Multiple Domains vs Subdomains vs Folders in SEO

subdomainsUsually the most important decisions in SEO are the ones that affect the structure of the website. A popular SEO debate is if one should use multiple domains, sub-domains or folders when he/she has multilanguage websites or various main categories/activities.

This decision can heavily affect the performance of the Website in the major search engines and if someone makes the wrong call, it is extremely difficult to make changes. The truth is that there is not a single best practice, since all of the aforementioned methods have several pros and cons. In this article, we’ll discuss when it is advisable to use different domains, subdomains and folders and we’ll analyze how each method affects the SEO campaign.

Below you will find one example URL for each method:

  • www.example.fr (multiple domains)
  • fr.example.com (subdomains)
  • www.example.com/fr/ (folders)

In order to get a holistic view of the issue we will examine the effects on many different factors. We’ll discuss how Geographical targeting (GEO Targeting) can be achieved in each case, whether any Authority/Trust/Domain Strength passes from the original Domain, how the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are affected, whether Sitelinks are supported, what is the degree of Control over the website, what is the degree of freedom that we have in terms of Design & Web Structure and how Link building and Link structure are affected.

GEO Targeting

As we all know, the major Search engines usually serve different results for the same keywords in different countries. Several factors are taken into account such as the language of the page, the IP of the server, the country code (.gr, .fr, .de) of the domain (ccTLD), the language of the websites that link to our domain, the settings in the Google Webmaster Console, the META-geo tags (supported only by Bing and Yahoo) and more.

geotargeting

Usually the best solution from the geographical targeting point of view is to have multiple domains. This method allows you to create different websites with the country code TLD of your choice (when there are no law restrictions), to use the META-geo tags, to have different servers around the world and to use IP addresses from the targeted country. If a generic TLD is used (.com, .net etc), you are also able to set the Geo Targeting from Google Webmaster Console. The second best solution is to have multiple subdomains and use META-geo tags, have different IPs and set the Geo Targeting from Google Webmaster Console. Finally by having Folders you can only use META-geo tags and Geo Targeting from Google Webmaster Console.

Authority, Trust & Domain Strength

Search engines use several metrics to determine the authority, the trust and the strength of a domain. Those metrics are very important since they can heavily affect the search engine results. This is the reason why in some queries, less targeted and low PageRank pages that belong to high authority websites, appear on the top of the search engine results (for example Wikipedia).

backlink-analysis

So the question is which of the 3 methods keeps the Authority, the Trust and the strength of the main domain? From this point of view the best choice is to use Folders (ex: www.example.com/blog/). Since the folders are part of the main site, all of the domain metrics are maintained. When you use different domains (ex: www.example-blog.com) then none of those metrics pass to the new domain.

So the question is what happens when you use subdomains (ex: blog.example.com)? The SEO community has suggested several theories in the past on this topic. Experiments showed that in some cases, when the main domain has a relatively small amount of subdomains, part of the authority passes to the subdomain. According to other theories, the subdomains are handled like different domains and thus none of those metrics pass to them.

WebSEOAnalytics.com team has done extensive analysis in the past on the Data that we collect from the reports of our SEO tools. Based on those data there are strong indications that a part of Authority and Trust passes to the subdomains only when the domain has a small number of subdomains and when the link structure of the main website passes enough link juice to them. An additional factor can be whether the subdomain keeps the same website and link structure as the main website. On the contrary, when the number of subdomains is too great (ex: blogspot.com) and when there are no links pointing to them from the main domain, then no authority or trust is inherited.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

When for a particular query a website has more than 1 page appearing on the SERPs, there are increased probabilities of getting more traffic. Nevertheless usually search engines avoid showing more than 2 results from the same website in order to increase diversity and ensure the quality of the results.

So in this case, using different domains can lead to multiple appearances on the SERPs. Also it is clear that usually by using Folders you can’t get more than 2 pages on the SERPs. So the question is what happens when we use subdomains? As we saw above, one SEO theory suggests that Google is supposed to handle subdomains as totally different domains. But if this was always true, should not we see more often multiple subdomains in the SERPs? In order to answer this question we need to take a closer look on how search engines work.

Google uses anti-“host crowding” algorithms to ensure that the user receives results from different sources. Almost 3 years ago, Matt Cutts has provided information on this subject in his article “Subdomains and subdirectories” (Note that since the article is old, there might be significant changes in those algorithms). He suggested that in most cases their algorithms ensure that no more than 2 results appear on the SERPs from the same domain or subdomain. Nevertheless there are cases (for example when we search for “hp”) where the SERPs include results from different subdomains. By searching for similar terms that include the brand names of big companies, it becomes clear that in such cases sub-domains are favoured against pages from the same domain.

serp-hp

In order to be understand how subdomains are handled by the search engines, we need to know exactly how they work and thus we can’t give a define answer. Nevertheless as we said above extensive analysis on SERPs & SEO experiments showed that by using subdomains you can get more than 2 results on the same SERP for particular search queries.

Sitelinks support

The sitelinks are links to internal pages that appear in some SERPs in order to help the users navigate the website. They are generated algorithmically but webmasters can select the most relevant sitelinks from the Google Webmaster Console.

sitelinks-hp

Sitelinks are supported for both Folders and subdomains. Obviously since the addon domains are different websites, they can’t appear in the sitelinks of the main domain.

Website Control

The most straightforward and safe solution is to use Folders, because no special code is needed to handle the different parts of the website. This solution allows you to control easier your website, simply because all of its parts are integrated.

Creating multiple subdomains usually means that you have additional parts of the website that need to be handled separately. As we said earlier the sub domains can be hosted on the same or on different servers, they can execute the same code or have a completely different technology to support them. The same happens when you use multiple domains. Of course from one point of view this gives you the freedom to handle those parts differently from the main website (see below), but this certainly is going to create additional costs for you.

Design & Web Structure Freedom

Mainly for usability reasons, when we create a website, we tend to keep the same design and structure across all the pages. This helps users navigate easier and find faster what they are looking for. Additionally by keeping the same website structure we help search engines understand which are the basic components of our website (menus, footers, headers, etc). That is why when we use folders, which are considered to be parts of the same website, we usually tend to have a similar layout in all pages.

On the other hand, when we use subdomains, we can consider them as different websites and thus we can have a different layout and website structure. The same applies when we use different domains. Especially when we have multilanguage (or multicultural) websites, where the menu, the categories or even the philosophy of the website might be different, using separate domains or sub domains can be a great solution.

Link Building & Link Structure

When you use Folders the link building campaign of your website is not affected. Depending on your plan, you can add the links directly to your homepage, or place them on the internal pages to boost their rankings. Additionally in this case you can manipulate your link structure in order to flaw the link juice to the most important pages of your Website.

linkbuilding

When you use subdomains and especially when you have different domains, it is highly recommended to launch separate link building campaigns for them. You will need to ensure that those subdomains/domains receive enough links from external domains in order to speedup indexing and increase authority, trust and PageRank. Additionally in the case of subdomains make sure that you place links from the parent domain. Finally when you have multiple domains make sure you cross link them in a whitehat and transparent way (avoid hidden links and cloaking).

Should I use multiple Domains, Subdomains or Folders?

So this is the point were we covered almost every aspect and you have to make the decision. Obviously it’s up to you to decide which of the 3 methods suits you best. Below you will find the most common uses of each method.

domain-ppl

When you should use Multiple Domains

Multiple domains are used when we want to be very GEO targeted and when we have enough content and resources to support all these websites. This solution allows us to have different website layout, structure and categories and it helps us increase the number of results in SERPs. Creating Microsites is a good way to promote individual products and services and they can help you achieve better rankings especially if you can incorporate the main targeted search terms in the domain name. There are several business, marketing and SEO reasons that can affect your decision on whether you should have multiple domains, but we will analyze them in another article.

Examples:

www.example.com
www.example.de
www.example-blog.com
www.micro-example-product.com

When you should use Sub-domains

Subdomains are used when you have different products and services that you want to present by using a different website structure (Google does this for several products such as Adwords, Google Docs etc). Also they can be used for GEO targeting, or for increasing your results in SERPs. In many cases websites use subdomains because they use hosted blog services to power their blogs. Finally for dynamic multilanguage websites, subdomains are a great solution because they can be easily coded and they can achieve good SEO Results.

Examples:

specialproduct.example.com
blog.example.com
fr.example.com

When you should use Folders

The folders are the most common, easy to use and all purpose solution. It is the safest method in terms of SEO and Web Development. You should use folders when you have a relatively small website and when you want to maintain the authority of the domain in the main categories.

Examples:

www.example.com/product/
www.example.com/blog/
www.example.com/fr/

Summary

summary-almost-there

In this article we examined in detail the best current practices, we covered when and why each method should be used and what are the pros and cons. Remember that before making the decision you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have the resources to support multiple websites or subdomains?
  • Do I have the knowledge to setup correctly the domains/subdomains?
  • Can I develop a strong SEO campaign for them?
  • Do I have enough content to add to all the new websites?
  • Can I provide enough links to all the domains and subdomains?

If you don’t answer positively to all the above questions then the safest way is to proceed with folders.

The table below shows the various factors that we examined along with the 3 methods:

Different Domains Subdomains Folders
GEO Targeting High Medium Low
Authority, Trust, Domain Strength No authority is inherited A part of authority is inherited The authority is inherited
SERPs Increased number of results Increased number of results in some cases Limited number of results
per domain
Sitelinks support No Yes Yes
Website Control Very Difficult Difficult Easy
Design & Web Structure Freedom Very high Medium-High Very low
Link Building &
Link Structure
New Link Building Campaigns

Cross linking domains

New Link Building Campaigns

Cross linking Subdomains

Single Link Building Campaign

Internal Link Structure

Last but not least, remember to share this article if you like it. Sharing is caring! :)

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  • Aidan

    I find myself trying to explain proper use of country domains and subdomains frequently, I think I’ll now just refer the questions here!

    In my experience I’ve always seen subdomains as quite separate entities though have not tried to look at it based on the size of the site and number of subdomains involved, that is an interesting finding of yours.

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  • Richard Hearne

    Good article

    Couple of comments:
    1. language has no bearing on geotargeting. It’s a common misconception, but language is independent of geotargeting in Google, it’s a filter applied to results based on user prefs.
    2. similar to (1) links in a particular language don’t necessarily impact geotargeting.
    3. It might be useful to add that URLs from subdomains can be listed in sitelinks for the main domain. I’ve seen this for login.domain.com showing in sitelinks for http://www.domain.com.

    Well written post – well done.

  • bbriniotis

    @Richard Hearne: Thank you for your feedback. I agree with your comments but I have to clarify something. On the article I do not suggest that the language of the page is a geo targeting factor, but that it is taken into account when the results are served to the user. In other words, if a page about “web development” is written in spanish, then it does not mean that it is geotargeted for Spain, but that this page will be boosted if someone who searches for “web development” in Google Spain or Google Argentina, etc. The same applies to the language of the pages that link to our page.

  • Richard Hearne

    ‘In other words, if a page about “web development” is written in spanish, then it does not mean that it is geotargeted for Spain, but that this page will be boosted if someone searches for “web development” in Google Spain or Google Argentina, etc.’

    Nope – that’s wrong also. It will be boosted if the searcher’s language prefs are ES. If I search google.es with EN as my language, for [EN search term] they will likely show me EN results. Google will often determine what language results to show based on the users language setting in combination with the language of the search query. But this is wholly related to language as opposed to geotargeting. If they use country restrict then it’s a different kettle of fish.

    You’re absolutely right that you don’t suggest that language is a factor, but you do mention language a number of times in a section labelled “GEO Targeting”. That could lead to confusion I think.

    Otherwise a great post :)

  • bbriniotis

    @Richard Hearne: I am sorry I can’t agree with you, I don’t see an error anywhere. The default behaviour of google for non-logged in users is to use the default language of the google version that they use (try searching for web development on google.gr and you will see that you’ll get Greek Results). Also other factors are taken into account such as IP and the HTTP headers of the request. Trust me on that, our headquarters are in Cyprus so we see such things everyday. :)

  • Thomas Thaler

    Excellent summary, thank you so much.

    In my personal opinion I prefer the folder-approach, cause Linkbuilding is a little bit more easy going.

  • SEO Consultant

    Just the analysis I was looking for. We’ve had the discussion about the website structre for our corporate site within our company and it’s good to see we recommended the right stratetgy moving forward. Thanks for sharing your analysis; bbriniotis. Much Appreciated.

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  • bluegreenseochester

    Good post, spot on. It’s interesting in the context of business directories. There are so many and vast differences between them. Touch Local is a large one which uses multiple domains instead of folders or subdomains. It’s quite curious because they use a different location keyword in each domain but are all UK cities or towns, so geo-location benefits don’t apply. Branding must be the driving force I guess.

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  • Malaysia SEO

    Great comprehensive article on multiple domains, sub-domains, & folders that should be bookmarked. As an SEO, I don’t like to use sub-domains as I have to acquire links separately for the sub-domains so that I can show to my clients that I have increased their “Google PageRank.” And I also hate that green bar that you see on Google’s toolbar too. :(

  • Marc Levy

    Great round-up and post!

    In January of this year we took up a large job which involves Geo-Location and also IP Delivery. I just wanted to throw something in for your final chart highlighting all the pros and cons of each option.

    We decided to go with /folders and have had fantastic results in terms GEO-Targeting. I believe search engines and Google especially have improved greatly in this sense and that GWT indicators are working better than ever before. Of course this could just be one opinion, but it is definitely what we are seeing. For other clients hosting location seems to have become less of an issue, with the focus being on GWT if set.

    This is obviously another huge plus for the use of /folders. This is most definitely my preferred method now, although definitely not suitable for every single scenario.

  • Organic SEO

    Really super blog to readers related organic SEO,everyone can motivate from this blog. Good going, give some additional points add in the future.Thanks

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  • Gijs

    Thanks, nice post! You are right that the best method differs from companies situations. The competition plays an important role in determining the method. When competition is high we recommend multi-domains or subdomains to choose a better way to have GEO targeting. Only downside is that you really should do more linkbuilding efforts.

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  • Marlou

    Great post!
    I do have a question though, regarding folders. Isn’t it true that a keyword is ‘worth more’ to google when it’s higher up in the URL? As in: http://www.example.com/keyword/ scores more points than http://www.example.com/fr/keyword ?

  • Marlou

    Oh, perfect timing on posting that video then. That’s really good to know, makes using folders for languages alot more interesting. Thank you!

  • Dept. of Search

    Great post. I was just discussing this very concept with a client. Now I have even another way to explain so he can understand. thanks!

  • outletseason

    In my own experience, I had really bad PR using subdomains.
    Don’t understand why but my site, always had a rank, but my subdomains, had always a PR0 even though when I published these subdomains, they had many keyboards, rank first in SERPs, so I decided to move one of them to its own domain, to see if i can make it rank.
    My strategy is to completely rewrite the main domain, optimize the home page and then write links to the other sections, as they are completely different from each other.

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  • Guilherme Grillo

    Great Post! I have a question. I need to improve the page rank of a website that don’t have a main domain. I mean, when you enter http://www.example.com, it shows just a world map, with links to regional sites. The question is: the best choice is to use: brasil.example.com – argentina.example.com – jamaica.example.com or example.com/brasil – example.com/argentina or example.com.ar / example.com.br? Remembering that I do not have a main site.

    Thanks.

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  • Ani Lopez

    Great post. Said that I would add some comments how I see things according to SERPS now.

    In the cases when I could move subdomains to subdirectories the relevancy f the site improved so the organic traffic (one domain, one language, not international-multilanguage situation)

    Only when searching for brands with a certain relevancy Google shows more than two results from their sites. They recognised lately to play in favour of big ones. Otherwise they don’t tend to show more than 2.

    For medium-small sites (international-multilanguage situation) content by language organized in directories /es/ /fr/ and so worked better than subdirectories for the reasons expressed before (Search Engines consider subdomains almost a completely different entity than their domain • they don’t inherit most of the domain’s relevancy • contribute poorly to increase the domain’s relevancy)

    Even hosting site in a country not targeted if done properly at Webmastertools, site was ranking good having the option “pages of this country” selected.

    For big sites (international-multilanguage situation) they usually go “domain by country”, they have resources enough and everybody agrees it is the best strategy.

    I never found an excuse to have a blog under a subdirectory (beside technical ones). Its content is there to help the main domain and internal linking, For external linking better a different domain, not subdomain.

    My five cents (47 pages presentation) on the subject http://dynamical.biz/blog/seo-technical/international-multilingual-seo-26.html

    Cheers

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  • Search Engine Optimization

    Its really a very very good post about organic SEO.Thanks for the posting and keep posting like this,for i will give u my best comments for you.

  • SEO Company USA

    Your style of presentation is very impressive. The meaningful contribution of your mind reflects on those people who are looking for new ideas and information regarding domain and sub domain.

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  • Nishant Dhaka

    Great post…..

    I liked this article since it covers all the aspects of hosting websites using these 3 methods and their respective effects on SEO.
    Good work!

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  • Web Hosting 4 Ur Domain Names

    Great and in-depth analysis and a very interesting arguing about language and geo targeting.

    After reading that, we decided to keep our existing web hosting and domain name knowledge base inside a sub folder in our site, rather moving in on a sub domain.

    We will keep though our blog on a separate sub domain.

    Cheers,
    Jef.

  • Saniflo Repairs

    Hi there, I found your article on the IBP website, I was interested about using different domains for Geo targeting. I have noticed in my perticular business one company is using about 20 different domains to advertise their business on the search engines but using the exact same website and exact same content, the only thing they change is the titles and descriptions for the different areas, is this regarded as spamming?

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  • nitrome

    woww.. wonderfull post..

    I have a plan to make a subdomain for blogspot.com( custom subdomain ) what do you think about it ..? good or not..? thank

  • Gail Gardner

    This is the best explanation of Web site structure I have EVER seen so I’ve already reviewed it on StumbleUpon and shared it on Friendfeed. I found it in the Clicks and Conversions Daily paper.li @Realicity put out today.

    I have one insight to share that could help people decide what to use. Except for local.yahoo.com and local.google.com I have great difficulty remembering subdomains most of the time and I believe others will too. When you use subdomains Internet users are far more likely to NOT remember how to get back to content they’ve seen and want to share or revisit.

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  • Backup Software

    I have a question I can’t find an answer for. Ok first of all I have successfully created subdomain and it looks everything is working ok, ex. the name is subdomain.maindomain.com but when I enter maindomain.com/subdomain it also appear in the search result. I’m confused because the second variant should refer to a subdirectories. Any hint?

  • Free World of Warcraft

    Good infomation.But i want to add some info, one moment that folders can be promoted GEO Targeting and any service.The main problem is the value of your links, you need to find a lot of links with good PR and trust and you will at TOP!Good luck

  • Tyler

    YES! That matrix is perfect! I was really wondering how much better multiple domains would be compared to subdomains for linking domains.

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  • Asad

    I think having sub-domains will show some authority about a website . However it is very said in the article that sub-domains should only be used for larger websites. Probably when a website have different editors for different sub-domains. Anyway a great informative article indeed. Thanks and cheers

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  • Jeff Johnson

    Yes, It was a good article. Some people wish they had Dr’s in their family..I just wish I had an good SEO person :) .

    I am reading this as I am trying to figure out how to set my directory structure. Oddly the new service I am trying to add is an Adsense like service. I am not sure if I wan to add it to my link directory (which honestly isn’t doing so well with page rank) as a sub domain, then point to it with its own domain or just keep it on a separate domain…and either way how do I submit it to the directories? As sub domain or as TLD? and/or does it make a difference? If anyone who reads this has an opinion please give it.

    Also It would be great if you could combine this with an article on how many keywords you can stuff into an url that will maintain relevancy… ex. keyword.keyword1.com/keyword2-keyword3/keyword4 etc.

  • Killer Content

    Great post dude. Regarding multiple indexing – I guess it doesn’t apply to ALL cases as I got multiple listings for the same domain with different folders and so did some of my competitors. It’s true it was in small niches so low competing keywords. I was planing on creating a huge site for multiple niches (smth. like about.com) in my country. I know about.com uses lots of subdomains and I was wondering if I should do the same, but I think using folders I would be much better of getting better results from my linking efforts (planing on creating links for main site, main folder index files, secondary pages in the folder). Do you think I would be better off with folders versus subdomains regarding that I will be creating a huge site with a complex structure (eg. domain.com/niche/subniche/page.html versus niche.domain.com/subniche/page.html)

    Lemme know please

    Thanks,
    Alex

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  • MusaD

    Many thanks for your great article! First time I understood what should I use, domians, sub-domains or folders. Your article is really very helpful.

  • Ken Jansen Kansas City

    Thank you for the great article. I did not use a lot of subfolders, but instead put links a subpages one level down to the pages which are http://www.example/specific target

    so it is http://www.example/subpage.com on that page are the links to http://www.example/specific target

    Is that a bad practice or just a different approach.

    Thank you.

  • Free Download Album

    I was looking for this and i am using a subdomain for my website and traffic stopped instantly. I dont know what i did wrong. I will be waiting for some time first. Hope the traffic comes and if it doesnt i will have to remove the sub.

  • Doug Millington

    By far the best explanation of subdomains, folders and domains. I now completely understand the difference (at least I hope I do) and know what direction to take. I’ll definitely be coming back to learn more about seo.

  • Superbmedia Design

    I’m on the process of creating multiple sites for my client for geotargeting purposes but quite unsure which path to proceed, your artcle clearly point out all aspect in each categories whether to use multiple domain, subdomain or folder. You have done tremendous amount of research and experience in this subject.

    Thank you so much for this great article

  • Ghazanfar

    Very nice you have explained in detail about subdomains and folders Thanks for this. could you please tell me for radio station site ( different countries ) sub domains are best or folders??

  • Gregory Burrus

    Absolutely great post. For those of us struggling with this everyday, it is great to read this, very very informative post along with everybody’s feedback.

    Since this was done some time ago I would love to see an updated thought process or have things stayed the same?

    Thanks Again.

  • Ranga

    Thanks for the information. I use blogger with my own domain and was in confusion of whether to use sub-domain and it can affect my blogs traffic. You helped me to clear my confusion on this issue.. Thanks again dudes.

  • enetworklink

    Really great post. Perfectly explained & to the exact point. I was rather confuse before reading this article and couldn’t decide which options to choose. This article helped me a lot. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Rick Adlam

    This is a great article.
    And something that I have wondered about for a while. For my purposes, it would make sense to use folders, as it means less time upgrading web resources, and building traffic with web and blog content.
    Also the info about where to host your site was important. I have had my Australian site hosted in the US for many years, but recently shifted back to Australia because of latency issues. But I found that my income and traffic fell, I assume because I had a lot of US traffic when hosted in the US.
    Good article.

  • Somesh

    @rick adlam, it seems your finance business focus is in Australia. so it is better to maintain your server in australia rather than US. it does not make any sense just to concentrate on US visits when you have more potential in australia.

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  • Zack

    This was written about a year an a half ago so now I’m starting to doubt the subdomain part. Not only that but it seems like themselves, use subdomains every time they get the chance… so is the the proverbial, “do as I say, not as I do.”?

  • Buddyweb Paris

    Really good article!! I’m about to open a blog in our website and I am now able to choose the best way to do it: folders. Cheers!

  • Antoni

    A really good article! While trying to understand what’s behind Domain strategies you gave me an overall overview. Thank-you very much for posting.

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  • simran

    I think Sub domains are good option if you want to categorize your site into totally different niche. Say you want to sell something under one domain name: sell.example.com and you want to write reviews and create a blog interaction for the product as well then review.example.com . As per language and Geo targeting I don’t agree with you. These were used many years back but now Google is smarter.

    Safest way for any dull mind – “Take folder approach”.
    Regards

  • seo services uk

    Thanks for the article I strongly believe that you should use different domains like .br and .co.uk to make better use of the seo facilities

  • amin

    What google thinks about subdomains regarding link buiding?
    Are links from subdomains from a single site considered as an multiple links or a single link? Please someone answer.

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  • Maria

    Great and comprehensive info. We were thinking of restructuring our website by using sub domains. This information has made it easier for us to weigh the cons and pros before restructuring.

  • Ranked Top Search Engine Optimization Company | VastVision.com

    This will be so much helpful to those who is starting up a website and or reconstructing their website.I’ve been trying to search for this kind of blog that tackles mainly on constructing a website,on waht to dos and waht not to dos.this the perfect blog.:)

  • طراحی سایت

    I might be late in this thread but from my studies and experience, subdomains are considered part of the root domain in showing serp. My test is so in agree to what provided in this post and I’m 100% agree to what has been stated here.

  • Location voiture agadir

    Thanks so much!

    As I read some of the discussion threads it seems that most people compare subdomains to a folder on a large site. However, for my purposes the comparison is really subdomain vs. mini-site, since I have multiple, focused niche blogs that I wish to install. Seen in this way, a collection of topically related subdomains is better than several independent mini-sites. I appreciate your clarity on the subject.

  • Dale H

    Thanks for the article. I use folders extensively on my financial website to separate products, glossary terms, calculators, articles, ebooks, etc. This has worked well for me, but I always wondered if I made the right website architecture choice. After reading your VERY THOROUGH article, I know I have. Subscribe to your RSS feed? Done and Done.

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  • Jeffery Mitchell

    Wow – thankyou so much for a great article. I know very little about creating websites but this article saved me wasting my time by innapropriately making multiple websites. It also gave me some general direction in regards to a more appropriate plan.

  • Molly

    Thanks so much for the article! I am always reading more about website creation and the way to optimize them. I’m in the Web SEO services industry, and there’s never a shortage of info on optimization. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  • Mark

    This is the most useful analysis, exposition (and layout) that I have found on this topic. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  • Rob Nelson

    I am forwarding a domain that is just a url with no webpage attached. I think this is a bad idea as far as seo etc. goes. Can I do any backlinking to the url or any type of promotion for that matter? or would I be wasting my time.

  • Suzette

    Its always so much problems researching info on small website seo, glad I discovered your site though.
    ..really helpful
    I will defo be returning, its a great site!

  • Freddie Frampton

    I have taken your advice on-board and feel that sub domains is the way forward for me as I will not be able to get a TLD better than I already have unless I want to pay out a small fortune.

    My question is how do I go about creating the titles for the sub domains?

    Can they be the same as the TLD if focusing on another country?

    Should the subdomain website titles include the keywords in the TLD or should I create original titles using keywords different to the TLD?

  • Michael

    Hi,
    congrats for the great article!
    If you use target link domain to subdomain do you win with this trick, better rank for subdomain? and the other reason is the sub domain not accepted from many directory sites so you can use target domain. Is this idea right?
    thanks a lot

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