We have domain.com and want to test a new site template on beta.domain.com.

What is the correct way to run a beta test without affecting SEO of the main domain.com?

In the topic SEO safe way to run beta of new site on seperate domain I found 2 recommendations:

  1. Putting a robots.txt with noindex to our beta.domain.com
  2. Canonicalizing beta.domain.com to domain.com - Why? In any case we already have the noindex flag...

Does it still actual in 2020? Do you have any other recommendations?

By the way, do we need to register beta.domain.com in Google Webmasters Tools?

  • Questions that are "is this still true in <year>" are not allowed. Instead, you are encouraged to offer a bounty to solicit new answers. You don't have any rep yet but getting it is easy. Answering a few questions will get you well on your way. – John Conde Oct 17 '20 at 22:53

No never register beta.domain.com on GSC as this will index the domain.

Sometimes robots ignore robots.txt and indexes sites

I personally put the nonindex in robots.txt and use 'Forcelogin' plugin (for WordPress websites) you can use HTTP auth for non WordPress dev websites.

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