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What's better: subdomains or folders?

Discussion in 'Web Hosting' started by equalizer, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. equalizer

    equalizer Junior Member

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    I want to add several different niches inside one domain, and I want your expert opinion on which is more effective and recommended. Should I use sub-domains like this:

    florist.mydomain.com
    bellyfat.mydomain.com
    cheapinsurance.mydomain.com

    or is it OK to use folders like this:

    mydomain.com/florist
    mydomain.com/bellyfat
    mydomain.com/cheapinsurance

    Are there any technical or SEO differences, or either way is fine?
    Would appreciate your feedback, thanks.
     
  2. adamiove

    adamiove Junior Member

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    I think with a blog you would be better off with a sub-domain it will keep everything seperate from your main site and make it easier to manage, plus the sub-domain will create better quality back links to your main site compared to a folder
     
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  3. artizhay

    artizhay BANNED BANNED

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    I think this is going to generate a lot of discussion as there may not be one right or wrong answer.

    To start, can I ask why you would want to use a global domain and put your niches in folders/subdomains rather than buying a domain for each one? If buying a domain for each was an option, I think I would choose that over subdomains.

    However, here is what I know and have gathered about subdomains and folders:
    1. A backlink to a folder passes juice to the main domain and its subfolders.
    1a. This could be good because it will require less work to build up link juice for all of your folders and you can use any existing backlink strength the main domain already has.
    1b. This can also be bad because, since the link juice is passed around the domain and its folders, you will have various, unrelated keywords being passed around. (This is in theory, based on what I've gathered; I've read the juice CAN be passed to the domain's other folders but it does for sure get passed to the main domain.)

    2. Sub-domains are treated as separate entities from their parent domains.
    2a. You won't get as much link juice from your parent domain as a folder would. This will make it harder to rank. However, this could be offset by point 3.

    3. Having a keyword closer to the start of the name will help SERP.
    3a. florist.mydomain.com would rank better than mydomain.com/florist for "florist."

    4. It is easier to submit subdomains to directories than folders.
    4a. Some directories disallow deep linking.

    That's all I have and you can see the pros and cons of each. I personally would recommend subdomains for unrelated topics, like yours. If you were asking about a forum, blog, etc. I would recommend folders because they are more closely related to each other and the main domain. Subdomains will allow you to differentiate your topics to not only your vistors, but to search engines.
     
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  4. equalizer

    equalizer Junior Member

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    Thanks artizhay for your input. I'm just starting out in IM and trying to save money since domains are not cheap. I have two hosting accounts, and one charges $10 per domain, and the other $12.50. Again thank you for explaining the difference between subdomains and folders, it's what I wanted to know.
     
  5. equalizer

    equalizer Junior Member

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    Thank you adamiove for your feedback. The fact that subdomains create quality backlinks to the main site is very important for me to know. Appreciate the tip.