
  • Ought to a non-existent web page at all times return 404?
  • Does Google at all times use the canonical URL you declared?
  • Does Google at all times respect the nofollow attribute on hyperlinks?

Last Ideas On Interviewing Technical SEOs

In case your potential technical search engine marketing rent managed to get via all of those questions and gave you passable solutions,  congratulations!

Likelihood is good that you’ve got a fairly good and skilled technical search engine marketing desirous to be just right for you.

Then again, even when the candidate wasn’t in a position to reply your entire questions at the moment however has a willingness to be taught and real curiosity in search engine marketing, they might nonetheless make a superb technical search engine marketing skilled in a while – should you give them an opportunity.

Extra assets: 

Featured Picture: fizkes/Shutterstock


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