I tried to hide a product following this tutorial:
It said that:
If you hide resources from the sitemap, then they won't appear in search results when customers use storefront search.
So I created a seo metafield. When I checked the search result on my test store, it's showing 1 result but the instant search is showing 2 results.
When I deleted the '!' at the end, the instant search was showing 1 result. Is it a bug?
What is driving the search data?
It is hard to know from the screenshot if it's native shopify data or coming form a third party tool/app. The metafield won't be honoured by the third party tools unless they have coded it that way - but many have not.
Can you link to the shop so forum members can test and see the issue in action?
It's my development store. The search box comes from the standard Debut theme. The search items are products generated by my app. But I didn't change search.liquid at all.
I can't share the link here since the work is not published yet. But I can share the video here: https://www.loom.com/share/b71a50a94d604b64896fc18034eb6dc6
Only when the product's full name is entered, the hidden product is shown.
Try log it with Shopify support and get them to diagnose if it's a bug or not.
My experience is that a loom video with voice annotation would give a more complete picture of what's happening and get further within their tech support channels. That screenshot doesn't have much context for what's happening in frontend HTML/CSS/JS or backend liquid, or debugging/api calls and responses, or what app your using etc.
First thought is that the internal search result index and results returned is different by design. Ie when comparing the Predictive Search API vs the internal search results returned within the theme/liquid system.
Maybe the predictive search index doesn't respond to those seo.hidden metafields?
Actually, I've submitted a ticket to Shopify Partner Support. But a Shopify staff just sent me an irrelevant screenshot. The partner support just can't solve my problem 8 of 10 times. In addition, the staffs always send me a long article to explain the situation. The live chat just asks me to verify for 15 - 30 min before giving a useless answer. Usually, the staff will redirect me to open a thread on the community.
I guess what you say is somehow correct. The search index isn't updated in real-time. Now the 2nd result is gone. I just can't verify with an official answer.