George Stephanis calls himself a code monkey. He is a developer at Speck Products and a Core Contributor at WordPress. We asked him a couple questions about the technical side of A/B testing.
What is actually happening on my site while running an A/B test?
How does A/B testing affect my SEO ranking?
A/B testing itself doesn’t impact SEO, but making your site more relevant/interesting to visitors will improve SEO rank in the long term. Too many people view search engine ranking as being wholly dependent upon what Google sees when it looks at your site directly. The best way to increase your search engine ranking is to aim your content at your visitors — not Google. After all, it’s the inbound links that your visitors post elsewhere that will most positively affect your ranking, and split testing and other data-driven and data-informed design methods are aimed directly at making sure you have the most positive impact on your visitors.
What happens if the testing platform crashes?
Do you need to know how to code to do A/B testing?
Performing split or A/B testing may require some knowledge of code depending on the method that you’re using. Optimizely, as an example, doesn’t require an advanced knowledge of web development methods — but if you do know what you’re doing, you can certainly leverage that for better results. Some other server-side methods may require you to know CSS, HTML, PHP, ASP.net, or others.