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To Subdomain or Not To Subdomain?

     
1:46 am on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi guys,

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. :)

v

[edited by: ciml at 9:13 am (utc) on May 13, 2005]
[edit reason] Examplified [/edit]

9:40 am on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I cannot answer you abut the specific subdomain question, but I have found that Google actually likes file names the best - example.com/space-example.html
Then paths - example.com/example-space
Then full domain name example-space.com

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.

6:24 pm on May 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nikke,

Thank you so much for the info! Sorry, my fault, I didn't come up with a better example, but in my case I'm looking at a one word phrase.

thank you!
:)
val

11:27 pm on May 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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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.

5:43 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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aris1970,

thanks so much!

i will go with directories then. i suspected that the leakage may occur, and the purpose of this extensive content is to hopefully finally move the PR up.
plus, of course, folders are much easier to implement.

:)

thanks again!

12:19 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I recommend you go with [space.example.com...]

Subdomains have an edge that isn't obvious at first.

This edge is in exchanging links. It is much easier to get someone to give you an inbound link to [space.example.com...] than it is to get a link to [example.com...]

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.

Oh, and BTW, I don't recommend doing [space-example.example.com...] because it is redundant. Just do [space.example.com...]

11:19 am on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello Nikke,
you say example.com/space-example.html is the best option.

Have you experiences any difference between ".php" ".html" ".htm" or whatever?

12:08 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Chuck,

According to my experience there is absolutely no difference. I am still using php, htm, html and shtml in several domains and I haven't observed any differences.

2:23 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have several directories off my main site but If they are intended as separate sites I add an index page and they are doing quite well in both PR and traffic (one of which is equal in PR to the home page and may pass it up) and all are linked to the home page.

example.com/site1/
example.com/site2/

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.

9:55 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In my case, I did the domain.com/subsection

my domain.com is PR3 and domain.com/subsection has gotten a PR5, although there are more links to the home then to the inner section. :)

10:06 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi nakulgoyal, I am facing exactly the same issue with a content-rich website established last December. I think this has nothing to do with site structure but mainly with the fact that the site is considered a new one.