Search engine optimisation techniques and tips for anyone who is serious about their website. SEO is not for the feint hearted and it requires consistent application of a wide range of techniques and initiatives to be applied on a regular basis. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your website through a better understanding of what SEO is about and what is required. Through a growth in your own understanding you will be able to deliver a better web solution and improve your chances of attracting greater and better qualified leads to your website.

Arguing the case that using subfolders rather than subdomains

When it comes to SEO for your website, it seems everyone has an opinion on whether it is better to use subdomains or subfolders for content in your site for gaining the best SEO rankings.

In my view, most of the arguments were based on anecdotal evidence or put forward by those who couldn't offer a choice either way.  As such, I could never argue the case myself, however I have always felt that the use of subfolders was the better choice.

At last the argument/debate can be clearly settled with the empirical evidence from Rand Fishkin from MOZ who explains why subfolders are the best choice to improve the SEO ranking for your website content in the video featured below.

For those who want to know more, visit the MOZ blog and read the comments which in themselves provide even further insight with examples of how different Web developers have tackled this age-old issue.

My insight.

It is really quite simple (as this invariably is the best point to start from).  Google treats subdomains much like a domain in that the overall subdomain is treated essentially as its own site, just as your domain is. Now if you share the ranking contribution factors across your subdomain and your main domain, then you have diluted the ranking juice you otherwise would have had if you had simply used a subfolder (which is considered part of your main domain) rather than using subdomains.

The specifics of course are a lot more complex and vary depending on your own situation (as evidenced in the comments made in Rand’s post).  There are still valid and effective reasons for using subdomains however these will be subject to what your purpose and overall architecture is all about.  So, subdomains do have a place but largely, most websites use of them is reducing the website SEO rankings by not using subfolders.


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