As of Nov 2022 updates to documents that are published automatically appear in the published version after a few seconds. Changing to manual push of updates to published docs would help prevent the problem of docs being published in an intermediate state while making edits.
I am having the same issue as well.
I want to be able to publish incremental updates to my Doc, but I need to remove my personal data from the public version.
The only way I can see this working for me at the moment is to create a brand new copy of my Doc, remove my personal data, and then publish to a new URL every time I want to make changes.
This causes problems because then I need to share the new URL, delete the previous version, and I lose any SEO advantage that has been built up over time.
It seems I can in fact maintain the Doc URL myself - I’ve tested the following - publish a Doc with my “pretty” URL, un-publish it, then publish a completely separate Doc and re-use my original URL. Which works.
I would still prefer the ability to maintain a single Doc on separate “branches” or like you say, just a way to publish a Doc from a specific point in time. But I can probably live with this for now.