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How to Hide Sold out Products on Shopify? Don't is the answer!

Everyone wants to hide out-of-stock products the problem is it's the wrong choice. This article explains why it is the wrong choice and what to do instead!

The cost simply outweighs the benefits.

Every page on your site is valuable. When you hide a product page what you are essentially saying is this page is no longer valuable.

The problem is, that is typically not true.

Google ranks your website on many factors and one of them is user experience. They see how long people spend on your site and use that as a way to measure how good your site is.

If you delete product pages a lot this can cause an issue for user experience and in turn effect your SEO.

Think about it, imagine you have a popular product that someone wrote about and linked on their blog. The product goes out of stock so you hide it. This will create a 404 page which makes it so that person can no longer see what product was there. This is not a good user experience.

If the product is never going to be sold again there is no point in keeping the page but instead of hiding it, it is better to do a 301 redirect. Here is a link to Shopify's instructions on how to do that.

On that page they recommend redirecting to your home page or a similar product. My advice is:

  1. Whenever possible to redirect to a similar product or
  2. Create page that has many similar products. On the top of the page you can write something like "that product is sold out... People who like that product typically like these products." This is easier than having to always redirect to a very similar product.
  3. If you can do neither of the above then redirect to the home page. This is the least user friendly option which is why I recommend it last.

The only time you should hide (better yet delete) a product page is if you mistakenly make them or they were only created for a very short period of time. The reason this is ok is because there is no chance there is a link to that product from another site or your internal website. Therefore, this deleted page won't have a negative effect on your SEO.

The more research I do on the topic of out-of-stock products the more I see this question so I thought this was important to address. I hope this helps people improve their SEO moving into the future and continue to grow their stores.

Have a great day and let me know if you have any questions. I hope to continue to add value to this community!

P.S. Last week I wrote a post about how to better manage your out-of-stock products and people seemed to like it so I figured I would link it here. Also, I turned that post into a YouTube video if you would rather watch it :).

Julian Galluzzo
July 28, 2021
min read
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