Subdomains vs Sub-Folders – Charles Snyder Raw #88. Since I am still working on getting back on schedule, I decided to take another question from Quora. Alex wants to know if we would recommend moving content from a subdomain to sub-folders.
SEO or security?
But first, here’s Alex’s original question:
“If you had a new client in SEO with a site where both the blog and the support docs (FAQs, API docs, etc.) are on sub-domains, would you recommend moving them to sub-folders instead?”
So here are some of my thoughts and the reasoning behind what I would recommend. I promise that it’s not as confusing as it may sound at first. Plus I threw in some additional editing on this video to help simplify today’s topic. So much for it being “Raw” and unedited…lol
Facts vs. fiction
There seems to be a lot of confusing information out there about this subject, not the least of which comes from the search engines themselves. Since in particular, not even Google is abundantly clear on the topic, one way or the other. But even some sources in Google admit that there seems to be more favor towards sub-folders.
Regardless, I have observed first-hand a significant difference. When I was working on restructuring our agency website, we had a noticeable increase in traffic. So all I did was move our blog from a sub-domain to a sub-folder of cesnydermarketing.com. Nothing else.
Additionally, even the folks at Moz noticed something similar when they made the move to directories on the main domain name. Coincidence?
Subdomains vs Sub-Folders: practical use
So anyway, back to Google. What they say in the webmaster tools section doesn’t quite jive with what I’ve seen them do. Since this is the case, I would recommend against putting anything you want to rank well within a sub-domain.
However, and even Google admits this, if you’re not worried about – say a secure checkout from ranking – put it in a secure subdomain. So the same goes for documents such as user manuals. Having them rank may not be a concern, so putting them in a subdomain isn’t an issue.
In summary, if I want something to get traffic, I put it into a sub-folder of our website. Sub-folders tend to rank better than subdomains, I don’t know why and Google is still trying to figure it out too. Thus my recommendation.
PLEASE NOTE: I no longer answer questions like Subdomains vs Sub-Folders on Quora. There are no checks and balances in place for the rampant censorship by some moderators. And to make matters worse, inquiries about the anonymous censorship that goes on there have yet to see any reply. Since that is the case, I will continue to help others, I just won’t be wasting my time on that website. So Say Goodbye Quora!
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Charles is the owner of C. E. Snyder Marketing LLC. His background includes 30+ years in the fire service. Since 1999, he has also become a published author and a public speaker from 2004 on. He is widely respected as the “go-to” guy for Digital Marketing, websites, and SEO, recently being recognized with the 2020 Best of Lancaster in Digital Marketing Award.
Charles is also known as “The Marketing Ninja” and is a serial entrepreneur. His favorite quote is “Make Stuff Happen!” Also, his personal interests include spending time with Ann, his fiancee, playing the occasional video game, and growing mutant eyebrow hairs since getting on the wrong side of 50 years old.