I’m not a big believer in the words “never” or “always,” but am going to use it here like the Yeti in Monsters, Inc. “Rule #1 out here: Always…No, never go out in a blizzard.”
Since we’re now starting to build out our new WordPress site on a test server, we wanted to give you our Rule #1 out here. Never put up a test (or dev) site without blocking it off from the search engines. I know what you’re thinking – how would anyone ever find it – we’re not sending out an email to our newsletter list with the url.
However, I can count three separate times off the top of my head that future clients got their dev sites indexed in the search engines. Unless you have the test site set up on a machine in your attic and it’s not wired to the internet, just please, block it off from the spiders via robots files or whatever method you prefer. You probably want to block off access to unauthorized individuals as well, but that’s beyond our core interests.
If you do end up getting it indexed, you can get it removed – you’ll just want to submit the appropriate requests through Google Webmaster Tools, et al.