Your site is a perpetual work in progress: a collection of new content and applications, layouts and image scales. Every day sparks another inspiration.
Unfortunately, you sometimes forget to delete those inspirations - and the result may be an unintentional indexing and a series of stiff penalties.
Test pages are not immune to indexing. Web-crawlers see no difference between content that’s still being tweaked and content that has instead been perfected. They will instead scan - and rank - both options, leading to potential SEO problems.
Test pages resemble duplicate content and duplicate content is, of course, often penalized. It suggests black-hat techniques (using the same links and information to spam the system and gain higher SERPs). Engines will respond immediately to this issue, flagging the domain and lowering its ranking. This causes an instant decline in traffic and consumer trust.
And you’ll find it difficult to gain either back.
It’s essential, therefore, to delete any unnecessary test pages from your site. Avoid duplicate URLs and remove identical content. Keep your system as streamlined as possible to ensure easy indexing.
This will help your site remain optimized and penalty-free.