Google guidelines on seo and A/B or multivariate testing

Posted on Posted in Google Indexing, SEO Tips
Recently Google posted some guidelines on some seo and A/B or multivariate testing and how to follow guideline to stay clear from any search ranking issues and how to avoiding penalties and such as A/B or multivariate testing—affects a site’s performance in search results. 

<b>Website testing :</b> is the process where you try to test different website versions or any section of website, and collect user behaviour on both website version. For this You use an web analytic software to track each visitors click and behaviour..

<b>A/B testing :</b> is the process where you run a test case on a multiple versions of a webpages, each webpage have own URL. When any visitors comes on website want to visit the original URL, then we will redirect some of them to each of the variation URLs and then compare users’ behaviour to see which page is most effective

Multivariate testing is when you use software to change differents parts of your website on the fly. You can test changes to multiple parts of a page—say, the heading, a photo, and the ‘Add to Cart’ button—and the software will show variations of each of these sections to users in different combinations and then statistically analyze which variations are the most effective. Only one URL is involved; the variations are inserted dynamically on the page.

No Cloaking

Google says you shouldn’t cloak, show its crawlers something that humans wouldn’t see. From its post:

    Make sure that you’re not deciding whether to serve the test, or which content variant to serve, based on user-agent. An example of this would be always serving the original content when you see the user-agent “Googlebot.” Remember that infringing our Guidelines can get your site demoted or removed from Google search results—probably not the desired outcome of your test.

Use rel=“canonical”
Google says publishers should make use of the rel=canonical method to ensure that any alternative pages reference what should be the main one:

    We recommend using rel=“canonical” rather than a noindex meta tag because it more closely matches your intent in this situation. Let’s say you were testing variations of your homepage; you don’t want search engines to not index your homepage, you just want them to understand that all the test URLs are close duplicates or variations on the original URL and should be grouped as such, with the original URL as the canonical. Using noindex rather than rel=“canonical” in such a situation can sometimes have unexpected effects.

Use 302s, Not 301s

Google recommends using the temporary direction method, a 302, over the permanent 301 redirect:

    This tells search engines that this redirect is temporary—it will only be in place as long as you’re running the experiment—and that they should keep the original URL in their index rather than replacing it with the target of the redirect (the test page). JavaScript-based redirects are also fine.

Don’t Run Experiments Longer Than Necessary

If you’ve been running an experiment longer than Google expects one should run, it warns that you could face penalty. How long is too long isn’t said. Google just says:

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