SUBDOMAINS VS. SUBFOLDERS SEO

We get asked a lot about this issue, so I decided to post our findings. Based on our ongoing testing, the best option is not a subdomain, but a subfolder in most cases (keep in mind we are more biased towards SEO than SEM).

Since the domain and subdomain are treated as two separate sites by Google, you would start with a subdomain your SEO basically at “Zero level”. With a subfolder, you don’t loose authority because its still considered the same domain. This is a huge point in favor of building upon existing scores.

Plus, this will provide you with some SEO/Management adavantages vs. a subdomain:

(1) Subfolders are great for organizing content into meaningful, descriptive URLs. If you’re looking to grow the site and categorize content in a logical way then the subfolders are a good way to make the URL paths even more search friendly.

(2) The more authority and trust the site builds with the search engines, the easier it becomes to rank new content for related keyword terms that would have taken you much longer had you started from scratch. New content can be organized by new subfolders.

(3) Using subfolders can be easier to manage than sub domains in terms of url structure. You could start redirecting areas of the site (disallowing the original content to avoid duplicates) until your move is completed. Then you can make that main 301 redirect and its done. The fact that you got all content under 1 level makes it a lot easier to keep organized.

So now you know why you wont find subdomains within HiRank’s structure.

To contact us for more information on site structure SEO, call 1.510.473.6949 or email us at consultants@hirank.com to speak with Jose who handles all of our relationships.

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Comments

great post as usual!

The approach of this article takes the uncommon path of enlightening readers without forcing them to endure the usual sales drivel that accompanies most material. All I want is to be given the facts and then be allowed to form my own decision. Thank you for providing that opportunity.

Nice brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

How to Move Multiple WordPress Subdomain Blogs to a Single WordPress 3 Multi Site Blog…

I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

Do you think that the links received for the main domain affect somehow the SERPs positioning of subdomains? Or are they totally unrelated and you need different link building campaigns for each subdomain?

It really depends on how they are interlinked. Sub domains are treated as part of the domain now, but if they are independent in terms of structure, then there would be little impact.

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