6
Contributors
17
Replies
18
Views
9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Div Murphy
1

Subdomains can be very useful for SEO, but only in certain situations.

Note that search engines to some extent treat a subdomain as a separate domain (website). Thus, the page rank, link popularity, authority, etc of your primary domain will not necessarily be transferred to the subdomain. This means that if you use subdomains, you need to have specific link building plans for that subdomain. If you want to use lots of subdomains, this means lots of extra work building links, and diluting your overall link building efforts.

Also, be sure any content in a subdomain is largely unique. Given search engines treat subdomains as separate websites, duplicate content filtering can kick in, hurting both the subdomain and any other domain that has that content (including your main site).

On the other hand, using a subdomain can have good search engine value, mainly from having keywords in the subdomain (e.g., keywords.mydomain.com).

Thus, only use subdomains if you are creating a unique section of your site that has specific value, and you are prepared to put some effort into link building for that subdomain, as well as your other domains.

One site that does very well with subdomains is about.com. They have hundreds, and use keywords in the subdomain very effectively. However, they have lots of link authority to pass around, and tons of unique content.

Votes + Comments
Yup!
0

If your entire website is about the same topic, I see no point in using subdomains. However, question of my own ...

Do you spread more link love between pages of a single domain or between subdomains of a site? It's always been my experience that pagerank flows easier among pages of a single site, but an coming link from a unique domain counts more. So if you have a common navigation among various subdomains of a site, does that count towards the number of incoming unique domain links?

0

So if you have a common navigation among various subdomains of a site, does that count towards the number of incoming unique domain links?

I don't think that links between subdomains (including www. to/from other subdomains) counts nearly as much as links from an external domain, and probably do not count as true "external" links. It's a little like links from sites on the same IP address -- it is assumed you control them all, so the "weight" of the link is more like an internal link. I don't know for sure if links between subdomains count more or less than within a domain, but I suspect it is less, since I've done this type of linking before, and the subdomain pages did not rank as well as internal pages with similar level of links.

So, yes it is good to interlink websites that are subdomains, but you need true external linking to each subdomain to really build link popularity.

0

My idea was to use the sub domains in order to insert in the domains my key words
I mean my website url regretfully has not the keywords that I like ... so maybe someting like

keyword.domain.net

this can help?

I have not thought to insert link from sub domain to my main domain in order to increase ingoing number of links .... I think will not work at all, will be considered internal link.

0

My idea was to use the sub domains in order to insert in the domains my key words
I mean my website url regretfully has not the keywords that I like ... so maybe someting like

keyword.domain.net

this can help?

Using keywords in the subdomain name will definitely help positions, but as noted above, unless you do external link building on that subdomain it will still not rank well. If there are just one or two keywords you think are critical, it may work to define subdomains for those and do link building. However, those subdomains must serve unique content relevant to those keywords to rank well, and you need to keep them separate from your www.mydomain.net website.

Ultimately, the bulk of your rankings will come from focusing on good content and link building. Over time, having inbound links that contain those keywords in the link anchor text, and having those keywords in your page title, metas, content, etc, will do much more for your rankings. You may be better off going that direction than setting up subdomains that each need separate content and promotion to work well.

0

I was never one for using keywords in my URL. I would rather have a catchy domain name that is brandable and conducive to word of mouth as opposed to something that strings together a bunch of search keywords.

0

My idea was to use the sub domains in order to insert in the domains my key words
I mean my website url regretfully has not the keywords that I like ... so maybe someting like

keyword.domain.net

this can help?

I have not thought to insert link from sub domain to my main domain in order to increase ingoing number of links .... I think will not work at all, will be considered internal link.

the page names can cover a lot of that.... as well as strategic subdirectories

1

I was never one for using keywords in my URL. I would rather have a catchy domain name that is brandable and conducive to word of mouth as opposed to something that strings together a bunch of search keywords.

that used to be the case and the branding thing is still true but look at Google search results... the domain name as a keyword gets a lot of play these days

Votes + Comments
awesome
0

Ah, this is always a hot topic at the conferences.

Think of subdomains as a way to organize your site's structure, rather than as a means to to rank better. Great examples of sites that properly and effectively use subdomains are craigslist (organized by region), wikipedia (language), and the NYT (section).

For what it's worth, Matt Cutts of Google "says" that keywords in the URL's may help rankings.

0

Ah, this is always a hot topic at the conferences.

Think of subdomains as a way to organize your site's structure, rather than as a means to to rank better. Great examples of sites that properly and effectively use subdomains are craigslist (organized by region), wikipedia (language), and the NYT (section).

For what it's worth, Matt Cutts of Google "says" that keywords in the URL's may help rankings.

such a good informative poster....

0

that used to be the case and the branding thing is still true but look at Google search results... the domain name as a keyword gets a lot of play these days

But is the benefit that you will get from having a keyword-rich domain name enough to hinder your company's branding? The name of your company is permanent and it plays a major role in first impressions of all your visitors, word of mouth marketing, viral marketing, etc ... Sure having keywords stuffed in there might be a little beneficial in the SERPS, but so can ten extra backlinks.

Otherwise all of the big companies would be doing it ... Amazon.com would be called cheap-online-bookstore.com and eBay.com would be called online-auctions.com. There's a reason they don't :)

Check out this post of mine from 2004 => http://www.daniweb.com/forums/post40716-9.html
It's rather old but IMHO it still applies.

0

lol..... branding is seprate from ranking.... you can always have the branded domain as a standalone or even have it redirect to the other

0

I was under the impression that if you have a branded domain 301 redirect to the real deal, then Google will discount the redirected domain in favor of everything related to what it's pointing to. And if you don't use a 301 redirect, then that's duplicate content?

0

> branding is seprate from ranking
That's my point :) When choosing a domain name, choose it because it is brandable and not because it could marginally help you with a keyword or two.

0

The all point is this one........

(1) if all the website is regarding a single keyword (cats) I don't need any subdomains probably. I can have more folders anyway....... example

mydomain.com/food-for-cat
mydomain.com/home-for-cat

BUT ... suppose that my url has nothing to do with cat....
is not better ...........

food-for-cat.mydomain.com
home-for-cat.mydomain.com

????????????????


(2) suppose that my website is about cats AND alligators!
suppose that my url has nothing to do with cats.... AND alligators....

In this case I think is better definetely use subdomain....... then............

cats.mydomain.com
alligators.mydomain.com


In my case I'm now using just folder but thinking to do somethign also with subdomain.... will see.......

0

Hey cscgal,

I have a question that haven't seen addressed anywhere so I thought I'd throw it by you.

We have a "gray-label", cobranding partnership program where websites will refer to a brand-specific subdomain of our site as a way to offer an ecommerce element without having to assume fullfillment overhead costs, etc. How it works is the partnering site will point any e-commerce links on their main site to us via a web address something like: "theirbrand.ourbrand.com" with a site name of "Their Site--Powered by Our Site".

We block these subdomains from being spidered, since they're most often a mirror image of our core site, just with a different theme. So from my understanding, there's no evidence to SEs that these subdomains are even part of the picture for us. I've recently begun to worry that we're losing out on some significant search engine benefits for having highly relevant, respectable sites
link to our content--that we're missing out on the link popularity piece of SE algorithms. Is this a valid concern? Is there a better approach to integrating these co-branded subdomains into our family?

Thanks for any insight you might have.

DM

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.