Over the last 12 months, the newly created Organic Growth Team has been working on identifying risks to (and opportunities for!) existing organic traffic (largely Google search) to the Envato marketplaces.
Our websites are built on a 10-year-old code base that was largely built before many SEO best practices were best practice. There are many technical executions on our sites which aren’t SEO best practice but we are aware of them, and we’ve been working hard to retrofit these practices.
One of these ‘non-best practices’ is the ‘non-persistent’ nature of item URLs. Until this week, if you updated your item name, a new item URL (and therefore page) would automatically be created. The original URL would be 301 redirected to your new item URL. While the 301 redirect looks after the user experience for your customers, it’s poor for SEO because
Redirects do not pass 100% of earned page authority from your original item page. Meaning your ‘new’ item URL (page) would have less authority in search engines than the original
Redirects increase page load time and page load time is a Google ranking factor
If, for example, you update your item name once a year, each year you would be adding an additional 301 redirect from your original item URL (name) to the current item URL (name). Redirects pass less and less value with each redirect to a point when they’ll not pass on any of the original value at all - watch this helpful video from Google’s Matt Cutts on multiple redirects.
As of this week, when you update your item name, your original URL will be maintained. This does not alter your (or another sites) ability to link to your item using any URL string you like as long as it contains
https://marketname.net/item/ and the correct item ID
https://marketname.net/item/any-words-or-numbers-you-like/18780235. Please keep in mind that doing this will trigger a 301 redirect to the correct URL which increases the time it takes to load your item page (see point 2).