and with the original English site as just mydomain.com
But, my understanding is that subdomains are considered by search engines as independent sites. Thus, when the original English site is ranking already, creating a subdomain is not optimal for SEO.
The new language version of the site will be considered by search engines as a new website. It might take months or years to achieve the ranking I already have with the original site. Naturally, I want the new language version to have the same ranking as the original site. I don't want to wait a long time to achieve this.
And, creating different language pages in the same directory is even worse for SEO. In this case, we could potentially hurt the ranking of the original site.
My understanding is that the best option would be to use the same domain with a different directory for the other language version. Unfortunately, this feature is currently not available on Weebly.
Is my understanding of this problem correct? If so, what is the most optimal solution?