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Is There a Google SubDirectory Penalty

 9:02 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have noticed that pages within a website's subdirectories always seem to rank lower, have lower
PR, show up more regularly in the supplimental results, and typically incur penalties at a much higher rate than those within the main directory. This seems also to occur
at Google much more frequently then most other search engines. The thing is, those pages may have more backlinks, better more original content, and be much more
important than many in the main domain, yet are penalized
because they are in a subdirectory. Has anyone else noticed this trend, and any thoughts on alleviating it?

I for one am to the point of placing all pages within the main directory structure, even though this is not such
a stellar way in which to design a website.



 3:37 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think what you’re observing has more to do with the structure of websites (paths to pages) and where the strongest links are pointing. There's been a lot written here on structure and hierarchies and optimizing PR.

There is a well known Google employee with a blog that is a great example. Look at the PR on Matt’s, I mean his, website. The .com is at PR 5 while the .com/blog/ is a PR 7.


 4:47 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just looking at this topic once again to see if any more feedback is available. Naerly all pages under our main
html directory are not supplemental, yet same type, PR, content, back links, pages within any other folder have fallen into the supps. Does Google Prefer pages
that fall within the main directory of a site?


 5:46 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

No - and that answer comes from looking at a ton of data. This direction in thinking comes up from time to time, but it really is a red herring.

However, the length of the shortest click-path to get to a url from an external link is important, because it helps to determine Page Rank. As BillyS said, on many sites the number of clicks can be closely correlated with the directory structure. But it is the links that matter, not the forward slashes.


 6:46 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

and typically incur penalties at a much higher rate than those within the main directory.

What are you doing to draw penalties? You have to do something bad to get a penalty.

Or do you just mean that they have ranking problems? Ranking problems aren't the same thing as penalties.


 9:56 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see the main reason sub directories get less PR is due to your link building techniqes.

If you "always" ask for a link to the main root, then naturally this is getting the most PR.

However if you have a great sub directory, try building incoming links to it.

I have had pages in subdirectories actually "out PR" the homepage before, it's all in how people link to you.

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