Subdomains and subfolders are similar and work as files inside the server ‘home’ directory structure. The Subfolder is beneath another folder home directory (called a Subdomain). Now you might be thinking, what is the difference, and why is the article mentioned as Vs. This is the exciting part.
Both are considered content sources, but a subdomain is also a link (URL) of a website. It means you can have access to a website through a subdomain. And subfolders are just a path in the domain (home server). This is the difference between them that helps your website gather and rank the keywords.
The primary benefit of a subfolder is the keyword density. Subfolders are also called subdirectories. Your website’s primary domain owns the keyword of the folder, which will make a great choice if you want to attach the keywords to the main URL.
Let us give an example to make it clear. In any traffic-checking tool, type your website domain name. Once you do that, the tool will tally your phrases and get the estimated monthly traffic value—the keywords you use on your website.
The subdomain will gather all the keywords from your root link. The subdomain can handle a bunch of keywords apart from your official domain.
Advantages of Subdomain
- Subdomains will provide a clear separation between different websites and sections, making organizing and managing a large amount of content easy.
- It will help you have your branding logo and design and help you differentiate between the various sections of the website.
- Subdomains have different CMS installations.
Subdomains Vs. Subfolders Which is Good for SEO?
The subdomain vs. Subfolder is one of the trending topics in SEO because Google has made it so! They claim that search engine is becoming very good at identifying subdomains of websites and also assigning the keywords the URL where it belongs.
The debate does not end here. One of the whiteboard studies from Moz has shown that structuring your site with a subdomain will create confusion with search engines and unwanted results. It will separate the large portion of keywords under the subdomain or lower the strength of backlinks.
And also, when you convert the subdomain to Subfolder, that won’t be a task, but external backlinks that point to the subdomain will break if the redirection is not added.
What Considerations should be Made While Selecting Between Subdomains or Subfolders?
Both of them have different benefits. Let us look at some of them individually:
Subfolders are great organizers when you want to keep similar content in one place. And subdomains are used to create sections with diverse purposes.
Subdomains require more complex technical aspects, such as extra DNS configuration, than subfolders. Since subfolders are part of the same domain, they usually share the same infrastructure and hosting resources.
Subfolders will help you maintain a consistent brand identity since the main domain is the same, and Subdomains help create different branding sections.
Both subdomains and subfolders are SEO-friendly. But subdomains are treated better by the search engine. It also requires more SEO efforts. And when we talk about Subfolders, they will benefit the entire domain authority and be easier to manage for SEO reasons.