Sub-Domain vs .com vs .org vs .info.

11 replies
  • SEO
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Hi Everybody.
I need massive help on the subject of sub domains...
Sorry this might become a long post as I really need to make sure that you guys fully understand my problem / question.
I am fast becoming 100% fully trained in every aspect of IM. Hell and it is about time.
But in almost every report, or product that I have bought been given, reviewed or whatever I have not been given an answer to something that I really need to know.
The question is about sub-domains.
A lot of the guys that are successful online constantly refer to the need to do the correct keyword research and then to go off and buy the domain in relation to that keyword.
We are told that by having the exact domain in relation to the keyword then you will have a very high chance of being ranked on page one, and even number one.
Google rewards you for being the correct domain in relation to that keyword/ s
Got it I understand exactly.
Then we get told that .com is best and then .org etc down past .co.uk and .us or whatever.
And equally that .info is still seen by Google as the black sheep of the family.
NOW - FINALLY .... Where does a sub domain fit into the pecking order here?
You see - a sub domain does get given a fully freestanding url right?
And that site can have its own website, blog and all the normal stuff that a full domain has right?
On my Firefox SEO quake toolbar it even gives each of my sub domains a different Alexa ranking.
So if I use this example where does the sub domain fit in?
Soap.com
Soap.org.
Soap.net.
Soap.co.uk
soap.co.za
soap.rob.com
soap.info
BUT WAIT I AM NOT FINISHED.
Now let us say that all my sub domains are in fact seen by Google as just glorified pages of the main site?
The surely that is still good because then all the sub domains and their pages will start to be seen as an authority site?
Either way it seems to me to be a very good idea to develop sub domains rather than individual sites.
BUT if that is the case how come nobody is talking about it.
Is it untried and therefore unknown?
Good domains are becoming harder and harder to get. But if I use my example here and I have a site that is rob.com .
Then I can do arthritis.rob.com and golf.rob.com and after a bit of effort hit page one. (Ok so they were bad examples - but I am sure that you see what I mean)
I have been developing my sub domains in a big way, and I hope that I haven't been wasting my time.
Maybe it is something that is not widely practiced and therefore unknown?
Wow did that make sense?
Please give me your opinions.
ROB
#info #org #sub-domains #subdomain
  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    I think you give this WAY too much thought, i personally think that keywords in the domain are NOT all that. Yes, it might help, but its not such a deciding factor as you might think.

    As for subdomains, i cant tell you whether its "bad" or whether a whole, stand-alone TLD is "better" than a subdomain. Personally i dont think it matters.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oscar D
    This is a great question Rob and one that I have myself been thinking about for a while.

    I am also not very sure about SEO on sub domains, hopefully this thread will help us to get more information on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Anderson
    thanks Oscar D.
    time will tell.
    to GeorgR. thanks for your reply, I really need all the input that i can get.about the too much thought - i used to also think that if you have enough content articles and other stuff that it will all float to the top anyway.
    but it doesnt.
    with the IM side becoming more and more competitive we need to try to make sure that every single tiny aspect is at its most competitive and use a laser approach rather than my old shotgun way.
    iof our seo is good and our keywords great then it come down to other controllable things like back-links, and ----domains vs sub domains.
    truthfully - while i seem obsessed for now it is just to know the answer. then i can think in depth about something else. haha
    as a final thought as this thread is not getting a lot of responses it proves to me that everybody doesnt know.
    wow.
    maybe i have a WSO in the pipeline!
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  • Profile picture of the author s4nt0s
    As far as I know, a sub-domain is basically it's own entity as far as SEO goes. Your sub domain shouldn't effect your primary domains rankings as long as there isn't a 1 way link going from your primary domain to your sub-domain. If your sub-domain links to your primary domain it won't matter but vice versa, your primary domain will be effected and pass PR, etc ...

    Sub domains definitely don't rank as well organically as a TLD from what I understand. I do believe they can be ranked, but the effort would probably not be worth it.

    Again, this is from what I have read over the years, so if I am incorrect please feel free to chime in.
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    • Profile picture of the author Slartibartfast
      Thanks for this post!
      Me too, I have been thinking about this for a long time now and I was about to post that question myself.

      There are good reasons for this, that said if it's working:

      1. way cheaper
      2. much much more choice in domain names
      3. faster implementation (no waiting for domain to be reg)
      4. easier to maintain

      I'd like to be enlightened more on this topic.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by s4nt0s View Post

      As far as I know, a sub-domain is basically it's own entity as far as SEO goes.
      It was, sort of, several years ago. It hasn't been for some time since it became a favorite method of the dark side to build autogenned sites on keyword specific subdomains. Today, only a few, high traffic, authority domains are like this such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com. For your "average joe" site, a subdomain is treated just like a subfolder.

      Originally Posted by s4nt0s View Post

      Sub domains definitely don't rank as well organically as a TLD from what I understand. I do believe they can be ranked, but the effort would probably not be worth it
      Another incorrect assumption...
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  • Profile picture of the author wetday
    If you can afford it I advise to use either separate domains or FOLDERS instead. I guess that in the long term subdomains can work, but would recommend domain.com/folder instead if possible.
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    win

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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Anderson
    guys.
    just to complicate the mix, are pages as strong as sub-domains?
    or are the sub-domains stronger?
    because sometimes they are not in the same niche
    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    Originally Posted by Rob Anderson View Post

    NOW - FINALLY .... Where does a sub domain fit into the pecking order here?
    The only "pecking order" is the quality and quantity of your incoming links. In the final analysis, that's all that matters. For example, spots 1-3 in Google for 'make money online' are all subdomains due to their links.

    Originally Posted by Rob Anderson View Post

    Maybe it is something that is not widely practiced and therefore unknown?
    Basically we're talking risk mitigation by having your niches spread out across multiple domains and hosts rather than having them bunched up.

    Some of the risks include...

    * having search engines flag your domain as a spam domain
    * competitors reporting your site for violations and losing all of your subdomains rather than a single domain
    * a problem of some sort taking down your entire network of sites
    * more difficulty in link building due to misunderstandings and myths about subdomains.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Anderson
    to bgmacaw - a BIG THANK-YOU.
    you have helped me a lot.
    so while Google is skittish around sub-domains in the beginning as long as i link honestly and carefully over time they should all be recognized for what they really are.

    as i am still new - and a little poor, i understood the risks of doing sub-domains and having them all chopped down on someones whim.
    having said that - it is probably a good thing that i am poor as it has taken me close to 12 months to fully understand the complete and overall picture.
    and it all hinges on keywords (to start)and links (to finish).
    i think that i will keep linking my sub-domains as they are now, and work a little harder on my independent domains, and hope that when i start to get some money that i can then get some good domains.
    thanks again
    rob
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  • Profile picture of the author s4nt0s
    It was, sort of, several years ago. It hasn't been for some time since it became a favorite method of the dark side to build autogenned sites on keyword specific subdomains. Today, only a few, high traffic, authority domains are like this such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com. For your "average joe" site, a subdomain is treated just like a subfolder.
    As far as I know it is still true even for "average joe" sites but is more evident on hosted publishing platforms like wordpress, blogspot, etc .

    For example in the URL http://blog.yourdomain.com/page.html, three domain levels are present. The TLD is .com, the second-level domain is "yourdomain", and the third is "blog" which would be the sub-domain. These structures can receive individual assignments of importance, trustworthiness, and value from the engines, independent of their second-level domains.

    From the "Art of Seo"

    Regards,
    Devin
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