Subdomain or Subdirectory? What They Are & How They Affect SEO

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Subdomain or Subdirectory? What They Are & How They Affect SEO


One in every of basically the most heated arguments that I have been a bit of used to be about whether or no longer Taylor Swift is an true dancer.

The main thing you might perhaps per chance also honest restful be taught about me is that Taylor Swift is my accepted artist. So you’d trust a laborious time convincing me she’s spoiled at one thing (due to she is rarely in actuality).

web optimization experts are per chance the identical methodology when debating whether subdomains or subdirectories are better for web optimization. As a marketer, that debate can motive confusion and prognosis paralysis.

On this text, you’ll be taught the variations between a subdomain and subdirectory and the tactic they trust got an tag on web optimization. There are experts and cons to both, and you’ll must take dangle of into story all of these factors earlier than provocative forward with your web web voice challenge.

Free Guide: How to Run a Technical SEO Audit

What is a subdirectory?

A subdirectory is a form of web web voice hierarchy under a root domain that uses folders to prepare voice on a web web voice. A subdirectory is the identical as a subfolder and the names can be broken-down interchangeably.

Subdirectory URL

In a URL, the subdirectory comes after the muse record or domain identify. To illustrate, HubSpot’s root domain is So a subdirectory URL can be Or it must be one thing extra sophisticated love sales. Under is an illustration of one who you might perhaps be in a position to deem subdirectory construction.

Example of a HubSpot subdirectory structure

By methodology of subdirectories, trust a construction same to nesting dolls. Every folder can fabricate off of one any other practically indefinitely. That ability you might perhaps per chance also honest trust a subfolder within a subfolder within a subfolder till you’re dozens, doubtlessly hundreds, of layers deep.

But exact due to you might perhaps be in a position to doesn’t indicate you might perhaps per chance also honest restful.

Too many layers of subfolders can become an web optimization nightmare. The URL string becomes long and sophisticated, the user experience is at chance with every click it takes to in discovering to the following piece of voice, and search engine crawlers will catch it practically impossible to bound your web voice for new voice and other web optimization wins you might perhaps per chance also honest trust added.

On the opposite hand, subfolders can be immense for web optimization as they aid any earned aid-hyperlinks, domain authority, and page authority closely tied to the muse domain. And when the web voice is rather easy to navigate, the URLs are short and easy, love, that ability you might perhaps be in a position to market particular webpages or touchdown pages by their URL without complicated your target audience.

What is a subdomain?

A subdomain is also a form of web web voice hierarchy under a root record, but in desire to the usage of folders to prepare voice on a web web voice, it roughly will get a web web voice of its trust. This subdomain is restful closely connected to the muse record, but it completely will on the total trust a separate voice management system, template, analytics instruments, and further.

The pattern of a subdomain is rather flat on the highest ranges. You’ll trust your root record, then the total subdomains under it in a horizontal row. All subdomains are on the identical degree. You obtained’t trust a subdomain within a subdomain love you’d a subfolder within a subfolder.

Example of HubSpot's Subdomain structure

web optimization and Subdomains

A subdomain can be immense for web optimization, but it completely would require a dedicated particular person or personnel that can perhaps manage it. Unlike subdirectories, a subdomain’s domain authority obtained’t robotically trickle down from the first domain identify. You per chance also can honest also pay further for instruments or subscriptions ought to you’re billed per domain identify since every subdomain will in total rely as a separate web web voice. Keeping these challenges in mind, let’s take dangle of a smarter trace on the benefits of the usage of a subdomain.

Why spend subdomains?

Subdomains are pleasant in case your industry properties a mode of voice that is possible to be demanding to manage all on one web web voice. You per chance also can honest also catch this construction exact ought to you saunter several enormous recurring campaigns that need separate touchdown pages or ought to you propose to assemble a partnership with one other group and must spoil up the branding on the challenge.

In transient, subdomains in discovering sense ought to you trust gotten a relevant industry must separate voice on your web web voice.

When to Use Subdomains

  1. Toughen
  2. A mode of Areas
  3. Blog
  4. Ecommerce Retailer
  5. Events

There are a series of cases when an organization also can honest restful spend a subdomain. Under are basically the most well-liked.

1. Toughen

Every on occasion it would no longer in discovering sense to trust your buyer aid on your major web voice. For event, Google uses in desire to The main motive is also attributable to the web voice construction. is a search engine, and Google’s Toughen line doesn’t belong to its Search industry line. Subsequently, it desires its trust subdomain to successfully join with and wait on its customers.

2. A mode of Areas

Whenever you wait on multiple areas, whether nationally or internationally, the usage of a subdomain would be an true understanding. Whenever you had a web voice in German and one in English, it will no longer in discovering sense to list these as subdirectories. For event, Craigslist uses subdomains for the assorted areas it serves. Listed below are two of its subdomain net sites: or

3. Blog

Many companies spend to trust their blog as a subdomain. Of path, that is what HubSpot does. Whenever you might perhaps trust, the page you are on pleasant now’s a page. However, this particular article is in the Marketing and marketing subdirectory of the subdomain. Net sites also can honest spend to trust their blog as a subdomain if they trust got a voice campaign in mind that’s enormous ample in volume to deserve its trust hierarchy and enhance path (extra on that in a minute). Additionally, a subdomain is exact for a blog ought to you’d take dangle of to uncover a distinct section authority.

4. Ecommerce Retailer

For companies that promote merchandise, to boot to their fashioned product or service, they are able to place aside their ecommerce retailer on a subdomain. HubSpot does this as nicely. Besides our major software hubs, HubSpot merchandise is readily available at

5. Events

In case your company hosts events, it must be an true understanding to partition that piece of your web voice real into a subdomain. Again, here’s realistic ought to you should expose aside a bit of your web voice out of your fashioned product or service. Microsoft does this with its

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory

A subdomain compartmentalizes your web web voice so that you might perhaps be in a position to construct particular voice forms that are sure out of your root domain. On the opposite hand, a subdirectory is a pathway within your web voice. Subdirectories are a level within the domain’s hierarchy. Subdirectories branch off from the subdomain they belong to.

Technically, a web web voice can spend both a subdomain and a subdirectory construction. Subdomains will on the total trust on the least just a few subfolders within them to prepare voice, but possible no longer as many as a subdirectory. That’s due to there is a smaller form of voice covered on a subdomain than a root domain with subfolders.

So it’s major to love what the first construction of your web web voice can be. To come to a decision this, let’s take dangle of a smarter trace at how subdomains and subdirectories impact web optimization.

How assemble subdomains and subdirectories trust an impact on web optimization?

Some web optimization experts trust that Google’s crawlers also can confuse a subdomain for an fully varied web web voice from the first domain. However, others utter its crawlers can acknowledge subdomains as extensions of parent domains.

Per Google, the web voice crawls, indexes, and ranks subdomains and subdirectories the identical methodology.

In the video under, Google Webmasters Dispositions Analyst John Mueller says, subdomains on the total don’t injure a web voice’s rankings. Of path, he says Google is orderly ample to trace your major domain and subdomain as being tied to the identical web web voice.

Some web optimization experts argue that subdomains don’t fragment the authority they receive from a technique hyperlinks (or aid-hyperlinks) with the muse domain. The reverse might per chance also be honest; due to subdomains are thought to be separate entities out of your root domain, to boot they are able to honest no longer inherit any of the link authority you’ve already built to your core web web voice voice.

Additionally, ought to you are optimizing pages for the identical key phrases on your major web voice and subdomain, you might perhaps be competing in opposition to yourself.

On the opposite hand, other web optimization experts argue that subdomains in discovering it more straightforward to navigate your web voice. In a roundabout method, this leads to a bigger user experience, which also can stay in better engagement rates, therefore bettering your web optimization.

Subdomains can be exact ought to you trust gotten a enormous company and the subdomains wait on a particular function and in actuality feature as a separate industry.

To illustrate, Disney has subdomains equivalent to,, and motion

Since these subdomains wait on very varied functions, it would no longer topic if the websites don’t fragment the identical authority from aid-hyperlinks, due to they per chance are usually no longer focusing on the identical key phrases.

Per some web optimization experts, one other reduction is that subdomains can again fabricate niche authority. For event, you might perhaps per chance also favor your blog to be thought to be a separate entity out of your product or service.

Conversely, in case your web voice would no longer trust any broad verticals on your navigation, then you might perhaps per chance also honest no longer must spend a subdomain due to you want as many hyperlinks going aid to your major web voice as that you might perhaps be in a position to deem. Whenever you ought to no longer trust a compelling motive to spend subdomains, then subdirectories work exact elegant.

Which is Greater: Subdirectory or Subdomain?

Though this topic can on the total be complicated, in the extinguish the resolution relies on your web web voice’s desires. Subdomains can provide group and construction to your web voice ought to you trust gotten a mode of various, but major voice to fragment. Subdirectories can be realistic for smaller net sites that don’t trust a enormous form of voice. No topic which construction you take dangle of out, you’ll must protect abreast of web optimization most practical practices in expose to fulfill your web web voice goals. The free files under will enable you to give a take to your web voice with a free web optimization audit software equipment.

Editor’s level to: This put up used to be on the starting place aside printed in February 2020 and has been up thus some distance for comprehensiveness.

seo audit

First and predominant printed Jul 21, 2021 1: 15: 00 PM, up thus some distance July 21 2021

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