Subdomain vs. Subdirectory: 2 Various SEO Strategies
Alice and Bob are budding blogger buddies who satisfied up at a meetup and acquired some root domains to start writing. Alice purchased aliceblogs.com and Bob scooped up bobtopia.com
Alice and Bob chose against WordPress since its what their moms and dads utilize and bought subscriptions to a popular cloud-based Ghost blogging platform instead.
Bob decides his blog site needs to live at blog.bobtopia.com– a subdomain of bobtopia.com. Alice keeps it old school and constructs hers at aliceblogs.com/blog— a subdirectory of aliceblogs.com.
Subdomains and subdirectories are various strategies for instrumenting root domains with brand-new features (believe a blog or a store). Alice and Bob chose their methods on a whim, however which strategy is technically much better? The brief answer is, it depends However the long answer can in fact enhance your SEO. In this post, we’ll review the merits and tradeoffs of each. In Part 2, we’ll reveal you how to transform subdomains to subdirectories utilizing Cloudflare Workers
Establishing Subdomains and Subdirectories
Setting up subdirectories is unimportant on standard websites. A web server treats its subdirectories (aka subfolders) the very same as regular old folders in a file system. In other words, fundamental sites are currently arranged using subdirectories out of the box. No established or configuration is needed.
In the traditional site above, we’ll presume the blog site folder contains an index.html file. The web server renders blog/index. html when a user navigates to the oldschoolsite.com/blog subdirectory However Alice and Bob’s sites do not have a blog site folder because their blog sites are hosted from another location– so this technique won’t work.
On the modern-day Web, subdirectory setup is more complex since the services that consist of a root domain are typically hosted on makers spread throughout the world.
Due to the fact that DNS records only operate on the domain level, records like
CNAME have no effect on a url like aliceblogs.com/blog— and because her blog is hosted remotely, Alice requires to install NGINX or another reverse proxy and compose some configuration code that proxies traffic from aliceblogs.com/blog to her hosted blog. It takes time, patience, and experience to link her domain to her hosted blog.
Bob’s subdomain method is the simpler method with his remotely hosted blog. A DNS
CNAME record is frequently all that’s needed to link Bob’s blog to his subdomain. No additional setup is required if he can remember to pay his monthly subscription.
To wrap up, subdirectories are currently developed into basic websites that serve structured content from the same device, but contemporary sites frequently rely on numerous remote services. Subdomain set up is relatively simple for websites that make the most of various hosted cloud-based platforms.
Are Subdomains or Subdirectories Better for SEO?
Subdomains are cool. If you ask me, blog.bobtopia.com is more appealing than bobtopia.com/blog However if we want to make an informed choice about the finest strategy, where do we look? If we have an interest in SEO, we ought to speak with the Google Bot.
Subdomains and subdirectories are equivalent in the eyes of the Google Bot, according to Google itself. This means that Alice and Bob have the exact same opportunity at ranking in search engine result. This is since Alice’s root domain and Bob’s subdomain develop their own sets of keywords Appropriate keywords assist your audience discover your website in a search. There is one essential caveat to explain for Bob:
A subdomain is equivalent and distinct from a root domain. This indicates that a subdomain’s keywords are dealt with individually from the root domain.
What does this mean for Bob? Let’s picture bobtopia.com is already a popular online platform for folks called Bob to look for kinship with other Bobs. In this strange world, searches that rank for bobtopia.com wouldn’t instantly rank for blog.bobtopia.com due to the fact that each domain has its own different keywords. The lesson here is that keywords are diluted across subdomains. Each extra subdomain decreases the probability that any specific domain ranks in a provided search. A high ranking subdomain does not indicate your root domain ranks well.
Subdomains also experience backlink dilution. A backlink is just a hyperlink that points back to your website. Alice’s attribution to a post on the etymology of Bob from blog.bobtopia.com does not help bobtopia.com due to the fact that the subdomain is treated different however equivalent from the root domain. If Bob used subdirectories rather, Bob’s blog site posts would feed the authority of bobtopia.com and Bobs everywhere would rejoice.
Although search engines have enhanced at identifying subdomains and attributing keywords back to the root domain, they still have a long way to go. A prudent online marketer would prevent danger by presuming search engines will constantly be bad at cataloguing subdomains.
So when would you want to use subdomains? An excellent use case is for companies who have an interest in expanding into foreign markets. Pretend bobtopia.com is an American company whose site remains in English. Their English keywords will not rank well in German searches– so they equate their website into German to begin building new keywords on deutsch.bobtopia.com Erfolg!
Other usage cases for subdomains include product stratification (believe global brands with presence across lots of markets) and business internal tools (believe efficiency and company tools that aren’t user facing). However unless you’re a huge corporation or simply complete your Series C round of funding, subdomaining your site into numerous silos is not assisting your SEO.
If you’re a startup or small company seeking to optimize your SEO, consider subdirectories over subdomains. Enhancing the authority of your root domain ought to be a universal objective of any company. The subdirectory technique concentrates your keywords onto a single domain while the subdomain strategy spreads your keywords across several distinct domains. In a word, the subdirectory strategy results in better root domain authority. Greater domain authority causes better search rankings which translates to more engagement.
Think about the multitude of disruptive PaaS startups with docs.disruptivepaas.com and blog.disruptivepaas.com Why not switch to disruptivepaas.com/docs and disruptivepaas.com/blog to boost the authority of your root domain with all those docs searches and StackOverflow backlinks?
Want to Change Your Subdomains to Subdirectories?
Interested in switching your subdomains to subdirectories without a reverse proxy? In Part 2, we’ll reveal you how using Cloudflare Workers.
Interested in deploying a Cloudflare Employee without setting up a domain on Cloudflare? We’re making it easier to get going developing serverless applications with custom subdomains on workers.dev If you’re already a Cloudflare customer, you can include Workers to your existing website here