Last updated on August 15, 2020 by The Counselor
Choosing between subdomain vs subdirectory SEO guide 2019
I thought about this for a while before restructuring my website. Searched through and through different websites and YouTube videos for Subdomain vs Subdirectory. I needed an answer so as to make a decision on which platform to use. To be candid, my desire was to create an external link to my websites since it is one of those things search engines use to define the significance of websites when compared to others.
Every information I had consumed while seeking for Subdomain vs Subdirectory answers were confusing, so I gave the thought a break for a number of days. One night, while I was lost in deep thought of other issues, my answer to subdomain vs subdirectory became clearer…
Subdomain vs Subdirectory
Let me start with a subdomain.
Google treats subdomain as an independent website. Every backlink to a subdomain remains with the subdomain. If you have a root domain with SEO optimization and good traffic, it will not be passed on to a subdomain. You must optimize it also to achieve expected results. Else, everyone using WordPress and Blogger domain will also enjoy the traffic and links coming from the root domain.
- Creating a subdomain will not increase your root domain traffic either will there be an increase in traffic.
- Root domain and subdomain will only help each other if they linked effectively.
When to use a subdomain
You should use a subdomain when you have content that is completely different from your root domain’s content. For example;
- You can use a subdomain for country
- You can use a subdomain for forums.
- Most likely, you can use a subdomain for any niche.
Will I lose SEO If I move some root domain content to my subdomain?
The answer is capital YES. If you move a pillar content on your root domain, that is a content that drives traffic to your website to your subdomain, you will lose traffic. All the traffic enjoyed by your root domain will be passed on to your subdomain if your 303 redirect is correct.
So subdomain is not important?
A subdomain is very important if you have a flair for structure and organisation. But subdomain is not important if you’re looking for quick traffic. If you have the same content in the root domain. If you’re a starter, with no good traffic, a subdomain is the best bet for you. Subdomain makes your site look professional better than a subdirectory that looks more like a category in the permalink.
As you can see on the sample above, a user will know at first glance that the first link is a subdomain but the latter is quite confusing because it looks like a category or post title.
If you’re relatively new, go for subdomain but know this; you will have to optimize the subdomain and the root domain to get good traffic. They are both unique and treated separately by Google.
Now let’s take a look at subdirectory.
A webpage in a subdirectory is dependent on the root domain. They do not have a unique address name like the subdomain. When google bot comes crawling your webpages, it will also crawl your subdirectories if your robot.txt allow it.
When to use subdirectory?
You can use a subdirectory if you want to use a different content management system (cms), or theme to run a related or separate content.
Will I lose SEO if I move content from the root domain to a subdirectory?
The answer is capital No. If you move a pillar content on your root domain, that is, a content that drives traffic to your website to your subdirectory, you will not lose traffic. You only need to inform search engines that you have move to avoid 404. Any traffic coming from subdirectory will be pass on to the root domain and vice versa.
Who should use a subdirectory?
Anyone can use a subdirectory but it is a must for those with good traffic. If for any reason, you want to change the structure your website, and still want to maintain your good old traffic, go for a subdirectory. If you’re a newbie, subdomain or subdirectory has no significant value to you. Just choose one.
A subdirectory is good for:
- About us
- Advertise with us
In conclusion, subdirectory wins over subdomain for SEO sake.