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Is having a multi-level subdomain a bad idea?

If one level of subdomain is not good enough



9:52 am on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A while ago I had a question about a customer setting up a domain name ([webmasterworld.com ]). Ages later, in a completely unrelated circumstance, I've realised this might actually be a useful thing to do.

Say I have a site, with a URL of


That's fine, but if I wanted to provide a number of different services to that customer, could I do something like


I'm just playing with ideas at the moment, but is this a really bad idea? I know it's technically possible, but are there going to be problems later on down the line?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!


6:19 pm on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Those type of subdomains work well for Major League Baseball without any penalties. The teams domain name forwards to city.name.mlb.com

Tigers.com forwards to detroit.tigers.mlb.com
Yankees.com forwards to newyork.yankees.mlb.com
RedSox.com forwards to boston.redsox.mlb.com


10:03 pm on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

Are you big enough that you can safely put yourself in the same category as major league baseball? I mean, it's not as if there's a whole lot of competition in the niche. You're either the Red Sox or you're not.

Yankees.com forwards to newyork.yankees.mlb.com

quick detour confirms that you also get
or, to be exact,
... which ::cough-cough:: reinforces the idea that if you're Major League Baseball you don't have to worry a lot about penalties. Er, search-engine penalties.

But in a sense they're all spurious subdomains. There's no something-else dot yankees dot mlb dot com. The first element is just for decoration.


1:30 am on Nov 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

which is actually the same content as http://mets.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=nym


2:18 am on Nov 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

"We don't have to follow no steenking Best SEO Practices."

... and come to think of it, subdomains go from right to left don't they? So it wouldn't be

user dot function dot domain dot tld


function dot user dot domain dot tld

Honestly I think you're better off with


In fact to me this looks more like a "real" domain name, which is surely what they want. Or, heck, let the users get their own domain. If they have a reasonably uncommon full name they can probably still get it for $9.95. Or even unreasonably common: I detoured and found johnsmith dot com just sitting there.


1:40 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Yeah, I agree.

Thanks for all the thoughts!


12:04 am on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

from an seo stand point the subdomain has its own page rank so if you care about seo try not to use subdomains use it like
example.com/customer1/function ... and so on

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