To subdomain or not to subdomain, that is the question...

by Jute
18 replies
Hi,

I am planning to setup around 50 minisites that will target one model and then sell it through Amazon. My question is as follows...

If let say you were to promote model trains.
would you register:

modelxtrain.com
modelxtrain2.com
etc etc

Or would you register a "main" domain for instance

4wheeltrains.com

and then create subdomains for each model so that the url would be

modelxtrain. 4wheeltrains .com
modelxtrain2. 4wheeltrains .com
etc etc

Would it be harder to rank well for a subdomain ?

The difference for me would be around $500 that I can use for promotion etc instead....

I would love your 2 cents about it...

Cheers

Jute
#question #subdomain
  • Profile picture of the author phsims
    i dont use sub domains.

    I wanted to see how much difference it would make if i did use one and it is deffinatly a lot more work to get a subdomainwell ranked than it is to get anything else high ranked.

    grab a .info domain from godaddy if you are broke, they cost less than $1 most of the time
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I think it depends on how much money you think you can make from each one.

    If you register the seperate domains you get a little love for the exact match domain (although a subdomain would have your keyword phrase in it too so that would be good too) plus you also get an asset that you can sell off later.

    If you go with all subdomains, you wouldn't be able to sell just one or two of them off, you would have to sell the whole thing.

    I know you might not be thinking that you are going to sell these. I thought that myself at one time and went with a bunch of subdomains instead of individual domains. But life has a way of throwing you a curve ball and I regretted that decision later on as having the income from some of those subdomains in the form of a one time sale would have come in handy.

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author PeterGarety
    One thing for sure - No sub-domains. Each sub-domain is like a new site.

    And you do not need to get so much domains as well, in order to achieve the same result.

    Register one domain with the most popular model train in your domain name. Then, create a page for each train separately. Make sure to name the page (permalink) as you would name the domain name.

    In the search engines, you will get the same results, as with 50 mini-sites. Only, you will need to spend less money and less time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
      Originally Posted by PeterGarety View Post

      One thing for sure - No sub-domains. Each sub-domain is like a new site.

      And you do not need to get so much domains as well, in order to achieve the same result.

      Register one domain with the most popular model train in your domain name. Then, create a page for each train separately. Make sure to name the page (permalink) as you would name the domain name.

      In the search engines, you will get the same results, as with 50 mini-sites. Only, you will need to spend less money and less time.
      I'd go along with this idea, why not just do it all on the one domain and create an authority site with individual pages for each individual item. You could end up with one nice big authority site that will be hard for others to compete with later.
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    • Profile picture of the author hometutor
      You could use subfolders but not subdomains

      Subdomains force you to start with new seo each time. Subfolders count for the total SEO

      Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Tees
    I use alot of direct marketing and selling techniques and tend to brand myself to stand apart from others who are selling the same or similar products. So to me personally sub domains or independent domains for whatever I’m trying to sell don’t make much of a difference. But if you are going for mass marketing and search engine ranking you may choose to as others have suggested get a general domain and then create pages and articles relating to the individual products you are trying to sell. This way it’ll automatically bring your buyers to one place where they’ll have access to everything they’re looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author scorpio9
    That's a question I have been asking myself and I think it depends on the type of site you are going to build. One of the biggest user of subdomains, that I can think of, is about.com, Google themselves use a lot of subdomains, so does yahoo.com, blogger.com, wordpress.com and a lot of other top ranking sites.

    If you have a look at these sites though you will notice that the sub-domains are about different subjects so maybe that's the best way to use subdomains.

    there some good information I read at Matt Cutts blog about this subject.

    I think in your case sub-directories will work very well if you set them up as silo's because they are on same theme, read more about silos here


    Lee
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    BeaconSites - Websites Designed For Lead Generation & Conversions
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  • Ive always liked sub domains
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  • Profile picture of the author Coby
    I use sub-domains and set my main site up as a hub. But then again, my site has my name in it, so I have no need to worry about selling it to someone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author anthon
    Registering different domain is good.
    But do that only if you are going
    to
    make good amount with each domain otherwise you will end up spending 200$ and earning 20$.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    I cannot make any sense out of the SEO advice I see on this subject, myself.

    They think it would be great to get:

    bigsite.com
    coolsite.com

    But they think it would be horrible to get:

    big.site.com
    cool.site.com

    And then they say it's because they're treated like different sites.

    But... aren't bigsite.com and coolsite.com different sites? It doesn't make any sense.

    And if you can't get bigsite.com or coolsite.com, they suggest you get something bigsiteblog.com or coolsiteblog.com - even though it's not an exact keyword match.

    And if you suggest that you put a product in bigsite.com/productone/ and another one in bigsite.com/producttwo/ they complain that you're not getting any keyword juice because Google only cares about the domain name.

    But then they tell you to make bigsite.com/productone.html and bigsite.com/producttwo.html for keyword juice. And that's not the domain name, either.

    My gut sense is that big.site.com/productone/ is every bit as keyword-optimised as bigsite.com/productone.html and all the "NOOOOOOO DON'T DOOOOOO THAT" is a bunch of hooey.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      But they think it would be horrible to get:

      big.site.com
      cool.site.com

      And then they say it's because they're treated like different sites.

      But... aren't bigsite.com and coolsite.com different sites? It doesn't make any sense.
      Oh, and another thing: these same people will also tell you not to put bigsite.com and coolsite.com on the same hosting account, but on separate IPs, so Google won't treat them like the same site.

      So to sum up:

      You SHOULD get bigsite.com and coolsite.com and put them on different IPs and preferably different accounts and ideally different hosting companies or else Google will treat them like the same site.

      However, you should NOT use big.site.com and cool.site.com on a single IP and account and host, because Google will not treat them like the same site.

      Makes no damn sense.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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      • Profile picture of the author Terry Crim
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Oh, and another thing: these same people will also tell you not to put bigsite.com and coolsite.com on the same hosting account, but on separate IPs, so Google won't treat them like the same site.

        So to sum up:

        You SHOULD get bigsite.com and coolsite.com and put them on different IPs and preferably different accounts and ideally different hosting companies or else Google will treat them like the same site.

        However, you should NOT use big.site.com and cool.site.com on a single IP and account and host, because Google will not treat them like the same site.

        Makes no damn sense.


        A lot of SEO advice out there is based on less than personal experience. A lot of parroting of information from articles, outdated ebooks etc...

        Subdomain or no subdomain? Depends on the purpose of the site.
        A site like "about.com" uses subdomains. Go to that site with google toolbar or other browser plugin that shows PR of pages and just surf around and see what you find.

        If you use a tool like market samurai, keyword and PR research that site. See what comes up.

        subdomains, www, no www all three of these are considered different domains by SE's. www.yoursite.com vs yoursite.com both of these are considered different domains by SE's.

        My thoughts on SEO is to keep things as simple as possible. I would setup different folders, like www.yoursite.com/category_name/article_name.php, instead of category_name.yoursite.com/

        From an SEO stand point it is just easier to get link juice flowing through the base domain and trickle through the rest of the site organically. Because in the case of subdomains if you are sending traffic to the base domain, yoursite.com SEO will NOT automatically flow to the subdomain as it would if it were just a regular folder. That is one example of issues SEOing a site that is setup multiple ways, because of the SE's viewing various site setup as different domains, even though technically it is all under ONE domain.

        If you have an existing site it is a bad idea to change it. I made the mistake of changing one of my main sites from non WWW to WWW based website and I lost ALL PR on that domain until the next SE updates. So for a month in a half I had ZERO PR to a site that had PR, all because of that one change.

        I mean I added the www in front of the domain name via control panel setting change. That one change lost my PR until the SE's updated again and the site didn't really come back 100% on it's own.

        I would just go with a subfolder inside the base domain myself. I was looking at subdomains earlier this year but after testing and consulting with some heavily experienced SEO friends of mine I decided against it. Mainly because of the additional work involved with SEO and driving traffic to subdomains vs subfolders, wasn't worth it to me.

        Even with that, I wouldn't take blind advice. If you really want to use subdomains and not sure about SEO, setup a couple testing domains and test subdomain vs no subdomain and see which works best for SEO.

        Now if you are doing other things besides SEO like PPC etc... and know what you are doing to get results. My advice from a strictly SEO traffic aspect, doesn't apply.


        - T
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Terry Crim View Post

          My thoughts on SEO is to keep things as simple as possible.
          I tend to agree with that. Google's advice has always been to just run your site like there's no such thing as Google, and you'll get good results. But I also think people misinterpret that... Google is a way your audience looks for things. When you pretend there's no Google, you're not supposed to pretend there's no audience.
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author George Wright
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            I tend to agree with that. Google's advice has always been to just run your site like there's no such thing as Google, and you'll get good results. But I also think people misinterpret that... Google is a way your audience looks for things. When you pretend there's no Google, you're not supposed to pretend there's no audience.
            CD did you come up with that part in red above? If you did, congratulations on your brilliance and if you didn't, thanks for sharing.

            George Wright
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            "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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          • Profile picture of the author DannyO
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            I tend to agree with that. Google's advice has always been to just run your site like there's no such thing as Google, and you'll get good results. But I also think people misinterpret that... Google is a way your audience looks for things. When you pretend there's no Google, you're not supposed to pretend there's no audience.
            This is what I tend to believe too - for the most part, add value and Google will love you for it. Add value to your site, and to others sites whilst making your site as logical as possible with relevant keywords in bound and outbound and google will be your friend.

            Try to fool Google, and Google will fool you. I think your question should be, what will be the best user experience?
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      • Profile picture of the author warrior no 1
        Good idea is to register different domains.

        I will buy keyword domains preferably .com, but .org .net will also do.

        like N scale trains
        electric train sets
        american model trains
        how to collect model trains etc.

        Keywords, which you want your home page to rank.

        if domains are not available, take Electrictrainsets101.com


        take domain which has these keywords in it.

        Now host on different ip's, host them in the country you are targeting to rank.

        Now add min, 5 pages each. and start link building, like 20 directory submissions, 10 bookmarks, 10 relevant blog comments, some high pr blog comments.

        These should rank easily as they are long tail.

        Do not link to your main site yet.

        Now, you add one page to each of your created sites (I call them supporting sites) randomly with in content links to your main site.( I prefer to link to relevent pages in the main site rather than home page).

        Now you repeat this every week or a month. when ever you want links. (I usually update these supporting sites regularly) and some times give links to these sites. Some times these supporting sites make good money.

        Rinse and repeat.

        If any one want more information, i can help you. You can ask below or pm me.
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  • Profile picture of the author gentleness8
    This discussion really cleared up alot of confusion for me on this topic. Thanks.
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