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My questions are:
- Can I create a subdomain for example.com and point that subdomain to a different IP address on a different server?
- If so, would I have been better off if I created a subdomain of my original domain and pointed it to server 2 instead of using a totally different domain name? ie swfs.example.com
- How does google look at subdomains? Are they still part of the main domain or are they considered a totally different domain? If I still block the subdomain with robots.txt, will there still be a PR leak from example.com?
Certainly it is technically possible to assign a separate IP address to any subdomain/hostname - even any given directory. It won't have an affect on Google search results, but if it makes your tracking or load-balancing easieer to handle, you can do it.
Note that PageRank is assigned to the url, not to the "site". Even urls that are blocked by robots.txt and not spidered for that reason can still accumulate PageRank through backlinks. Once in a while they even show up is search results but as "url only" (that is, no title or snippet taken from the page's source, since spidering is blocked.)