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I researched and researched but am still confused on what's better: subdomains or directories?
Weíre in a process of creating a lot of content that is going to be a nice informative addition for our example.com. So if "space example" is the keyword on which I want to get better positioning what should I do?
If I put the content on example.com/space-example, it will hopefully finally move us past the long-lasting PR of 5, based on increased content and more visitors to site.
On the other hand, as I understand, google will probably be "happier" to see space-example.example.com, since the keyword is in the domain name. Spaceexample.example.com may get faster/better recognition and then Iíll be able to leverage traffic between the two sites. The downside is that example.com will not get credit for content.
Any suggestions are more then welcome as Iíve been trying to make sense of it for a few weeks now...
Thanks much in advance. :)
[edited by: ciml at 9:13 am (utc) on May 13, 2005]
[edit reason] Examplified [/edit]
My guess is that the subdomain would come in as number 3.
I have been testing this with a domain name versus paths versus file names, and to my surprise the cases where the domain name == the keyword gave the worst results.
My tests where done with a two-word phrase that ends up down in the hundreds, while a search for just one of these words in the key phrase will call up the site in the top 5 positions. (And the one word phrase has nothing to do with the subject!)
Actually, it is as if the fact that the two-word phrase is in the domain works like a penalty.
A one-word search for a third word calls up the site as #2 in the SERPs, but a search for tha same word in combination with the two-word phrase in the domain name buries the site.
creating a lot of content that is going to be a nice informative addition for our example.com
If you are creating a lot of niche content indeed, I don't see any problem to go with a subdomain; I suggest you do not overdo it though, as subdomains may increase the PR flow from your main domain.
I am currently doing a large travel guide and decided to go with few subdomains for niche content-rich sections. Please note also that my experience on using folder/directory structure on a large business site, has proven very very successful indeed.
Subdomains have an edge that isn't obvious at first.
Its a subtle, but important psychological advantage. Some people just won't link to what the perceive to be an "internal" page. But they will link to a subdomain.
PR leakage from your home page will occur indentically if you link off of it to either of these pages.
To get your "home" page's PR up, make sure your low level pages link back to it.
Subdomains have another advantage: their are treated as separate domains by the Google (at least as far as I know). So by linking subdomains together, you will have thematically relevant domains of pages linking to each other. This is possibly a huge benefit if the speculation these days about Google taking into account thematic relevance of interlinking page is true.
The problem with this is that if I ever decide to get their own domain name I'll have to start all over with PR.