On Monday SEOmoz released an seo quiz that’s been taking a little heat ever since. The criticism is fair, but it’s still a fun quiz to take and the criticism does miss the point somewhat on why the quiz exists in the first place.
The quiz is
I don’t think it’s meant to be the authority on how much you really know about seo. No 75 question multiple choice test is going to honestly assess your seo skills. Is it important that you know who Danny Sullivan is? Not really. If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes with seo you should know who he is and chances are he’s taught you something in those 5 minutes, but does knowing who Danny is make you a better SEO? Of course not.
The quiz is entertaining, though and it’s already generating some links, which are it’s two main goals. To a lesser degree you might find it educational depending on where you are on the seo learning curve. If you’re new to seo you probably will learn a few things. At the very least you’ll learn about a few issues that an seo thinks about that you might not have realized were important.
If you’ve been a practicing seo for awhile you probably won’t learn much new, but you might find a couple of interesting topics for discussion. Contrary to Rand’s warning the quiz isn’t all that difficult if you’ve spent any time in the industry. The most difficult questions are on par with the 10 seo questions Rand asked about a month ago.
You can see from the badge at the top of this post that I did quite well. However the badge is the result of my second time through the quiz. I scored 83% the first time through, though I disagreed with about half the answers to the questions I got wrong. Today I got one answer wrong and only because Rand changed the answer from yesterday based on some of the criticism.
My guess is the questions are easy enough to appeal to the ego of people like me so we’ll display the badge along with the associated link back to SEOmoz. It worked. What can I say? I wasn’t going to display a badge saying I’d failed the quiz after all.
Vanessa Fox is right when she says your score has more to do with how your seo philosophy is aligned with the philosophy of SEOmoz than it is with your skill in optimizing a website. As a reader of SEOmoz I knew what the right answer to some of the questions would be even though I might not have agreed with it. Remembering Rand’s post on the subject certainly helps boost your score a little.
Vanessa is also right when she points out that seo is art as much as it is science and many of these questions have no one right answer. The answer depends on the situation of the site being optimized and context of the question being asked.
Still the quiz is a worthwhile effort. It is entertaining and if you have 15 minutes to a half hour of time to fill go ahead and take it. I’m sure the quiz will generate links and if it teaches you even one thing or gets you thinking about why one answer might be better than another it’s served an educational purpose.
So give yourself a diversion and take the quiz and then come back and share your thoughts about it.