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I want to share the unreviewed version of my future website with a few people on an URL like this:
example.com/hidden-unreviewed-version

I would apply noindex on it and all its subpages to hide them from search engines. Later, the final version would be moved to the root of the same domain without noindex. Until then, the hidden subpages would be the only worthwhile content on the domain.

Will the noindex contaminate the whole domain for a long time, or do search engines consider the whole url of the page to be ignored? The former hardly seems logical, but I want to be sure to avoid the risk.

(P.S. I found a related answer, but that is about Google's URL removal tool, and not explicitly noindex, so my doubts were not dissipated.)

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  • When you say "subpage" are you referring to a deeper URL that starts with that URL, or are you referring to pages that included into that page (say with iframes)? Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 14:44
  • The former. A deeper URL that starts with that URL.
    – Bene Laci
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 13:59

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Well... to answer your first question, will "NOINDEX contaminate the whole domain"? Ans: NO. It is just temporary as long as you have that NOINDEX tag on. So don't worry too much about your approach. Go for it. More explanation, NOINDEX is a normal practice for any website to have some pages with a NOINDEX tag, just to tell search engines to NOT INDEX the site to the search result.

Additionally: I would suggest you use ROBOTS.TXT files to disallow search engine bots to crawl these "unreviewed versions of your future website" in addition, as I sometimes see that the NOINDEXED page was acknowledged and shown on Google for some reason.

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