Thanks for the additional details, @tealiumjustin.That makes sense. There is currently no simple switch to hide individual content items from the community search.
What I can think might work out for your scenario is introducing a parallel hidden "Archive" top level category. The benefit of this would be that any search originating from your public community top level category would automatically default to the search scope on this public category.
So let's say your current community structure looks like this with two categories for documentation and discussion and some TKB and discussion and group nodes in each:
Now if you would convert this to one with an added top-level category "Community" and a parallel "Archive category" that contains the archive for your knowledge base like this:
You would move all outdated feature articles into the "Product Knowledgebase (Archive)" node that sits in the archive top-level category where it would still be accessible, but not returned in any search within the "Community" category.
And no worries to confuse users by the additional step in your breadcrumb navigation as you can set up top-level categories to be treat as the topmost node of your structure.
You can see this approach being used for a multi-language community at Skype on one community instance. Eeach language is a different top-level category. If you perform a search in each language category you will only get content from that:
More information in the article "Create and set up top-level categories"
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