SUBDOMAIN : What Is Subdomain And When To Use It?

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INTRODUCTION

You might think you have a firm grasp on what a subdomain is. After all, the name is rather obvious and a bit of a spoiler alert. But subdomains are filled with plenty of little intricacies that make them a unique member of the Internet ecosystem.

  • INTRODUCTION

  • What Is A Subdomain?

  • Subdomain Usage

  • Advantages of Subdomains

  • Disadvantages of Subdomains

  • What is a Subdirectory?

  • Advantages of Subdirectories

  • Disadvantages of Subdirectories

  • Subdomains vs. subdirectories

  • Customization

  • Which is better for SEO?

  • International SEO and its Impact on Subdomains and Subdirectories

  • Can I point different subdomain to same server?

  • When Not to Use a Subdomain

  • The right choice for your website needs

  • Wrapping Up


  • And while you might feel confident about what a subdomain is, you might not be aware of everything you can use a subdomain for, or the challenges that come along with having a subdomain. For example, do you know the impact subdomains can have on your website’s search engine ranking?

    Essentially, a subdomain is a separate part of your website that operates under the same primary domain name. For example, your primary domain name could be “aaaa.com,” while you could add a subdomain to that domain called “blog.aaaa.com.”

    A subdomain is a domain that is a part of another (main) domain. For example, if a domain offered an online store as part of their website food.com, it might use the subdomain shop.food.com. Subdomains are URLs for different sections of your website. They use your main domain name and a prefix. For example, if your domain is “food.com”, a subdomain of your domain might be “support.food.com”

    What Is A Subdomain?

    A subdomain is, as the name would suggest, an additional section of your main domain name. You create subdomains to help organize and navigate to different sections of your main website. Within your main domain, you can have as many subdomains as necessary to get to all of the different pages of your website.

    Here’s an example to give you a better visual.

    Let’s say you sell product at your main webpage, things.com. If you sell your fancy food coolers online, you need to have an ecommerce store. This should be a part of your main website, which will then require a subdomain. The URL for your web store then becomes store.food.com.

    Therefore, “store” is your subdomain, while “food” is your main domain. The “.com” is your top level domain. You can actually use any text you’d like as your subdomain, but it’s in your best interest to make it something that’s easy for users to type and remember.

    Subdomain Usage

    Subdomains are often used by internet service providers supplying web services. They allocate one (or more) subdomains to their clients who do not have their own domain name. This allows independent administration by the clients over their subdomain.

    Subdomains are also used by organizations that wish to assign a unique name to a particular department, function, or service related to the organization. For example, a university might assign “store” to the computer science department, such that a number of hosts could be used inside that subdomain, such as www. store.food.com.

    There as some widely recognized subdomains including www, ftp. This allows for a structure where the domain contains administrative directories and files including the ftp directories and webpages. The ftp subdomain can contain logs and the web page directories. The www subdomain contains the directories for the webpages. Independent authentication for each domain provides access control over the various levels of the domain.

    Since subdomains are used to house sections of your site that are completely different than the scope of your main site, one of the reasons businesses use subdomains is because they need different servers and software to run these separate sections of their site. If your site has an international audience, separate subdomains allow for variations in content and language specific to the geographic region, but all versions are linked together under the main site.

    • Create Different Websites for Niches of Users : This is especially true if you cater to different regions and content and language of your website needs to be customized for each region. Sometimes it’s easier, both cost and performance wise, to create several entirely different websites than to maintain one heavy multi-lingual site.

    • Separate Your Blog or E-Commerce Site from Your Main Website : You may wish to do this due to the size of your blog (which can grow to enormous proportions), different blog design, different CMS, or the fact that is serves a completely different purpose than your main domain.

    • If You Have a Large Number of Users That Build Profiles on Your Root Domains : When you create a Tumblr profile, it’s hosted on youprofile.tumblr.com. Many services function the same, with an option to get a custom domain name connected to your profile later on.

    A downside of having many different subdomains, especially if you give or sell them to others for use is that there is one instance when subdomains and their root domains are regarded the same; in instances when a subdomain is flagged as for phishing  by users. If you have 10 subdomains, and only one of them gets flagged for phishing, the root domain and the remaining 9 subdomains will be marked for phishing as well.

    One of .ME’s values is to take care of the safety of our neighborhood. That is why we suspend domains which are used for malware, phishing or spam. However, we always face a challenge when a subdomain gets flagged, because the only way to truly make sure it does not bother users is to suspend a whole root domain. This means that if you do have a root domain with subdomains used by many users, you have to keep track of what they use their subdomains for. In case some of the users use their subdomain for illegal activities online, your whole domain could get suspended. If that happens, you will have to delete the user and provide proof that you did so, so your domain can be unsuspended. But prevention is always better than cure.

    Advantages of Subdomains

    1. Search engines see subdomains as unique websites unrelated to the main domain.  This could have the potential to allow subdomains you create to appear along your parent domain in search engine results pages (SERPs), pushing your competition further down in results, enhancing your authority for your product or service.

    2. Subdomains can be used to target a specific market segment, reading group, or country.

    3. The ability to utilize a keyword for clarity, search engine, and promotional purposes. When you use google maps, the url is formatted maps.google.com which describes it’s exact purpose.

    4. When used correctly, if a subdomain is created for an already existing site that ranks well, the subdomain will be indexed quickly and benefit from the main domain’s good standing.

    Disadvantage of Subdomain

    Search Engines viewing Subdomains as Separate Domains. Sure, the traffic on your main site is humming along, and you’ve naturally accumulated a large amount of quality backlinks. When you establish a new subdomain, you’ll need to begin acquiring high quality backlinks that are separate from your main site. If your plan is to use separate subdomains, prepare to develop unique SEO strategies for each.

    What is a Subdirectory?

    subdomain
    Subdirectory

    A subdirectory is the part of the url that houses a specific subset of content. A website is like a filing cabinet, the folders within the cabinet would be the subdirectories of your site. Individual directories are located to the right of the domain. Example: www.aaaa.com/blog or www.aaaa.com/shop

    When creating your site, subdirectories are the most straightforward way to organize related pieces of content on your site. Assets such as images or downloads would be in their own subdirectories. Or if you have an About section, there could be a folder for About, and then the pages for each person on your team would be in the about folder: www.examplesite.com/about/book.html .

    Advantages of Subdirectories

    Using subdirectories over subdomains has several advantages when looked at for SEO purposes:

    • Instead of competing with yourself with a subdomain that may have fresher content than your main domain, your focus could be on making a single website optimized.

    • Your site could get crawled more often as you are constantly adding content and blog posts; because of this, the SEO authority that you have will be inherited by your  primary site.

    • If you have a blog post focusing on new features or products, your users can easily go between your blog and your product/service pages.

    • Finally, if you are tracking your site’s performance in a platform such as Google Analytics, the data is consolidated for the entire site, rather than having to look at two data points as a result of using two domains.

    Disadvantages of Subdirectories

    A potential high number of URLs. Since authority is shared across all pages, the more pages there are, the more diluted authority can get. When content in a subdirectory is not as impactful as your main content, using a subdomain could be ideal.

    Subdomains vs. Subdirectories

    domain

    Subdirectories are another similar form of subfolders that can be used as extensions of your main root domain. While a subdomain typically comes before the main domain in your URL, a subdirectory would come after. Using our earlier example, food.com, if you were to add the store as a subdirectory instead of a subdomain, it would appear as food.com/store.

    There is much debate over whether subdomains or subdirectories are better when it comes to organizing your website and your many subfolders, especially in regards to search engine optimization.

    Customization

    With a subdomain, you can customize your website content to cater to different regions, users, and products. If you need unique content for each of your different subdomains, this can be a valuable feature. It also helps to optimize each subdomain for local search results.

    However, if you don’t really need to create such highly-customized content, you may be better off using a subdirectory. This may be much easier to manage, and doesn’t include the extra hosting fees.  Whether a subdomain or subdirectory is a better choice here depends on your specific website needs.

    Which is better for SEO?

    It used to be thought that subdomains and subdirectories were equals when it came to their impact on SEO. In fact, in 2012 Google spokesperson, Matt Cutts, said there were “roughly equivalent,” adding that Google saw them as one domain. However, this thinking appears to be shifting.

    Search engines now keep different metrics for domains than they do for subdomains. For that reason, it is better for the webmaster to place their link-worthy content (ex: blogs) in subdirectories rather than in subdomains. Therefore, food.com/blog would be a better option than blog. food.com.

    An exception for this is when you require language-specific websites, in which cases using subdomains is still the better option.

    Subdomains were previously preferred by webmasters because they were able to stuff subdomains with the keywords that they wanted to target in rankings. The goal was to load the search engine results pages (SERPs) with the given keyword using their main domain and subdomain pages. However, Google caught onto this loophole and began to crack down on the practice.

    Now, when they make the connection, Google consolidates the search results and displays just one domain to the given search result. Stuffing subdomains with keywords to attempt this strategy can now lead to penalization by Google.

    International SEO and its Impact on Subdomains and Subdirectories

    International websites have three choices, subdomains, subdirectories, and country code Top Level Domain or ccTLD. An example of a ccTLD would be website.co.uk, which would be specific to the United Kingdom. And website.in, which would be specific to India.  ccTLDs are specific to countries, not languages, and are always two letters. By comparison, generic Top Level Domains or gTLDs are three letters, such as .com or .org. The ccTLD for the United States is .us, but it not often used.

    By using a ccTLD, you are telling search engines that the intended audience for your site if intended to be from a specific country. Google has stated that they use ccTLDs to determine target audiences. ccTLDs are an ideal option for a business that:

    • Are well established global brand continuously creating content

    • Have physical locations across multiple locations

    • Have the resources (budget) to create and maintain a unique site for each specific country

    • Hosts a wide variety of products or services depending on geographic location

    • Are aiming to host international versions of their sites on servers potentially not located in targeted countries.

    There are some considerations:

    • Resources to build and maintain multiple versions of the site

    • Certain ccTLDs may have restrictions

    • Each site will require an individualized SEO strategy. Separate keyword research, link building, and content strategies will need to be developed for each separate site.

    Using subdomains could be an option for companies that have yet to build strong international awareness and don’t have the capacity to create content filling multiple ccTLD sites. If this route is to be explored, use Search Console to geotarget each subdomain. This tactic can be used for ccTLDs, but search engines already recognize country codes as indicators to target specific regions. Subdomains are not free from effort and will require the resources to establish and maintain each separate subdomain.

    You can probably determine how subdirectories factor in as an option. Using one gTLD, content can be stored in separate folders for each country or language. Since all folders are on the TLD, any link authority you’ve previously gained can be used in your favor. Using Search Console, you can geo-target each folder. Subdirectories are ideal if you don’t have the resources for ccTLDs or subdomains for every country and language you’re targeting. Subdirectories are not as strong of a signal to search engines as ccTLDs. If your efforts to geotarget sites in the same language, you could accidentally rank the wrong version.

    URL parameters is another option that you could pursue. While possible to set up your site using URL parameters to determine language or region, there are no benefits and even more flaws to work through; Geotargeting with Search Console is not possible, separating visitors based on parameters is time-consuming, and with well-structured URLs being critical to SEO, a confusing URL is a benefit only to your competitors.

    Can I point different subdomain to same server?

    Yes, We can choose different subdomains for the same server. You can see in the above examples where www.aaaa.com and test.aaaa.com pointing to the same server that is the reason I am able to see the same website on both domains name.

    When Not to Use a Subdomain

    There are a number of use cases where a subdomain is the perfect option for your site. There are also a number of cases where using a subdomain is not ideal. Such as landing pages, blogs, temporary/promotional, or static pages. You wouldn’t use a subdomain for any of these because they are constituent parts of your website. You want your primary TLD’s SEO link juice to be passed on to your About Me Page and to your Blog.

    The same applies to any sales like Black Friday or Christmas pages that will only be used for a short period of time. You don’t want to have to start from scratch in getting that page to rank in the search engines.

    The right choice for your website needs

    Whether you choose to use a subdomain or subdirectory comes down to what your website needs to accomplish. Overall, search engine rankings are determined by quality content more than anything.

    A subdomain can be an effective tool to help you organize your website more efficiently, and when used correctly, will not negatively impact your website’s SEO. However, subdomains may be best used when you want the content to be private and not for your public sites.

    Wrapping Up

    We hope this has cleared up some of the confusion about what a subdomain is and when you want to use it. The general rule is that you use a subdomain for specific reasons that need to be, for one reason or another separate from the main domain. It may be a store, a demo site, or even a series of separate locations. You can even use a subdomain for separate mobile sites with mobile specific content, though that trend is moving downward these days.

    Article written by:

    If you require your business using “SUBDOMAIN AND WEBSITE”  and promote sales include a well designed business website in your business plan, then contact us at vaishnogsoftwares@yahoo.in, shweta.vaishnog@yahoo.com or Call us – 87250-18881   or visit our Official website : https://vaishnogsoftwares.com

    domain name
    Sub -Domain

    Can I point different subdomain to same server?

    Yes, We can choose different subdomains for the same server. You can see in the above examples where www.food.com and test.food.com pointing to the same server that is the reason I am able to see the same website on both domains name.


    Which is better for SEO in Subdomain or subdirectories?

    Search engines now keep different metrics for domains than they do for subdomains. For that reason, it is better for the webmaster to place their link-worthy content (ex: blogs) in subdirectories rather than in subdomains. Therefore, aaaa.com/blog would be a better option than blog. aaaa.com.

    What is subdirectory?

    A subdirectory is the part of the url that houses a specific subset of content. A website is like a filing cabinet, the folders within the cabinet would be the subdirectories of your site. Individual directories are located to the right of the domain. Example: www.aaaa.com/blog or www.aaaa.com/shop

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