A question about SEO and subdomains

20 replies
  • SEO
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Hey guys, just a quick question about subdomains. As we all know, search engines like KWs in the URL. For example, redbicycles.com would be excellent for the search term "red bicycles".

But what about red.bicycles.com? Would this be as easy to get to the top spot as redbicycles.com?

Would love your insight.

Thanks
#question #seo #subdomains
  • Profile picture of the author Brad Callen
    Sub domains are seen as a different site to Google. That's why most people do bicycle.com/red. Also, only KW's at the top level tend to have a LOT of influence.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
    Thanks Brad. Say red.bicycle.com was to be a standalone site, totally seperate from bicycle.com.

    Would "bicycle.com/red" rank better than "red.bicycle.com" for the KW Phrase "red bicycle".

    I guess I'm asking two questions really. Does the KW order matter in the URL, and, will the subdomain have less potential than a subdirectory?

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author sandrax
    Hi MR Wonton,

    Yes KW order matters and subdirectory is less powerfull, best is of course redbycicle.com. Have a great weekend
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      mydomain.com/sub-directory
      sub-domain.mydomain.com

      A subdomain is a totally different website and will be treated like one.

      Keyword order matters OF COURSE! Didn't you do your keyword research?! :p

      keyword order
      "keyword order"
      [keyword order]

      I'm confused by this thread. I don't think half these poster's have any clue what they are talking about.
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      scott g
      "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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  • You will get more SEO value if you use first level domain name.
    Sub domains will get less SEO value.
    And I think redbicycle.com will be good for SEO rather than red.bicycle.com
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  • Profile picture of the author scott g
    Originally Posted by MrWonton View Post

    Hey guys, just a quick question about subdomains. As we all know, search engines like KWs in the URL. For example, redbicycles.com would be excellent for the search term "red bicycles".

    But what about red.bicycles.com? Would this be as easy to get to the top spot as redbicycles.com?

    Would love your insight.

    Thanks
    You are correct! I don't know what the rest of these guys are talking about... Google does look at Subdomains as their own, seperate entitites.

    People think it's a hastle b/c you have to embark on backlinking campaigns for every subdomain... But you'd be doing the same for every directory that you'd create too... Um, Duh.

    I'm using subdomains now and I have been having good luck with them! Google likes them! And with the addition of every new subdomain, I get an EMD for what that site will be targeting.

    So your example "red.bicycles.com" is exactly what I'm doing.
    blue.bicycles.com
    orange.bicycles.com
    whatever.bicycles.com
    mybikesbetterthanyour.bicycles.com

    CHEERS!
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    scott g
    "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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    • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
      Originally Posted by scott g View Post

      You are correct! I don't know what the rest of these guys are talking about... Google does look at Subdomains as their own, seperate entitites.

      People think it's a hastle b/c you have to embark on backlinking campaigns for every subdomain... But you'd be doing the same for every directory that you'd create too... Um, Duh.

      I'm using subdomains now and I have been having good luck with them! Google likes them! And with the addition of every new subdomain, I get an EMD for what that site will be targeting.

      So your example "red.bicycles.com" is exactly what I'm doing.
      blue.bicycles.com
      orange.bicycles.com
      whatever.bicycles.com
      mybikesbetterthanyour.bicycles.com

      CHEERS!
      Exactly the kind of response I was looking for! Thanks for your insights, and everyone elses

      I started building a network of websites based around subdomains, but I lost interest. I think I may have to revisit the project!

      Would love to hear from anyone else that has had experience developing subdomain websites. It works for about.com!
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      • Profile picture of the author scott g
        I'm seeing more and more subdomains ranking real high in the SERPs. There is not disadvantage to using subdomains.

        IMO subdomain+domain=EMD is just as good as EMD domain. Period. Google reads them the same exact way. If you're getting involved in a semi-competitive niche, an EMD.com isn't going to do you squat without some off-site SEO...

        People talk about hypens and yada yada... Google doesn't read the hyphens... Most semi-educated/experienced internet users doing searchers in Google can spot a spammy looking website by looking at the URL - just like someone who diddle daddles in IM.

        @Mr.Wonton
        Think of it like this (this is how I try to ): You've got your TLD with all sorts of subdomains... With some blood, sweat, and tears, you could easily build a pretty strong, authoritative TLD that holds some weight in the rankings. Just like the other sites that use subdomains.
        • legalview.info
        • about.com
        • google.com
        • yahoo.com
        • msn.com
        My personal preference on subdomains vs. subdirectories is that I usually prefer the convenience of subdirectories for most of my content. A subdomain can be useful to separate out content that is completely different. Google uses subdomains for distinct products such news.google.com or maps.google.com, for example. If you're a newer webmaster or SEO, I'd recommend using subdirectories until you start to feel pretty confident with the architecture of your site. At that point, you'll be better equipped to make the right decision for your own site.

        ....../
        If you throw your content into a subdirectory, usually the code is all in the same file storage space. That can make it much easier to find/edit/change code. It can also be easier to move code from one place to another. A subdomain, however, is often a domain name system (DNS) alias. Subdomains can be a little more difficult for a novice webmaster to set up, especially if words like "CNAME" don't mean anything to you. Subdomains can be managed separately, which can be a joy (you can use DNS to decouple a subdomain if you want to migrate that part of your site) or a pain (it may be more of a hassle to juggle DNS setting instead of just using file commands to make or move directories). When I started my blog, I decided to use a subdirectory (mattcutts.com/blog/) just to keep things simple, for example.
        For several years Google has used something called "host crowding," which means that Google will show up to two results from each hostname/subdomain of a domain name. That approach works very well to show 1-2 results from a subdomain, but we did hear complaints that for some types of searches (e.g. esoteric or long-tail searches), Google could return a search page with lots of results all from one domain. In the last few weeks we changed our algorithms to make that less likely to happen in the future.



        I'm tired of hearing people say crap like "They don't rank as good as subdirectories or EMD's."


        The same goes for ".info's are crap don't ever buy one if it's the last, only thing available."



        You have no clue what you are talking about.
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        scott g
        "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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        • Profile picture of the author RBadgley
          I am going to take an example of some of the things I have questions about. Lets say I want to get into forerunner GPS watch. I find that all the reasonable domains are taken for the forerunner but looking on the search engines (market Samurai) nobody is doing a good job of SEO on these keywords and I know I can beat most of them. I was thinking of starting a website on say BobsReviews.com and start a sub-domain for the exact keyword that I want to target does this make sense or am I going in a wrong direction. Also if I use a domain such as Bobsreview.com I could get into other niches that have similar circumstances

          Note I am not actually doing the above but am looking to a very similar situation.

          Thanks for your thoughts
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          • Profile picture of the author scott g
            Originally Posted by RBadgley View Post

            I am going to take an example of some of the things I have questions about. Lets say I want to get into forerunner GPS watch. I find that all the reasonable domains are taken for the forerunner but looking on the search engines (market Samurai) nobody is doing a good job of SEO on these keywords and I know I can beat most of them. I was thinking of starting a website on say BobsReviews.com and start a sub-domain for the exact keyword that I want to target does this make sense or am I going in a wrong direction. Also if I use a domain such as Bobsreview.com I could get into other niches that have similar circumstances

            Note I am not actually doing the above but am looking to a very similar situation.

            Thanks for your thoughts
            Then I would say you've got a pretty good plan (and opportunity) to create yourself an authority site. You get enough good reviews out there and pretty soon the TLD will become synonymous with legitimate/non biased/informative reviews - That can open a door to a whole different world of site monetization to you; or you could stick with Adsense!

            This is my opinion: I think subdomains in general look more authoritative than directories.

            Either way you're still going to be doing your homework - keyword research, content creation, and backlinking.
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            scott g
            "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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            • Profile picture of the author wallstreeterwww
              I was also thinking of using subdomains also for my minisite idea. It seems like the concensus here is that subdomains are ok to use, but what the heck is an EMD?
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              • Profile picture of the author scott g
                Originally Posted by wallstreeterwww View Post

                I was also thinking of using subdomains also for my minisite idea. It seems like the concensus here is that subdomains are ok to use, but what the heck is an EMD?
                EMD = Exact Match Domain in relation to your targeted "keywords."

                Examples:

                Domain
                http://thisismykeyword.com

                Subdomain
                http://thisis.mykeyword.com

                Directories
                http://mykeyword.com/this-is-my-keyword
                or
                http://thisis.com/mykeyword

                Lot's of variations and a whole nother thread in itself!

                CHEERS!
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                scott g
                "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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                • Profile picture of the author panket
                  redbicycles.com and red.bicycles.com are seen different to google, subdomains can use be included in the URL. For example:bicycles.com/red or you can rediect to bicycles.com.
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                  • Profile picture of the author scott g
                    Originally Posted by panket View Post

                    redbicycles.com and red.bicycles.com are seen different to google, subdomains can use be included in the URL. For example:bicycles.com/red or you can rediect to bicycles.com.
                    Actually Google takes out dots slashes and hyphens when they read things.
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                    scott g
                    "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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                • Profile picture of the author wallstreeterwww
                  Thanks Scott and sorry for not responding so fast as I forgot to check this thread


                  Originally Posted by scott g View Post

                  EMD = Exact Match Domain in relation to your targeted "keywords."

                  Examples:

                  Domain
                  http://thisismykeyword.com

                  Subdomain
                  http://thisis.mykeyword.com

                  Directories
                  http://mykeyword.com/this-is-my-keyword
                  or
                  http://thisis.com/mykeyword

                  Lot's of variations and a whole nother thread in itself!

                  CHEERS!
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  • Profile picture of the author socialbookmark
    IMO its good but not as the exact keyword without subdomain.
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    • Profile picture of the author junkdna
      Ok, a little bit less relevant, but some advertising networks will not let you put their ads on sub-domains.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanCoisson
    Brad Callen is exactly right. subdomains are seen as separate. Also on a side note google is starting to not give as much weight to exact match domains as they have in the past.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenukas
    I have been thinking for a while.For example:
    hxxp://this-is-my-keyword.com/
    or
    hxxp://this-ismy-keyword.com/
    or even this
    hxxp://thisismykey-word.com/
    This allows us to choose more domains for specific keyword,but the question is;will we outrank exact match domains with no dots slashes and hyphens? Lets think of something not competitive,already ranking #5 in serp's <150K SEOC.
    Why I am I concerned is b/c it would look damn fishy to make a it look like hxxp://thisism-ykeyword.com/ Thanks and sorry I might over complicate things sometimes
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      Originally Posted by stevenukas View Post

      I have been thinking for a while.For example:
      hxxp://this-is-my-keyword.com/
      or
      hxxp://this-ismy-keyword.com/
      or even this
      hxxp://thisismykey-word.com/
      This allows us to choose more domains for specific keyword,but the question is;will we outrank exact match domains with no dots slashes and hyphens? Lets think of something not competitive,already ranking #5 in serp's <150K SEOC.
      Why I am I concerned is b/c it would look damn fishy to make a it look like hxxp://thisism-ykeyword.com/ Thanks and sorry I might over complicate things sometimes

      EMD's carry some weight... Off-site SEO (backlinks) carry more.
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      scott g
      "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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