One of the questions we get often get is: will my SEO rankings be affected by split testing. In short No… but it is always nice to hear this from Matt Cutts at Google. In a HackerNews thread about a website being treated as hacked by Google thought the A/B testing tool had triggered this.
A/B testing can be really helpful. A classic blog post from 2009: goo.gl/r45Xj Lesson: buttons get clicked more.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) April 15, 2012
Also in the HackerNews thread Matt said the following things about A/B testing:
- I’ve been quite clear that there’s nothing wrong with A/B testing. In fact, less than a month ago I tweeted that “A/B testing can be really helpful” and included a link to best practices: https://twitter.com/#!/mattcutts/statuses/191658511149711360
- Split testing is a perfectly fine form of testing and doesn’t have anything to do with the “this site was compromised” warning. That’s the high-order bit. If you want low-level/detailed info, we discuss this topic on our support page at
http://support.google.com/websiteoptimizer/bin/answer.py?hl=… . Hope that helps.
- The state of A/B testing has evolved quite a bit in the last six years though. If I were making a fresh video, I’d say: A/B testing is a perfectly fine thing to do. You can do A/B testing via either server-side or client-side technology. In both cases, don’t do anything special or different for Googlebot. Treat Googlebot just like any other user and don’t hard-code our user-agent or IP address.