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I am using Google Optimize. I open my variant in Visual Editor. However, it seems the editor can only change visible elements in the page. How can change the title and Meta Desc tags?

I asked this question on Google Optimize community https://support.google.com/optimize/thread/147098624/how-to-change-the-title-meta-desc-tags-in-visual-editor?hl=en but no one answers.

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  • Why do you want to use Google Optimize to change these? Because the meta description isn't visible to users, changing it isn't going to have any effect in your A/B test. The page title is barely visible to users and changing it isn't likely to have much effect. I'm a bit worried that you are trying to A/B test SEO. Using Google Optimize for SEO tests just isn't possible. Jan 25 at 9:38
  • @StephenOstermiller, Yes, I want to perform A/B test on SEO, since Title & Meta Desc will appear in SERP. I want to perform split test to see the performance of different variants of Title & Desc
    – alancc
    Jan 26 at 8:34
  • Actually, I use Optimize to change things without having to go through the whole dev/preprod/prod phases. Optimize has A/B testing AND personnalisation. I'd like to change the title to check its impact on transient content. This could be done using tag manager but our website is undergoing heavy updates so I cannot ask the dev team to implement a tag manager for now. So indeed, I'm interested in using optimize. Mar 1 at 15:43

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You can't use Google Optimize (or any other on-page based A/B testing frameworks) to do A/B testing for SEO. A/B testing for SEO has to be done in a fundamentally different way.

A/B testing for users

For users, you can change a page such that some users get one version and other users get the other version. Then you can compare which group of users did better against some metric for increased engagement.

A/B testing for SEO

For SEO, putting two variations on a page doesn't work. Googlebot may only download the page every couple weeks. It will only see one variation at a time. It will index just a single version and show snippets from that single version to all users in the search engine.

If you have a large number of similar pages, you can instead change titles on half your pages while leaving the other half of pages alone. Then you can measure which set of pages does better against an SEO metric such as:

  • Googlebot crawl rate
  • Click through rate (CTR) as reported in Google Search Console
  • Search engine rankings
  • Search engine referrals

If you don't have a large number of pages, you will need to try your changes in turn. This can lead to long testing cycles because for each variation, you usually need to wait about 2 weeks for Google to pick up the changes and then several more weeks to gather data.

Google Optimize and other A/B testing frameworks are designed only for A/B tests on users. They don't support the types of changes needed to measure SEO. When I've done A/B testing for SEO, I've always coded the changes into my site on the backend.

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