15+ Technical SEO Interview Questions for Your Next Hires

Technical SEO requires technical and analytical expertise along with a very good understanding of how Google and different search engines like google and yahoo work.
A technical SEO should be accustomed to the preferred CMS methods and know no less than the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
In addition to that, a very good technical SEO ought to know the basic guidelines of SEO and be capable of establish if an internet site breaks these guidelines.
Finally, a technical SEO should be capable of provide attainable fixes to the issues recognized on the web site and be capable of decide whether or not the fixes have been carried out appropriately.
But how will you confirm that your subsequent technical SEO rent has these expertise and data?
In this text, you’ll discover 15 pattern job interview questions that may make it easier to determine whether or not the individual you’re interviewing is the precise candidate for a technical SEO place.
Let’s get began!
1. How Do You Check Whether A URL Is Indexed By Google?
The web site: command is the best strategy to rapidly verify if a given URL is in Google’s index.
Every technical SEO ought to know the location: command and, ideally, a bunch of different Google search operators that enable for filtering and narrowing search outcomes.
In addition, you may additionally ask the candidate how they might verify what number of pages are listed by Google and what probably the most correct approach of doing that’s.
Here your splendid technical SEO rent ought to reveal familiarity with the Google Search Console Coverage report and point out the way it differs from the location: command.
Screenshot from search for [searchenginejournal.com], Google, July 2021
2. How Do You Block A URL From Being Indexed?
With this query, you need to see whether or not your potential technical SEO rent really is aware of the aim of a no-index tag and doesn’t confuse it with blocking a web page in robots.txt.
They ought to know that robots.txt is for controlling and optimizing crawling whereas no-index tags are for maintaining pages out of Google’s index.
In addition, you may additionally ask about the perfect methods to guard a web page from being accessed by everybody, together with curious folks (i.e. defending it with a password along with including a no-index tag).
If the individual says that you need to block such a web page in robots.txt, then it means they nonetheless have loads of SEO homework to do.
3. What Are The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors, In Your Opinion?
Of course, there is no such thing as a definitive reply to this query. But listening to the individual’s perspective on Google rating elements might inform you a large number about their data & expertise.
An excellent technical SEO specialist candidate will:
Back up their solutions with information or – higher – information primarily based on their very own expertise or SEO exams they carried out.
Be prepared to indicate you their very own web sites and discuss concerning the SEO methods they used to develop the websites.
Avoid absolute statements (e.g. this stuff are Google SEO rankings elements with this quantity of weighing for each web site).
Understand the distinction between correlation and causation.
Not be afraid of claiming “it relies upon” or “I don’t know” the place it is smart.
4. What SEO Myths Have You Had Enough Of?
Only an individual with no less than some data and understanding of SEO will be capable of reply that query.
An entire beginner in lots of circumstances will typically current SEO myths as final SEO truths with out providing any of their very own insights and commentary.
If you’re looking for an skilled technical SEO skilled, ask them to elaborate on their favourite SEO myths and the way they cope with them every day.
5. What Is Your Favorite Website Crawler And Why?
Website crawlers are most likely an important instruments for technical SEOs.
You need to guarantee that your future technical SEO makes use of a bunch of various SEO crawlers (each desktop and cloud-based), is aware of tips on how to use them effectively, and is ready to carry out superior SEO analyses with their assist.
Screenshot from Screaming Frog, February 2022
For instance, everybody can plug the area title into the crawler and begin the crawl however solely an skilled technical SEO skilled will know:
How to configure the crawl to verify precisely what they need to analyze (e.g. verify the PSI metrics in bulk for all pages).
How to execute JavaScript to check the rendered HTML with the supply HTML.
How to vary the consumer agent if the crawl doesn’t need to begin.
How to truly interpret the information the crawler presents.
How to prioritize the problems the crawler highlights.
You need your subsequent technical SEO specialist to be accustomed to all or a lot of the hottest crawlers, similar to Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Deepcrawl, JetOctopus, and many others.
6. How Do You Analyze Page Speed And Core Web Vitals?
Your potential technical SEO rent ought to use each the Google PageSpeed Insights device (the Google Lighthouse report) and the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console to investigate the pace and efficiency of the location earlier than drawing any conclusions or giving suggestions.
The level with this query is to verify that the individual:
Really is aware of the distinction between lab information (the information offered by Google Lighthouse) and area information (the information offered by the CrUX report) and is aware of which of them to prioritize (i.e. area information).
Knows when it’s greatest to make use of the GSC Core Web Vitals report (i.e. to verify pages in bulk) and the PSI device (to get an summary of 1 particular web page, normally the homepage).
Screenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022
Ideally, your candidate additionally is aware of different pace and efficiency instruments, similar to GTmetrix or WebPageTest, and is aware of tips on how to use crawlers to investigate the lab efficiency of pages in bulk.
7. What Are Some Quick Technical SEO Wins?
In this query, you need your potential SEO rent to attract on their expertise.
Even although there is no such thing as a greatest reply right here, you need to see that the individual can actually differentiate between low-impact, high-impact, low-effort, and high-effort technical SEO optimizations.
For instance, it all the time makes an enormous distinction in the event you compress photos on the web site and convert them to JPEG or WEBP. Meanwhile, it might not likely assist so much to rebuild your entire web site (and use a ton of sources within the course of) to get it from 92/100 rating to 98/100 in PSI.
Sometimes an enormous technical SEO win might be merely to eliminate that 10 MB picture that hundreds on each web page as a substitute of asking builders to recode the location to save lots of 0.1 s by higher optimizing JavaScript.
8. A Site That’s Been Online 9 Months Is Getting Zero Traffic. Why?
Ask for the attainable causes that come to thoughts.
Sometimes the options to issues in SEO are easy – for instance, the location has no natural site visitors as a result of a no-index tag has not been eliminated or just GA isn’t working appropriately.
Other instances, they require a ton of technical and information evaluation that goes effectively past checking the indexability of pages.
With this query, you need the individual to reveal their skill to look for options, assume critically, and be artistic.
Screenshot from Google Analytics, February 2022
9. How Do You Check If Googlebot May Have Problems Accessing Site Content?
An excellent technical SEO skilled should know one thing about JavaScript rendering and the potential issues that JavaScript-based web sites might face.
Here you need the individual to reveal:
At least primary data of the subject of SEO & JavaScript (i.e. their familiarity with Martin Splitt from Google).
Their data of instruments that enable for evaluating rendered HTML with supply HTML, similar to Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Rendertron, and – clearly – the URL Inspection device in GSC.
10. What Example Errors May An XML Sitemap Have And How Would You Handle Them?
I see folks focus an excessive amount of on XML sitemaps with small web sites (a few a whole lot of URLs or much less) and too little on that for big websites (multi-million-page websites).
When it involves XML sitemaps, you need your subsequent technical SEO rent to indicate that they know:
What XML errors may be labeled as low-impact (e.g. utilizing deprecated parameters) and high-impact (e.g. indicating non-indexable pages).
When you will need to put loads of give attention to the XML sitemap (e.g. with big websites which will have indexability and crawlability points versus small web sites).
How to make use of XML sitemaps to enhance and optimize the crawl finances of the location.
What pages needs to be included within the sitemap and the way totally different CMS methods generate XML sitemaps.
11. How Do You Perform A Technical SEO Audit?
With the assistance of this query, you need to verify if the individual has their very own SEO course of for auditing an internet site.
Do they use a set of various instruments to do this? Or do they depend on a completely automated audit the place the device (not the individual) decides what points the location has and what their priorities are?
At this level, you may additionally:
Ask the individual to indicate you the examples of technical SEO 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 carried out).
12. You Discovered That A Website Has Hundreds Of Duplicate Pages. What Do You Do?
With this query, once more, you need the individual to reveal their vital pondering skills and want to look for options.
There is not any proper reply right here however an skilled technical SEO specialist ought to point out the next of their solutions:
Checking the index standing of those pages to guarantee that these duplicates really create an issue.
Checking the user-declared and Google-selected canonicals for these pages (probably with the brand new URL Inspection Tool API).
Checking the place these pages are within the inner linking construction of the web site.
In addition, you may additionally ask the individual when duplicate content material isn’t a difficulty and tips on how to verify if the location really has this drawback.
If the individual is saying that the location might 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 Favorite Use Of That Tool?
Google Search Console, typically, needs to be the primary SEO device for technical SEOs.
You need your future technical SEO rent to share with you the way they use the device and the way it helps them to realize their SEO objectives.
Screenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022
There is not any single appropriate reply to that query once more however you most likely need them to say the next:
The Coverage report and what its particular buckets are for.
The Page Experience report and its limitations.
The Crawl Stats report and the way it may be used to investigate how Google crawls the web site.
The Security report and the way you should utilize GSC to verify if a web site has been contaminated.
Ways to make use of GSC to investigate inner linking.
14. How Do You Check If The Site Uses Structured Data And Whether It Is Valid?
Structured information could be a specialty itself inside SEO however you continue to need your technical SEO to:
Be accustomed to instruments, similar to Schema Markup Validator and Google Rich Results Test and know the distinction between them,
Know tips on how to use crawlers, similar to Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to investigate structured information in bulk for many pages,
Be accustomed to SEO Chrome extensions like Detailed SEO that enable for rapidly wanting up what sorts of structured information are used on a selected web page.
Here, you may additionally ask the individual concerning the distinction between structured information, wealthy outcomes, and featured snippets.
People typically confuse these.
15. What Are Your Favorite SEO Resources?
This is a completely open query however the extra sources the individual cites, the geekier they’re.
An absolute should is that they’re accustomed to Google Search Central, learn the Google SEO documentation, and watch the SEO workplace hours with John Mueller.
Screenshot from Google Search Central, February 2022
If you rent an SEO geek, you may be certain they may by no means miss any significant SEO information and might be blissful to check and implement new methods.
Bonus: Yes Or No Questions
Open questions are nice for seeing how an individual thinks and the way deep their data really is.
However, sure and no questions may additionally make it easier to verify if an individual updates their data steadily and actually is aware of these things.
Here are a number of sure and no questions on technical SEO 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 Coverage report in GSC all the time point out an error in your web site?
Can you employ Google Search Console to investigate inner 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?
Can you inform Google concerning the new area for your web site another way than by a 301 redirect?
Should you noindex class and tag pages?
Should a non-existent web page all the time return 404?
Does Google all the time use the canonical URL you declared?
Does Google all the time respect the nofollow attribute on hyperlinks?
Final Thoughts On Interviewing Technical SEOs
If your potential technical SEO rent managed to get by all of those questions and gave you passable solutions,  congratulations!
Chances are good that you’ve a fairly sensible and skilled technical SEO desirous to work for you.
On the opposite hand, even when the candidate wasn’t capable of reply your entire questions at the moment however has a willingness to study and real curiosity in SEO, they could nonetheless make a superb technical SEO skilled in a while – in the event you give them an opportunity.
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