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Does google have a problem with lots of sub domains?

   
4:19 pm on Feb 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Does google have a problem with lots of sub domains?

We are looking into making up to 30 or so sub domains for our site. Examples would be something along the lines of:

www.example.com

blue.example.com
red.example.com
big.example.com
small.example.com

Each domain will probably only contain one page.

Does google have a specific problem with this? Does it through up any other problems? Is it seen as a bad practice? Is it possibly a good practice? Does it make any odds at all, either way? Is it a good idea for targeting specific widgets? Will this help at all for seo on specific widgets or will google just ignore it?

Thanks in advance for all your wonderful input!

[edited by: tedster at 4:25 pm (utc) on Feb 10, 2010]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it cannot be owned [/edit]

5:44 pm on Feb 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Using a single page subdomain to get the keyword in the hostname used to be a spammer profile - although they certainly used more than 30 subdomains to get the results they were aiming at. Google seems to have cleaned out a lot of that subdomain spam these days.

However, my rule of thumb question is always "does this subdomain stand up as a site, on its own?" Seems unlikely to me that a single page really can be a stand-alone website, but I suppose there are possible situations.

Is each subdomain well cross-linked with the root domain? Seems like it must be if there are no other pages under that hostname. My gut sense is that you may be handicapping those subdomain pages by not integrating the entire site under "www". If nothing else, you'll want to develop natural backlinks to each one.

Google has shifted the way they handle subdomains in recent times, and the algo usually works against showing multiple listings from any one domain name for any single query term. I'd say forget the one page per subdomain scheme.
7:03 pm on Feb 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



A few years ago, using subdomains was a trick to get a page indexed - guaranteed, no matter how weak the link profile. In other words, it got you round the 'not enough PageRank = Supplemental' filter. I tried it at that time on a UK-wide site on a small scale - less than 100 'county' pages that we wanted to get indexed fast in a site with not enough links. There were lots of further pages belonging to the subdomains for local areas within the counties.

It definitely worked then; I don't know if it still works.

If each subdomain will only be one page then I'd not bother. There wasn't any ranking benefit even back then; just indexing benefit. Nowadays I'd probably not consider doing this, just get better links to the specific sections.