We have a fairly large site which does a cookie-based 302 redirect to the the specific city page if someone types in the Home page URL. Though if the cookie is not available (first time user) it goes to the Homepage and asks user to select the city as our services are city based. Everything is working fine with this setup.
Though our tech team now wants to display the contents of city page on homepage URL itself if the cookie is available without 302 redirecting to new URL. Though no cookie scenario remains unchanged. Please confirm possible issues in rankings with this change as based upon city present in the cookie homepage will display different content.
with changes like this, often the "devil is in the details". On the surface of it, showing googlebot exactly what you show any first time visitor should not cause problems. And making a content addition for later visits based only on cookies should not cause ranking problems, either.
Thanks Tedster. This is what I also believe but want to make sure if the approach does not have any other major implications on ranking. Though I agree that this needs to be tested thoroughly before going live to avoid any loopholes.
BTW, the current setup with 302 is working fine and the only reason for making the change is to reduce the load time by around 200-300 milliseconds.