SUBDOMAINS VS SUBFOLDERS: WHO WINS?
Are subdomains better for search engine optimisation (SEO)? Just how different are subdomains from subfolders? Let Adssential Marketing take you through a simple guide of subdomains on websites and find out how impactful subdomains are on SEO.
What is Subdomain?
The subdomain is a part of the ‘Home’ page’s server, often acting as a file location. Subdomains acts independently from the main server and the address is often on the left of the root URL.
What is Subfolder?
Subfolders are paths stored within the same root URL and as such are treated as part of the main website also.
Subdomains VS Subfolders?
Subdomains are often used when specific pages on a website require their own server. For example, a website that has blogs or downloadable content for users, subdomains are used as space is limited on the host server.
It is also used for organisational purposes within a business. Being able to setup a site with subdomains for different departments makes it easierfor providing access to individuals.
For example, creating a different department’s page on a subdomain can allow the host to provide just the edit access to that page instead of having to provide access to the entire website, which might in turn disable the entire root URL when editing needs to be done.
Its can also be used to host mobile version of websites or sites with different languages.
However, due to the nature of it, they are often treated as a separate entity to the root URL.
On the other hand, subfolders are all setup on the same server as the root URL as such, there is no partitioning. With that, all content and keywords are often linked back to the main page.
How Do They Perform In The SEO Department?
Since subdomains are treated separately from the root URL, they do not receive the same benefits that a subfolder would in terms of SEO. Subdomains are required to have individual profiles set up on the Google Search console as well. We cannot say for sure that subdomains lose all the benefits of being separate from the root URL, but they only retain to a certain extent some of them.
Subfolders on the other hand may perform slightly better due to the concentration of keywords on the same server. As the subfolder and the main site fall on the same server, all content and keywords are owned by the main page.
The origin of this debate began when Google’s head of search trends affirmed that the search engine can better identify subdomains and allocating keywords.
The team at Moz attempted establishing the relationship of keywords in subdomains to the root URL but what they discovered was that subdomains may end up confusing search engines and as a result produce poor results separating portions of the keywords away from the root.
In short, subfolders take the victory for this debate as performance-based metrics show that subfolders perform best for keywords backlink and SEO for websites.
Despite this, subdomains remain useful as website architecture often varies between businesses. There is no one size fit all method for this. If you’re still unsure which is a better structure for your site, let the Adssential Marketing team help you out! Simply drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us do the rest!