How do feature flags impact SEO, particularly when running experiments?
It's likely there will be some SEO impact based on what content is visible to Google when the page is crawled. Though it's likely to be minimal unless running a long term test in which, for example, two VASTLY different pages are served and Google (or any other search engine) crawls both versions several times. In that instance, the ranking would likely be impacted. You shouldn't expect to see an overall site authority impact unless you are doing something very out of the box.
What about cloaking?
Cloaking is concerned with serving different content to search engines vs. real users. There is nothing that setting a feature flag does to explicitly differentiate. You COULD do that by getting the user agent of the bot from the search engine and using that as a targeting rule, sending the bot to a specific treatment that is different than real users. But you would have to purposefully do that.
Experimentation and SEO
Google and Microsoft have both repeatedly advocated for the use of A/B testing on websites and said that it should not pose a risk to page rank. If you want to provide a consistent experience for crawlers, you can provide a consistent key to the crawler that can be used during randomization as long as you're not explicitly targeting the user agent to serve content as noted above.
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