Subdomains – How Do They Affect Your SEO Efforts?
There’s a lot of debate surrounding the use of subdomains and their effect on SEO. Some people swear by them, while others believe that they can actually hurt your rankings. So, what’s the truth? And more importantly, what should you do if you’re looking to improve your SEO? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what subdomains are, how they impact SEO and whether you should have a subdomain for your site.
Understanding the segments of a URL
To understand what a subdomain is, we should start by understanding what the segments are in a URL. Let us consider an example https://oneexample.com/. The segments can be classified as follows:
- Protocol – Here, ‘ https’ is called the protocol and denotes the instructions that the browser uses to access information from servers.
- Top Level Domain (TLD) – This is the ‘.com’ part, also known as the domain extension. Other examples of domain extensions include .org, .biz, .net, .tv, .info, .uk and so on.
- Domain name or Second Level Domain (SLD) – This is the ‘oneexample’ part the site owner purchases from a domain registrar.
So, what is a subdomain?
Subdomains are a way to organise your website into separate sections. For example, you might have a subdomain for your blog and another for your online store. Subdomains are created by adding an additional level to your domain name. You would have sometimes seen URLs like this – https://blog.oneexample.com/.
Here the ‘blog’ is called the subdomain.
Subdomains can be used to segment your website content, and they can also be used to create separate websites that are hosted on the same server. Subdomains are a flexible and powerful tool for organising your website, and they can be used for a variety of purposes.
Uses of subdomains
- Primarily, subdomains help classify websites into different sections. So you can use https://store.oneexample.com for your online store and https://blog.oneexample.com/ for your blogs.
- Websites sometimes use subdomains to create various language versions of the website. So using our previous example, https://en.oneexample.com/ will denote the English version of the website.
- With subdomains, you can easily segregate the mobile version of your website and denote it as https://m.oneexample.com/.
- You can use subdomains to set up blogs on another domain, such as https://oneexample.blogspot.com/.
So, are subdomains the same as subdirectories?
No, they are different. This is a common misunderstanding. Subdomains are different from subdirectories. Subdomains are considered as different websites by search engines. Subdirectories are treated as different sections within the same website. The easiest way to understand this is by looking at the URL. Let’s go back to our example. In the URL https://blog.oneexample.com/ ‘blog’ is a subdomain. In https://oneexample.com/blog, the ‘blog’ part that comes after the domain name denotes that it is a subdirectory.
Impact of subdomains on SEO
Now let’s look at the crucial question of does subdomains affect SEO. Since Google treats subdomains as separate entities, your actions on a subdomain do not affect the parent website. So you can make all the changes you need on a subdomain without worrying about how it will reflect on your overall brand image or SEO ratings. In this sense, subdomains are good for your SEO. By the same logic, if all your SEO efforts are concentrated on the subdomain, it is not benefitting the parent site in any way. If that is not what you intended to happen, the subdomain is hurting your rankings.
Subdomains do have some benefits
Smartly utilising subdomains can actually offer several benefits. Some of these are as follows:
- Subdomains can be used to segment content on a website, making it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
- They can also be used to create separate sites with their own distinct branding and identity.
- Subdomains can help improve your search engine optimisation by giving you more opportunities to include keywords in your domain name.
- Subdomains offer a convenient way to test new website ideas without affecting your main site.
So, what’s the verdict? Are subdomains good for SEO or bad for SEO? The answer is – it depends. If you’re looking to improve your SEO, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that’s best for your business. If you are dependent on SEO to bring in the traffic to your site, the subdomain may be taking away all the attention. If the subdomain is the star of your website, then concentrate all your SEO efforts on the subdomain. At the end of the day, only you can decide whether or not a subdomain is right for you. That being said, if you’re still unsure about whether or not to use a subdomain, get in touch with us today. We’d be happy to help you make the decision that’s right for your business.
URL– Uniform Resource Locator or the website address is the address of a given unique resource or page on the web.
Protocol – The protocol determines how your web browser should communicate with the web server when fetching the page.