Until now and still going strong I've always hosted my pre-release websites (my own and customers) (test builds / beta versions) on a test domain, before uploading the whole content to the official domain, purely based upon the assumption that, even with a
<meta name="robots" content="index, nofollow"> it would affect your future/current SEO score on the official release of the website.
But I was wondering: Is that actually true?
Of course, without a no-follow, Google (and others) would index all unofficial and, often not completed, content, combined with a (often) worse coded website than the official release, resulting with a lower SEO score.
However, -with- using a
<meta name="robots" content="index, nofollow"> your SEO score (might?) not be lower, but for a longer time not indexed.
I'm known quite a bit with SEO, but always wondered if this assumption was true.
My question: Is this assumption true and what could be my best bet of having the website online for testing/showing opportunities, besides just testing locally.