Subdomains – are they good or bad for SEO? This query is one we have been getting a lot recently. Therefore, we thought we’d give you the First Page Content SEO perspective.
An effective way that your company can improve its SEO and climb up the Google (and other search engines) rankings is to provide your visitors with unique and engaging content. A blog is one of the quickest and most cost-effective means of providing such content. The question then arises – how do you incorporate that blog into your website?
In terms of achieving effective SEO, the way your website is structured is crucial. However, there are divided opinions regarding using a subdomain for your blog or having it as part of your main website. At First Page Content SEO, we believe strongly that your blog should be hosted as part of your primary domain, as a sub-folder, rather than as a subdomain. Here’s why.
The Difference Between a Subdomain and a Sub-Folder
If you are wondering what the difference is between subdomains and subfolders, you are not alone. We frequently have to explain the small but crucial distinctions between the two.
You can tell whether a URL is for a subdomain or subfolder simply by looking at the address. For instance, your company could have one of the following for its blog:
Subdomain – http://www.blog.yourcompany.com
Subfolder – http://www.yourcompany.com/blog
So what? Does this mean that subdomains are good or bad for SEO? As mentioned previously, the distinction may be slight, but it is crucial in terms of SEO. If you set your blog as a subfolder, it acts as another page on your main website. Therefore, any SEO you carry out on a blog post benefits your company domain. If using a subdomain, your main site will not benefit from your blogs’ SEO.
As far as the search engines are concerned, there is no harm in using a subdomain. For instance, Google’s John Mueller stated in 2017 that subdomains are okay and that it might take the search engines an extra couple of days to crawl the subdomain separately. However, that is the crucial aspect – the search engines crawl them independently to your main site.
Why Crawling Subdomains Separately Is Bad
Having search engines crawl your blog separately to your main site means that you are splitting your SEO efforts. The two main factors that influence SEO results are content and links. Your blog will be the place where you can provide new content, the place where visitors can interact and generate links. This interaction, in turn, will generate increased domain authority – but for your blog, not your main site.
Your primary site may be where you want visitors to go to buy, subscribe, or take some other action. If you weaken your domain authority by splitting your content and links, you might not maximize conversions.
So, are subdomains good or bad for SEO? In short, not bad, but certainly not beneficial. However, integrating your blog into your main site as a subfolder will improve SEO rankings, organic traffic, and sales. Why? Because you will combine the results into your primary domain, rather than spreading them too thinly over two.
First Page Content SEO Recommendation
Integrate your blog into your main company website as a subfolder. Regularly produce unique and engaging content that scores highly on Readability and SEO. Three are occasions when using subdomains is beneficial – when operating across different languages, for example. However, for your company blog, stick to a subfolder on your main site.