It’s the time of the year. The hiring season just started. In the past several months, I was having about 2-3 interviews every week from average digital marketing positions to specific performance marketing roles.
SEO is always an interesting one. Although the interview questions might vary depending upon the role to fill (content, technical, PM, etc.), there is one I always ask my candidates, “why a site may rank for unusual keywords”
I loved this question not only because you don’t usually find it on the top whatever search engine optimization interview question lists, which I hope to give the candidates an impression, over here they would do some “new and fun” SEO with me, but also it can really test the interviewees on the width and depth of their SEO knowledge.
Some might simply point the cause to the relevancy of the on-page content, which there is nothing wrong with it and I am happy to go deeper in conversations with the them on content quality, keyword targeting or even E.A.T; Others might think the unusual keywords come from the site’s backlinks, which there are also many things to discuss, such as Penguin, Link Building, or even Google Bomb.
For references, Google’s John Mueller also shared some info on Reddit to explain why a website might show up for keywords that seem unusual or not related to what the site is about:
As to me, it is an old fashion “that really depends” answer. The reason is not only because there are just way too many possibilities but also I will like to take the chance to introduce the interviewer the SEO world I’ve been living in the past 15 years as well as my 5-step SEO strategy and 15 optimization tactics! What’s your answer?