seo-ratingSEO is funny, there really isn’t a lot of certainty around anything. So when it comes to speaking in general about something as broad as SEO it’s hard to gauge how one person’s language relates to your own. In the simplest sense, there isn’t a lot of hard reference points for the SEO community to make judgement against. A terrific example is something as simple as rating your SEO experience or knowledge on a scale of 1-10. This is  a common question we ask in interviews, and the answers are often very telling about the individual when you take the time to read between the lines.

What would you rate your SEO knowledge on a scale from 1-10?

This seemingly simple question regularly has wildly off-base answers given. So, we thought it was time someone created a foundation for rating oneself in SEO knowledge that everyone can reference. We thought this guideline should be immediately identifiable and easy to understand from the most inexperienced SEO novice to the 10 year veteran with measured success on hundreds of websites.


  • You know that Title Tags and H1 tags are important.
  • You know how to identify Paid and Organic search results
  • You’ve frequented SEO blogs like or for at least a few months or read books focusing on online marketing and SEO


  • You know what PR is, and don’t get confused about PageRank being named after Larry Page
  • You understand Robots.txt, Meta Robots, Canonical tags and Nofollow tags
  • You can clearly describe and provide relatively accurate timelines for Panda and Penguin algorithms


  • You know which of the following are crawlable by Google and to what degree: Javascript, PHP, HTML5, AJAX
  • You’re familiar with Schema and html markup beyond Google Authorship
  • You are confident in multiple link building strategies
  • You’ve attended 1 or more conferences, or have invested significant time reading and interacting with SEO communities and/or books


  • You can identify sites with a high degree of confidence that have link spam without looking at their blacklink profiles
  • You’ve developed your own SEO philosophies from first hand experience or research on important topics like social influence on rankings and anchor text optimization
  • You’re confident with parameter handling and managing crawler behaviour
  • You can identify sites that were hit by Panda or Penguin within a few minutes of a site review


  • You don’t need a rating system to identify you as a 10, everyone knows you’re a 10