If you are anyhow related with the PR team of your organization, it’s very likely that you have invested some amount of time researching about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For anyone responsible for promoting any organization, SEO seems to be in the top of their mind. While there are many benefits of SEO doing the rounds, there exists some serious concerns too. The most notable being the subdomain argument. Are subdomains bad for SEO?
What is a Subdomain?
Before delving into the topic further, it’s important to understand what a subdomain is. In simple terms, a subdomain is a part of the main website. But coming to the search engines, they consider subdomains to be a separate entity whole together. They are mostly used for organizational purposes and SEO boost. Other purposes include hosting a blog, catering to different regions, and showcasing different product lines.
To understand the whole problem surrounding SEO and subdomains, it’s important to get to the root of it. The whole argument stems out from the “subdomain vs subfolder” conundrum. There are several ways of hosting a corporate blog in a website. One of the way is to place it under a subfolder of the website. This is usually how things are set up when a blog platform is a part of a website.
Pros of Having a Subfolder
- The great thing about subfolders is that you can have everything in one site. This feature is appealing if you have one main domain that feeds the inbound links from the domain itself. Moreover, you need to pay the hosting fees for only one site, so if you are budget conscious, it’s a great win for you.
- If you are one of those guys who likes to arrange their categories in a certain way, then a subfolder is your best friend.
- It goes without saying that having all your content in one place lends an air of authority to a website. This is exactly what subfolders provide. Google treats them as a component of the same site. This feature is not available for subdomains since they are treated as different websites completely.
There’s no denying the advantages that subfolders have. But there’s also the darker side of cons. If the URL contains more pages, the subfolder setup file gets rougher. Moreover, the maintenance time increases manifold. Plus, there’s the added disadvantage of diluted exposure. Getting the desired exposure is very unlikely if the search results are jam-packed.
Advantages of Subdomains
Coming to subdomains, if you host a blog on a different platform than your website, it’s easier to set up a subdomain. Advantages of having a subdomain include the opportunity of popping up certain keywords into a domain. Subdomains are ideal for ranking and constructing authority in a smaller market. This will also help in beefing up the authority of the main domain. The best thing about subdomain though is the fact that it increases the chances to appear in search engines.
Disadvantages of Subdomains
There some disadvantages of hosting a subdomain too. When a subdomain is separate from the main domain, it’s highly unlikely for the user to benefit from the trickle-down from the main website. It’s also possible for search engines to consider the separate domains as competitors. The biggest disadvantage though is the financial part of it where the user needs to pay for multiple domains.
Here’s the main issue though. Many people think that choosing between subfolders and subdomains makes a huge difference in the SEO strategy. They are particularly harsher towards subdomains and treat them as a tragic offense. It is believed that the magical SEO juice will not flow to the primary domain. Thus, hurting the chances of increasing the search engine rankings.
Subdomains or Subfolders?
To be honest, choosing between subdomain and subfolder might have made a difference in the past. In today’s time it doesn’t really matter if you are team subdomain or team subfolder. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of it. So, in such a scenario it totally depends on the users and what simply works the best for them. One thing that does matter though is the content of the website. Rather than obsessing over the technical aspect of SEO, people would be better off if they created great content. Engaging content is the key to greater viewership of websites.
To be frank enough, the battle between subdomains and subfolders. People will continue arguing over the influence that subdomains have on SEO, but it’s not such a simple thing to decipher, and never will be. But what people can clearly understand and work on is the content of their websites. Subpar content no more fetches exposure to the website; engaging content does.
So, as far as the question on subdomains being bad for SEO is concerned, we are going to say no. it comes with its own share of pros and cons. It’s up to the users to comprehend the challenges ahead and use the positives to their advantage.