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Will my protected WooCommerce categories & products be visible in search engines?

WooCommerce Protected Categories does not prevent search engines from accessing your categories or their products, although you can make it unlikely that search engines will ever index them.

How to hide protected WooCommerce content from search engines

  1. Use an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO to mark the categories and products as ‘noindex’. This will prevent them from being indexed at all.
  2. If your Catalogue Visibility settings are set to hide your protected categories and products from the public areas of your store, then search engines are unlikely to crawl them because this only happens if a search engine can find them. However, there may still be links to your protected categories and products elsewhere, such as your XML sitemap, so it’s worth noindexing them if you are concerned about them appearing in search results.

Note: If a search engine ever indexes a password protected category, then only the password entry form will be indexed and they cannot crawl the content within. This means that only data such as the category/product name can be crawled, and not other information such as the main product description or price.

If your Catalogue Visibility settings are set to hide your protected categories and products from the public areas of your store, then they will not appear in the sitewide WordPress search or the WooCommerce Products search.

Use WooCommerce Private Store for added security

If you wish to hide ALL your WooCommerce content from public view, including from search engines, then you can get added security by installing our other plugin, WooCommerce Private Store. This hides all parts of WooCommerce including the main shop page, cart, checkout, and any other WooCommerce content that is not hidden by WooCommerce Protected Categories.

You can still use WooCommerce Protected Categories to show different categories to different people, and it will work alongside WooCommerce Private Store to make your store private on a global basis.

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