Questions You Must Ask a Prospective SEO Analyst

on Tuesday 30 August 2016
Are you in the dilemma whether to hire an in-house SEO analyst or hire a consulting agency? If you’re looking to hire an in-house SEO analyst, I want to help you to find the right one. That’s because our most successful SEO consulting happens when there’s a competent SEO manager working in-house. Choosing a right in-house SEO person is a daunting task since SEO person should be a good communicator as the right in-house SEO person communicates well with both the CMO and the consultant. He or she follows through on our recommendations and fulfills the plans we’ve jointly made. And a good in-house SEO analyst or manager makes the client-consultant relationship a real partnership - so the client wins.

I am sharing a list of 30 questions that you would pose to the aspiring SEO analyst for your firm. Find the right analyst by asking questions that will allow candidates to not only talk about their SEO experience but also reveal their digital marketing knowledge and strategy.

30 SEO Interview Questions

  1. What makes a website search engine-friendly?
  2. How do you define success when it comes to SEO?
  3. How do you stay updated on industry news and algorithm changes?
  4. What programming languages do you have experience with?
  5. Regarding your previous SEO job, what did an average day look like?
  6. How do you adapt to the needs of different clients?
  7. How often do you communicate with clients?
  8. How did you learn SEO?
  9. How do you approach keyword research?
  10. What is the relationship between SEO, SEM and social media marketing?
  11. What SEO tools do you regularly use?
  12. How do you stay organized when working on an SEO project?
  13. Who are Gary Illyes and John Mueller?
  14. What is your favorite website and why?
  15. What is your opinion on proper link building?
  16. How have you dealt with link penalties?
  17. What’s the ideal speed for a site to load a web page?
  18. What method do you use to redirect a page?
  19. What are your thoughts on accelerated mobile pages (AMP)?
  20. What is your process for helping a local business become more visible in search results?
  21. Are you aware of the latest changes to Google and the latest updates to Panda and Penguin?
  22. How has Hummingbird changed the landscape of search?
  23. What is Google’s preferred method of configuring a mobile site?
  24. What do you know about content building and content marketing?
  25. What has been your experience getting content featured in answer boxes?
  26. How have you utilized structured data to earn featured snippets?
  27. What are the three possible configurations for a mobile site? Which do you prefer and why?
  28. What’s your greatest digital marketing success story?
  29. How do you stay up-to-date on the near-constant search algorithm changes?
  30. What metrics do you use to measure SEO success?

Facebook's media arms race

on Tuesday 23 August 2016

Is the social platform protecting its rights or taking away others' in the new battle on ad blockers?

Image Courtesy : Al Jazeera

Facebook has declared war against ad blockers and says that protecting revenues for media outlets was a key motivating factor.

Recently, millions of Facebook users who have applied ad blocker systems have found their feeds littered with advertisements they had already opted out of seeing. 

Facebook was behind this action, blocking the ad blockers in order for these ads to appear once again on user feeds. 

With $6.4bn in revenue in the first quarter of 2016, it is clear to see why Facebook is invested in this cat-and-mouse game with the ad blockers and the open-source community that supports them.

Facebook released a statement regarding the ad blocker situation, claiming "user experience" and not much else as a reponse to why blockers have been overruled.

However, some might argue that the lack of transparency regarding the platform's social media streams may have been echoed by the ad blockers themselves.

With ad blockers using "white listing", that is a payment by publishers to keep ads unblocked, is this media battle truly a matter of moral fabric or simply a series of business decisions? 

We take a look at what the Facebook vs the ad blocker battle really means for users, publishers and for Facebook's own business model.

Talking us through the story are: Ben Williams, PR manager, Adblock Plus; Justin Schlosberg, lecturer in journalism and media at Birkbeck University; Lara O'Reilly, senior editor at Business Insider; and Raghav Bahl, founder of Quintillion Media.

Source: Al Jazeera

Black Hat SEO Tactics to avoid

on Tuesday 2 August 2016
In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, black hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually does not obey search engines guidelines.

Image Courtesy :

These practices are against the search engine's terms of service and can result in the site being banned from the search engine and affiliate sites. A list of tactics and strategies employed by black hat SEO practitioners have been openly denounced on Google's Webmaster Guidelines and Bing's Webmaster Guidelines.

"Is the work that I'm doing adding value to the user or am I just doing this for search engines to see?" is a litmus test on whether an SEO tactic would go against a search engine's webmaster guideline. If no value is added to the user, but rankings are likely to increase, then your decisions are highly likely to be black hat. The same test can be applied to to paid search practices to determine whether an activity is considered black hat ppc.

Black Hat SEO Tactics

The following SEO tricks are considered as black hat and should not be exercised at all if you want to stay in SERP with Google and other search engines.
  • Content Automation
  • Doorway Pages
  • Hidden Text or Links
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Reporting a Competitor (or Negative SEO)
  • Sneaky Redirects 
  • Cloaking
  • Link Schemes
  • Guest Posting Networks
  • Link Manipulation (including buying links)
  • Article Spinning
  • Link Farms, Link Wheels or Link Networks
  • Rich Snippet Markup Spam
  • Automated Queries to Google
  • Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content
  • Pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing, viruses, trojans, and other malware

Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics

Black Hat SEO tactics can get your website banned from Google and other search engines.                  
Though there may be some short-term success through increased traffic to your site, Google penalties are getting more and more sophisticated and can have devastating effects on your rankings and traffic. With hundreds of millions of users searching on Google per day, can you really afford to be de-indexed?