Subdomains Vs. Subfolders – Which Is Better For SEO?
If you’re wondering whether to use subdomains or subfolders for your website, you’re not alone. There is no easy answer when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), as both have their pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide which option is best for your website, but we hope that this blog can help you understand it better.
Coming from an SEO perspective, do you think you’ll get more advantages from getting a better rank position with a URL structure that is SEO-friendly? Or if you’re looking at it from a link building perspective, which structure do you think will benefit you more if you are trying to build links towards your website?
A subdomain is a second website with its own unique content, but it is hosted as a part of your main website. Subdomains are created to organize and navigate to different sections of your website. They can also be used to target different audiences or geographical areas. For example, you might have a “blog.yourwebsite.com” subdomain to host your blog or a “shop.yourwebsite.com” subdomain for your online store.
Pros of using subdomains:
– Subdomains can help you organize your website into different sections, which can be helpful for both visitors and search engines through the separate content management system and separate entities.
– Subdomains can be used to target different audiences or geographical areas, which can be helpful for both visitors and search engines. This is not just good for organising the purpose, but it is also great for branding as well since you have multiple subdomains websites that still have the same domain name.
– Subdomains can be used to test new website concepts before integrating them into the main site, which can save you time and money in the long run. Also, reduce the size of the overall website and become much easier to manage as sometimes blog content can be a lot and start to competing and getting rank over your money pages. Moreover, this is a very safe way to do so, as it will not wreck your website while you are trying to improve or implement something new.
– Subdomains can be used to separate or dedicate the pages for certain products or services such as blog.yourdomain.com or support.yourdomain.com This one will help search engines to have a full understanding of the main theme is on each domain and subdomain.
Cons of using subdomains:
– Subdomains can be more expensive to set up and maintain than subfolders, as they require additional DNS entries and web hosting accounts.
– Subdomains can be more difficult to promote than subfolders, as they are considered to be separate websites.
– Subdomains can be more difficult to SEO than subfolders, as google treats subdomains as separate websites.
– Backlink strength may start to drop as well as traffic loss if you are not implementing it properly.
A subfolder is a section of your website that is hosted in the same folder as your main website. For example, you might have a “products” subfolder or subdirectory structure to host your product pages, or a “services” subfolder to host your service pages.
Subfolders are often used for:
– Hosting a large website on a single primary domain name (e.g. “www.yourwebsite.com/blog“)
– Organizing a website into different sections (e.g. “www.yourwebsite.com/products“)
Pros of using subfolders:
– Subfolders can help you organize your website into different sections, which can be helpful for both visitors and search engines.
– Subfolders can be used to target different audiences or geographical areas, which can be helpful for both visitors and search engines.
– Subfolders can be less expensive to set up and maintain than subdomains, as they require fewer DNS entries and web hosting accounts.
Cons of using subfolders:
– Subfolders can be more difficult to promote than subdomains, as they are considered to be part of the same website.
– Subfolders can be more difficult to SEO than subdomains, as search engines may view them as part of the same website.
– Subfolders can’t be used to test new website concepts before integrating them into the main site.
So, which is better for SEO – subdomains or subfolders?
It’s not black and white since it depends on your individual website and how you plan to use subdomains and subfolders. However, in general, we prefer using subfolders for SEO purposes, as they are considered to be part of the same website and can be easier to optimize for search engines.
However, as I promise, I would make a decision based on what I have mentioned earlier in this article, I would say that subfolders are the better choice and safer to do and implement on your website. As it is easy to set up, subfolder hierarchy and bond on each category will increase link authority and it tends to favour search engines such as Google as well. Lastly, from the link building perspective, it is relatively easier to manage one big domain rather than having 4-5 domains (or subdomains) to take care of at once.
Some of you in the SEO community may have arguments against subfolders and favour subdomains more, which is not wrong because in some scenarios subdomains can be a better choice over subfolders. Especially, on the managing content or theme of a domain on each subdomain, especially when you have large blog section or support subdomains that you can build dedicatedly for that purpose.
Move Ahead Media is a web design and online marketing company that can help you create and grow your website. We specialize in website design, SEO, online marketing, and social media marketing. Contact us today to learn more or discuss the option between subfolders or subdomains in depth so you can decide what is best for your website.