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Should I structure my site using subdomains or subdirectories?

Should I structure my site using subdomains or subdirectories?

I’m interested in finding out how Google currently views subdomains — whether there’s any difference between a site structured as a group of subdomains and one structured as a group of subdirectories.
Bob, Somerville, MA

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  1. I never get a clear answer. If i can use both why still i don't get traffic on my channel.

    You can see my channel has almost no views

  2. So lets say I have a dozen legitimate products/websites I want to put under a subdomain — all with the same TLD, does that mean several of them will get listed well and the rest of them are going to be listed in the never never?

  3. . Just have one question about the content in most forums. Which tends to be low quality .specially in nontechnical forums such fitness, cocking, movies etc. They are fill up with images, poor keywords and short length articles. So If put the forum in main directory, isn’t that will hurt you overall ranking?

  4. You should mention SSL certificates due to the ability to cover all subdomains with a single wildcard SSL certificate rather than individual certificates required on a main domain.

  5. This is really great update. Some of our "SEO experts" have been suggesting us to move our WordPress blog hosting from a sub-domain to a sub-directory .

  6. Can you honestly tell me that all domain level ranking factors governing trust and authority are inherited by a sub domains in the same way they are inherited by a sub folder?

  7. he seems to contradict himself, here. he's saying the traditional reasons (gaming the 'crowding' algorithm) don't apply anymore, but he's not coming out and saying that subdomains are equivalent to subdirectories from an SEO perspective. "Basically equivalent" doesn't cut it, especially when people who do SEO for a living are telling me they're not. i think the real answer is that the question doesn't have a straight answer.

  8. The guys from Moz recommends to go with sub-folders ( What do you think about that? Do you always consider two subdomains as different websites?

  9. This should not make a difference. It doesnt have extra redirects. If you are expiriencing problems with speed, consider moving WP to This is the only host I am marginaly satisfied with hosting our wp sites.

  10. Well… Subdirectories are almost always a lot easier and more convenient to use that's why most people prefer it over subdomains. But then again, there's always an exception to the rule.

  11. First, whether it is on or off will slightly change the actual Analytics code. Secondly, with it "off" traffic between your sub-domains and main domains will be tracked like each is a completely unique website. In Analytics, you would then see sub-domains as traffic sources, pages where people went from one sub-domain to another would have high "Exits" or "Bounces", and your average pages/visit and time on site would be low.

  12. Wow, this is one of the few videos where Matt actually gives an explanation behind the question instead of just humming and hawing for 4 minutes before declaring that he somehow answered the question.

    Thanks for the legitimate answer on this one. Let's keep it up!

  13. I feel like this is answered but – doesn't subdirectories take away from the root domain authority? Isn't that almost the sole benefit of using subdirectories. Or is that what Matt meant by it's scrunched now?

  14. Is it bad for my company domain to have sub domains/directories that cover multiple niches?

    And if it is a bad thing, then why are ALL the Big Names allowed to do it? and their sub domains/directories ALL rank just fine in the SERP's. Both & have an endless amount of sub domains/directories in multiple niches created by their members that rank #1 … So can I do the same?

  15. Awesome, Google found a way to eliminate more spammers. Get em Google. Never have been a big fan of sub-domain usage but it is a powerful way to generate more results.

  16. Though depending on your use case, you might have to configure your php.ini for allowing sessions across all sub-domains + ajax doesn't work cross-domain due to the same-origin policy. So I guess it's also a matter of trade-offs outside the realm of seo.

  17. yes, many websites that avail themselves of free services are devalued by search engines because of the high incidences of low quality web sites. Google's own blogger and blogspot come with an almost insurmountable penalty for instance.

  18. Now THAT's a good question. The answer is no, no extra link juice for sub domains any longer.
    You shouldn't take my word for it though, you should apply some scientific research to the question. There are lots of liars in SEO, especially the SE's themselves and any 3rd party that gets anything (like exclusive interviews or quest speakers at their events) from them.

  19. Why would you ask this guy? Who the F cares what he thinks? Notice he wasn't able to answer the question properly.
    He couldn't (or wouldn't) even answer the part about Google correctly, blaming the flaws in their system "abuse" by Webmasters…

  20. Historically, sub-domains were treated as separate domains so the link juice would flow differently between sub-domains and sub-directories…is that not the case anymore? Are sub-domains still considered within the same root domain and link juice flows evenly between them?

  21. The answer removed the suspicion as what to choose between sub-domain and directory. We can go either way depending on situations.

  22. This was very helpful as I am about to install a forum but can't do it in a directory because of the CMS for the web site. It looks like doing it on a subdomain on a different server will be OK.

  23. Subdomains are much smarter in my eyes. This is especially true if you're running multi site on WordPress.

  24. whichever way… no worries… question, are domain names hosted on tumbler get indexed less or more? just wondering…

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