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Subdomains or single domain, pros and cons for Google SEO

 12:39 am on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Iíve searched the forums and found few threads on the subject, but they didnít fully answer my question and they are fairly old, things may have changed since then, soÖ

Iím working on a new site which has multiple categories, and Iím not sure should I have a subdomain for each top level category I should I keep everything on one domain? What are the pros and cons in terms of google optimization?

My thoughts are.


- Multiple subdomains may take longer to index and get pr
- Also having all pages on one site will give the site more weight?
- More work for me


- On the other hand having a subdomain for each separate topic makes the site more structured
- Visitors are presented only with information they were searching for (although they will be able to go to the main site and browse other categories)
- Possibility of multiple odp listings?

What are your thoughts? Am I missing anything?





 7:49 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

That seems like a good top level summary. I would add, if you use subdomains, make sure they have enough "meat" to be a site in their own right. If they are thin, they will not rank well, and too many thin subdomains is a spammer's profile.


 3:16 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your reply tedster.

So basically providing you have enough content for each subdomain, that's the way to go as opposed to subdirectories?


 3:34 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you have truly discrete content, it can be quite a viable choice - a FEW subdomains, that is, not one for every subtopic you can come up with!

But I would still weigh both choices in any practical situation. This is somethig many clients ask me about. Mny times they are carried away with the potential for seeing many subdomains on the same search results. That is NOT a good reason for using subdomains, in my view.

Except for something like a basic company name search, discretely segmented subdomains would not likely be targeting the same keyword niches. If they are, you probably shouldbe using directories on the same domain.


 5:22 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

On a similar note, I was thinking of creating a blog on one of our sites with original content that is related to the main site and then links to the main site for reference. Is there any benefit/disadvantage to:




Would the anchor text on the subdomain carry more weight perhaps than the directory? Also, on a side note, I once heard that using the actual word "blog" in your URL can be iffy. Any thoughts on that?


 6:57 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do a search for "blog" - how many of the top 10 results use /blog/ in the URL structure? There's your answer.


 1:41 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks again tedster. I think my site qualifies for the "subdomain solution" as each top level category has a completely different topic to the other categories and I'm hoping there'll be enough content. One more question, is that a good practice to have the same logo at the top of the page on each subdomain which links back to the TLD? are there any drawbacks in terms of SEO? if not, why and what alternatives can you think of? (this is a question to anyone who's interested in this subject, not only tedster. Please feel free to express your views)


 3:05 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't know see how the banner/logo would be any kind of real factor in SEO, but it could be a branding consideration. Search engines don't "see" the image anyway -- and since you're on a subdomain, the file could even have the same name. Only a hand check would notice the difference.


 4:40 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I meant was the link, not just an image, just like this site has an image link at the top left corner of the page. So that link would be present on all subdomains and all the pages. My concern is, would google look at it as something negative, having too many links to the same page (tld that is) from all the subdomains?


 4:55 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

A "Home" link on a subdomain should go to the subdomain's Home Page, in my opinion. You can also have a link to the parent domain somewhere to help your visitors, but that should be in another spot.


 5:23 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

thank you

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