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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Review: SEO Quiz

SEOMoz has developed an online “SEO Quiz” for those in the industry to test their knowledge against. The quiz is composed of 32 multiple choice questions divided into 4 sections;

  1. On-Page Optimization
  2. Link Building
  3. The SEO Industry
  4. Search Technology

Top scores are posted on a Leader board along with user name info (At this time the top spots are held by Danny Sullivan and Dan Thies, each with a score of 30.).
After a thorough review of the questions I found the quiz to be entertaining and generally sound. The quiz does however have 3 main flaws that are apparent to me:

  • Confirmed answers simply are not available for some of the questions. For example, one question presents a hypothetical keyword and asks you to choose between 4 sample title tags, selecting the one that “will be most effective in ranking well for the term “Blue Widgets” at the major search engines?” To be fair it is certainly possible to assume that all other factors for each web page are perfectly equal, thereby giving you a better position from which to select an answer. However the question itself assumes a very linear ranking algorithm is in use by “major search engines” which is probably not the case. Lastly, most major search engines employ unique ranking algorithms and are therefore unlikely to value the same page elements in the same fashion. I would offer: “Which of the following title tags has the best topical strength for the keyword…” As a more appropriate question.

 

  • Some of the answer information furnished is overly simplistic. For example one question asks “What does PageRank technically measure?”. According to the quiz the correct answer is “The relative strength of the links pointing to a particular page”. Offering the following explanation “PageRank technically measures the global link popularity of a particular page as determined by the relative strength of its incoming links (from both internal and external sites). Although some believe that this takes into account the number of links to a given page, this is incorrect. A page with only 1 link could easily have a higher PageRank score than a page that is linked to by thousands of other pages.” While the last statement is true, it is not correct to state that the number of incoming links is not taken into account. From the paper PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web Larry Page offers the following: “…we give the following intuitive description of PageRank: a page has high rank if the sum of the ranks of its back links is high. This covers both the case when a page has many backlinks and when a page has a few highly ranked back links” This clearly contradicts the quiz information stating: “Although some believe that this takes into account the number of links to a given page, this is incorrect”.

 

  • The SEO Industry section is primarily focused on the life and times of various industry personalities.While it seems logical that questions in this section may touch on trends, growth, etc. Instead you are presented with questions like
    “What was Ian McAnerin’s (McAnerin of SEW, HighRankings & Others) previous occupation?”.

I want to make it clear that I am not trying to be overly critical of the SEO Quiz. All in all it is an interesting exam with excellent breadth and scope. Definately worth taking the time to check it out.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

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