There's a couple questions I typically ask to gauge an SEO's depth of knowledge and experience. However, I'm thinking about dropping them as I rarely get the answers I'm looking for. I mean, they're not relevant at all to today's search environment, so why ask them?? I don't hold it against anyone if they don't know the answers. They're subjective questions anyways. This new generation of SEO folks doesn't seem to have an appreciation for history (kind of like the early twenty-something bartender I was chatting with a while back who had never heard of Poison, Motley Crue, or even Guns 'n Roses)
1.) Pre-Everflux-- Google used to go through monthly update cycles (~ every 36 days) where they would typically do a deep crawl of a website and then update their datacenters (over the course of 4-6 days). SERPs would change shortly afterward. In a nutshell, sites would typically keep the same rankings for various keywords for a whole month. Not much movement in between. What was this monthly activity called?
Answer: Google Dance, See: The Google Dance Finally Explained; How many of you have a Google Dance Tool bookmarked in your browser?
1b.) How did the folks at WebmasterWorld name these monthly cycles?
Answer: they named them similar to how the weather people named hurricanes, they went down the alphabet, assigning names as the updates occurred.
2.) If you had to pick a defining moment in search engine history, when SERP rankings were turned upside down for many weeks and there were obvious big changes going on with the algorithm, what would that moment be?
Answer I'm seeking: The Florida Update of November 2003 (yeah, if you were a consultant at this time, it was a rough holiday season that lasted through the winter before things started settling down; see: Google's "Florida" Update, What Really Happened; Also see: Florida Update, Unprecidented nervousness, rage