Subdomain vs Subdirectory
Subdomain vs subdirectory, which one to choose? When you create a new blog, section, or branch on a website, this question arises. SEO experts have many heated arguments regarding subdomain or subdirectories for SEO. In this article, I’ll discuss which one is better for SEO between subfolder & subdomain, and which you should choose. In some cases, you’ve to choose a subdomain and a subdirectory in another.
To proceed further, first, we look at the structure of the subdomain and subfolder.
- Subdirectory: www.example.com/blog/ blog is a subfolder. In this, we place all blogs, e-commerce, and other pages located in the subfolder of the website
- Subdomain: blog.example.com is a subdomain of example.com. You can create a different subdomain for a different section of the website.
What is Subdomain?
First, we’ve to understand what a subdomain is and its importance for user experience. As we explained above, the structure of a subdomain for a domain will be similar to kart.example.com. You can follow the few points provided
- You can easily set different designs for a separate subdomain of your website.
- Subdomains are preferred to differentiate between two critical sections of the website. Like you want to run a blog and as well as an e-commerce store.
- Allows you set custom designs on a different section of your website.
- You can host subdomains on different servers to improve your website security.
- Different language websites can use subdomains.
What is a subdirectory or subfolder?
In a domain name exmaple.com, the section that comes after the domain name is a subdirectory. In example.com/blog/, example.com is the domain name, and /blog/ is a subdirectory.
One can create as much as a subfolder under the main domain. And even you can create super subfolders under the subfolder. It may develop multi-layers of subfolders and lead to a longer permalink, and also, you may get confused with the structure.
For this, you can avoid multiple layers of subfolders. And also, define a proper structure for the blog as it will be best for you and search engines.
Subdirectories are considered best for SEO, as they build the E-A-T score of the website and pass higher authority PageRank under the same domain. But at the same time, the following are limitations of subfolders:
- The overall design of your website will remain the same,
- Can make your website huge,
- For a multilingual website, it will be complicated to the categorization of the subfolders.
Subdomain vs. Subfolders, which one is better for SEO?
Which one is better for the SEO of your website? Should you go with subdomain or subdirectory? We have already discussed the primary differences between subdomain and subdirectory. Now, we’ll talk about the SEO of both types of configuration.
There are a lot of debates in SEOs. One group says subdomain is better, and the other advocates’ subdirectory. But in some instances, both may be right. Let’s understand with an example of an e-commerce website. Suppose an e-commerce website is hosted at example.com, and you want to revamp the website and insert a blog to solve user queries and increase user engagement.
In this case, to insert a blog section, you may use example.com/blog/ or blog.example.com, But the question arises which one should work?
When you create a subfolder example.com/blog for the blog section, it may be possible that e-commerce pages have thin content and reduce the overall SEO of your blog. And if your e-commerce page is adequately optimized, then you can use the same method to enhance the SEO of the website.
When to use a subdomain?
Search engines treat subdomains as different domains and different properties. This point makes clear that each subdomain holds a separate authority. But, you can pass that authority by interlinking subdomains.
Suppose, for example, your blog niche is technology, and you want to create a page for the educational niche. If you use a subfolder, it will be easy to rank new articles in search results but can confuse search engines.
If your blog has quality backlinks like Wikipedia, YouTube, and other high DA websites, you can create a subfolder, and if not, it would be better to go with a subdomain. And if with subdirectory, somehow you manage to categories your page in meta tags, schema markup, you may confuse your blog reader. So it will be better to use a subdomain in this case.
- You can use a subdomain when there is multiple language content on your blog. Subdomains are easy to remember than a subdirectory.
- We can also use subdomains to target different countries like us.example.com and in.example.com targets users from the USA and India, respectively.
- Security Solution: When you create multiple sections under an e-commerce website, there may be a risk of attack on the whole website. An e-commerce website may contain debit or credit card details and other personal details of users.
When to use subdirectory or subfolder?
Google treats subdirectories as a part of the main domain. So the domain authority passes through all subdirectories and subfolders. You can pass page authority from one page to another by internal linking to increase the PageRank.
Many websites use subfolders for different language content. You can do that for the same niche content in a different language.
If the content in a subfolder gets an external backlink, then it passes its authority to all other subfolders. And also enhance the EAT score of the domain.
This article helps us understand when to use a subdomain and subdirectory. And also which one is better from the SEO point of view.