How to hide specific items in Shopify search without unpublishing the item
One of the questions we get from a number of clients is, "how can I hide an item in my Shopify store so that no one can find it without the direct link?"
Of course, this may seem a little counter-intuitive - why in the world would you want to make a product invisible?
It turns out that there are a number of reasons!
Sometimes clients aren't quite ready to push a product live and want to get input from other team members who may prefer to view it live on the site rather than go through a preview process.
Other times, the client may want to push a new product privately live as part of their pre-launch product review process.
Whatever the reason, you can "hide" a product from showing up on your in-site search and prevent it from being indexed by most search engines.
What's the secret? A product metafield!
If you're familiar with how to set up a metafield in Shopify, great! If not, here's a tutorial from Shopify on how to do so. (You can create metafields for different elements in Shopify - in this case, follow their directions to set up a product metafield.)
Here's what you need to set up as a product metafield:
"namespace" : "seo"
"key" : "hidden"
"value_type" : "number_integer"
Once you've got this set up and saved, you'll head over to the product you want to keep out of search results and set a value of 1 for this metafield.
On any product that this is set up properly, Shopify will prevent the item from displaying in your in-site search results and will also set a meta tag on the particular product page for "noindex, nofollow" which should keep search engines at bay.
(Of course, you'll also want to make sure that you haven't added the product to any collections -- otherwise, visitors will find it! So make sure to remove it from any automated collections that it may have been added to automatically.)
If you have any trouble or need assistance, be sure to reach out to someone like us for assistance!