we'll run a domain-wide A/B test comparing our old design with our new responsive design. Though the content itself remains almost unchanged, the code structure and especially the design differ much.
For the A/B test implementation we use VWO. Half of the users get the new design displayed, half the old one - by random. With the first site load the user gets a cookie which fixes him to one group.
There's no difference between the URLs of the old design and the new one. Furthermore, it's not possible to change that due to technical reasons and the time table.
For SEO, that means the googlebot will get the old and the new design randomly. And without accepting any cookies, the bot will delivered one of the types randomly EACH time it fetches a site. Will that harm our rankings? Is there a possibility to keep the bot out of one design type without cloaking?
The test will run about four weeks and after that the responsive design will be standard and delivered to 100% of the visitors.
Thanks a lot!