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Run beta versions of sites SEO safely

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?

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