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  1. #1
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    Question How do subdomains affect SEO?
    Hi,I am looking at creating multple sites with rich content and te usual advertising. My question comes in respect to domains.

    I know I can literally use sub-domains in stead of new domains, but how does that affect my SEO ranking?

    Help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I don't think it would hurt, and it might even help if the subdomain has a relevant keyword in it.
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  3. #3
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Each sub-domain is technically a separate domain.

    ie: www.somesitename.com and somesitename.com are not the same - you split your SEO value between the two. Only reason they point to the same pages is because of your DNS records.

    The search engines will treat keyword1.somesitename.com, www.somesitename.com, and somesitename.com all as separate domain names / websites.

    Unlinked to one another, seo value between 'domains' is virtually nil. No different than any other unlinked domains / websites.

    Each sub-domain must have it's own content and be treated as a separate entity. All rules of good SEO linking must be followed, otherwise you will suffer the penalties associated with link schemes.

    A well thought out main domain, ie: somewebsitename.com formated directory style with outbound links to each 'category' can be effective. Again, keep in mind that each sub-domain is it's own entity...
    Last edited by Convergence; February 19th, 2011 at 01:15 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Much thanks for the reply. I think I have a better understanding of what I need to do now.
    thanks

  5. #5
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    Never mind.
    Last edited by bobby131313; February 19th, 2011 at 06:23 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Each sub-domain is technically a separate domain.

    ie: www.somesitename.com and somesitename.com are not the same - you split your SEO value between the two. Only reason they point to the same pages is because of your DNS records.
    But I was wondering will it equally work for highly competitive keywords. Since main domains are getting graded first and sub domain comes under.
    Last edited by 2busy; February 20th, 2011 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Closed quote

  7. #7
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyguide View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Each sub-domain is technically a separate domain.

    ie: www.somesitename.com and somesitename.com are not the same - you split your SEO value between the two. Only reason they point to the same pages is because of your DNS records.
    But I was wondering will it equally work for highly competitive keywords. Since main domains are getting graded first and sub domain comes under.
    Will what work equally for highly competitive keywords?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  8. #8
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    maindomain.com
    subdomain.maindomain.com

    are two different sites for search engines. So if you add keyword in the subdomain, it certainly be useful. Ex: keyword.maindomain.com

    SEs gives more importance to main domain rather than subdomain ... Don't know about it. Ask the question in Google webmaster forums. Somebody from Google might answer it.

    .

  9. #9
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    The domain name is only part of the formula used to rank a PAGE.

    It is NOT about the domain name but the CONTENT on a PAGE, that is the main factor. All other factors' relevancy to the PAGE content are added bonuses.

    If there were two websites, each with near identical keyword saturation, near identical content, near identical meta tags / titles and URLs:

    1) no-keyword-domain.com/vehicle-reliability.php
    2) audi.no-keyword-domain.com/vehicle-reliability.php

    and if the content on those two pages were about the Audi brand of cars, it is possible that website number two could rank higher than website number one because of having Audi in the domain name for a search relating to Audi vehicle reliability.

    There may be NO advantage to either web page for the following structure:

    1) no-keyword-domain.com/vehicle-reliability/audi.php
    2) audi.no-keyword-domain.com/vehicle-reliability.php

    if the search phrase was are Audis reliable?

    But website two could have an advantage if the search term was Audi vehicle reliability reviews

    Factors used in my example are only a portion of what the search engines consider important - the Google, for example, uses over 200 factors in determining where to rank a PAGE...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager affilorama's Avatar
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    Very few traffic comes from domains that have the keyword in them so if you are concerned with SEO, I suggest that you concentrate your efforts on having high quality content on your site and building backlinks.
    Michelle
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    ie: www.somesitename.com and somesitename.com are not the same - you split your SEO value between the two. Only reason they point to the same pages is because of your DNS records.
    It's my understanding that the www/no-www differentiation is really up to the search engine to decide how its treated and that Google doesn't differentiate between the two in fact (and it allows you to set the preferred URL within GWT).

    I'm not even sure which engines would distinguish them. It is correct that from a technical perspective, www would simply be a subhost that points to the WWW server and it would have been unheard of to not have www. a decade ago (as you would have a ftp. for example). But from the getgo, www and no-www have pretty much been synonymous, namely because they would have pointed to the same server anyway (the subhost portion mostly being a matter of convenience for the user).

    DNS records alone don't mean the same site will show up for any two URLs either, for what that's worth. with virtual hosting, many completely different sites can share the same IP (as is the case with shared hosting). In fact, it's often speculated that Google will penalize one site because it shares the IP with another offending site, but that would be completely offbase for anyone to do that.

    As for traffic stemming from keywords in the domain name, Google does strongly weigh this, but it's just one of many factors, the strongest being trustworthy incoming links. It's more difficult, but you can easily make top 10 results in a competitive environment with a built-up site that doesn't have keywords in the domain name. However, I would definitely use them if possible, but creating a whole bunch of subdomains can be more detrimental if it means you're effectively thinning out your content between 'multiple' sites. Better to use (virtual) subdirectories in the URL structure.
    Last edited by bradk; February 22nd, 2011 at 10:55 AM.

  12. #12
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    Brad, I'm with you, your post is MUCH more accurate than others... just didn't feel like arguing about it.

  13. #13
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradk View Post
    It's my understanding that the www/no-www differentiation is really up to the search engine to decide how its treated and that Google doesn't differentiate between the two in fact (and it allows you to set the preferred URL within GWT).

    I'm not even sure which engines would distinguish them...
    If, for example, you do not choose in GWT and/or have your site go to either www or non-www that the Google will indeed show both in their search results.

    When I mentioned that you are splitting up your SEO between the two, I was inferring that if you have inbound links going to http:// yourdomain.com and links coming into http://www .yourdomain.com that you would be diluting or splitting up your SEO efforts if you haven't set a preferred method to displaying your domain, ie: www or non-www (which can also be done in .htaccess on Linux servers).

    Quote Originally Posted by bradk View Post
    DNS records alone don't mean the same site will show up for any two URLs either...
    I was referring to the ability to do just that in regards to the www sub-domain. It could be ww2, or any other set of alphanumeric characters.

    Not trying to be argumentative, I may have simply not read your response correctly...
    Last edited by Convergence; February 22nd, 2011 at 11:40 AM. Reason: typo
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that the www/no-www differentiation is really up to the search engine to decide how its treated and that Google doesn't differentiate between the two in fact (and it allows you to set the preferred URL within GWT).
    This is true as far as how your site appears in search results, but I believe Convergence is talking about the issue of canonical URLs where even a one page site can be accessed via 4 different URLs if you don't address the issue via .htaccess (these days I think more people just use host CP settings instead that do the same thing.)
    www.somesitename.com
    somesitename.com
    www.somesitename.com/index.html
    somesitename.com/index.html
    will all land you on the same page and if you do nothing, the value of content on those "four" pages is divided among the four URLs.

  15. #15
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    Search engines do treat subdomains as seperate sites, and it shouldn't negatively affect your SE rankings to have them all on the same server / IP.

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