Essential SEO Practices: Why You Must No-Index Your Shopify Search Results!

Essential SEO Practices: Why You Must No-Index Your Shopify Search Results!

Discover why no-indexing Shopify search results is crucial for SEO. Learn how to protect your store from spam bots and improve search rankings with simple, effective steps in our comprehensive guide.

Harrison Lavery

As an SEO expert or a Shopify store owner, you're constantly on the lookout for strategies to enhance your online presence and boost your site's search engine rankings. However, there's a critical aspect that often goes unnoticed but can significantly impact your SEO efforts: the indexing of your search results pages. In this post, we'll delve into why you must no-index your Shopify search results to safeguard your site from potential SEO pitfalls.

Understanding the Issue with Indexed Search Results

By default, Shopify does not automatically no-index search results pages. While this might seem harmless at first glance, it can lead to several issues. Most notably, these pages can become a target for spam bots. For example, consider a scenario where spam bots link to your search results with nonsensical and spammy query parameters, like ?constraint=spam-link. This can lead to the creation of numerous low-quality pages that are indexed by search engines, cluttering your site's search results with irrelevant content.

1.1) Screenshot showcasing spam-infested search results indexed by Google

The Risks of Not No-Indexing

When spam bots exploit your indexed search pages, it can result in several negative consequences for your website, including:

  • Dilution of Content Quality: Your site could be flooded with pages that have little to no valuable content, reducing the overall quality of your site in the eyes of search engines.
  • Wasted Crawl Budget: Search engines allocate a certain crawl budget for each website, and having numerous low-quality pages can exhaust this budget, leaving less room for your important pages to be crawled and indexed.
  • Negative SEO Impact: The presence of spammy links and content can harm your site’s SEO performance, potentially leading to lower rankings and less organic traffic.

How to No-Index Your Shopify Search Results

To prevent these issues, it's crucial to no-index your Shopify search results pages. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Log in to Your Shopify Admin Panel: Access your store's admin area by logging in.
  2. Navigate to the Theme Editor:
    • Go to the Online Store > Themes.
    • Find the theme you are using and click Actions.
    • Select Edit code from the dropdown menu.
  3. Edit the Search Results Template:
    • In the theme editor, look for a file named search.liquid or similar under the Templates directory. This file controls the display of your search results pages.
    • If your theme uses sections, you might need to edit a section file (usually found under Sections) that is included in search.liquid.
  4. Add the No-Index Meta Tag:
    • At the top of the search.liquid file (or the section file included in the search template), add the following code snippet:
      {% if template contains 'search' %}
      <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">
      {% endif %}

    • This Liquid code checks if the current template is used for search results and, if so, includes a meta tag in the HTML to instruct search engines not to index the page but to follow the links on it.
  5. Save Your Changes:
    • After adding the code, save the file to apply the changes.
  6. Test the Implementation:
    • Visit a search results page on your Shopify store (e.g., by using the search function on your site).
    • View the page source (right-click on the page and select View Page Source or similar).
    • Look for the <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow"> tag in the head section to ensure it has been properly added.

Final Thoughts

No-indexing your Shopify search results is crucial for preventing spam. This simple action can profoundly impact your online presence and search engine ranking. If you need further SEO assistance or want to ensure your store is optimized for success, consider revamping your strategy with our expert help. Get in touch with us today!