Very confused about SubDomains for SEO?

6 replies
  • SEO
  • |
So... I've done A LOT of reading about this subject on the internet, but I keep getting mixed answers. And I'd like to hear opinions from all of you.I am planning a group of sites that will basically be linked in a network kind of way so that people can easily find the others when they land on one, kinda like sister sites, but each must still be seen as individual sites that just belongs to a group.

I will be using Wordpress MU to manage the different sites... So I was thinking about registering one domain and then creating a subdomain for each, for example:
MAIN: pets(dotcom)
SITES IN THE NETWORK: birds.pets(dotcom)

But I have a few questions that I haven't gotten answers to yet:
  1. Will it rank as good as TLD's?
  2. Does each site in the network effect one another when it comes to ranking? (if so... in a good or a bad way?)
  3. Lets say I get penalized by google for something for birds.pets(dotcom), will it effect some of my other sites in the network like dogs.pets(dotcom) for example? And if for the main site pets(dotcom) gets penalized... will all the sub sites suffer from it too? Or does google treat them each completely separately?
  4. I want like 15 different sections on the site, so it will cost a lot to purchase so many domains... if I start off with a subdomain each, and then map domains to some of them later as they become more popular... can it have any negative effect? Is it best to start with TLD's from the beginning?
  5. Because Wordpress MU uses domain mapping.... If I use a different domain for each site, will google treat them differently or does google see them as part of the main site even though they have TLD's. Same concerns as in question 3.
Basically... do you think subdomains is safe at all or should I just scrap the idea and pull out money for the domains? Hope you guys have some real answers for me!
#domain #seo #subdomains #tld #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
    no man...don't do it like that....ugh....

    You're tying to build link wheels...and hub sites that point to your money page.

    You gotta break down and buy a separate domain name for each one....not freakin subdomains...if you want the results you're seeking ...then you gotta buy em.


    Next....it is also good idea to have them on separate hosting accounts..instead of all of them on 1. The reason is because diff hostings have different C class blocks....or separate IP addresses....so your links then will look like they're coming from different unique users.....google knows this.

    Try and stick with 3 domains hosted on 1 reseller account....but if you're gonna link them together....then not a good idea.

    Basically...what you're doing will work...but it's a little outdated already...meaning....it's like blog farms ...and big G has become aware of this...and consequently killed some of the big farms in rankings from panda update.

    Really though...what are you looking to accomplish...? Money.....more traffic...?
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    If all your content is based on one particular broad topic, eg: pets, then you'd be better off using folders, eg:

    pets dot com/birds
    pets dot com/dogs
    etc

    In the most part sub-domains are treated as completely separate domains and you need to work on each of them individually to get them to rank.

    However, sub-domains can affect your main domain (and vice-versa). I had a 10 year old domain that had multiple pages with PR (up to PR6). It also had about 10 subdomains for various personal purposes.

    I put an autoblog on the main domain and after the Panda rollout, the main domain and all the sub-domains were deindexed and all the PR had disappeared.

    I deleted the autoblog and put back the original content (couple of static HTML pages) and filed a reconsideration request with Google.

    In a couple of weeks time, all my domains and sub-domains where indexed and PR returned.
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    • Profile picture of the author soopeytoopey
      Thank you Tyer Jaysen and UMS!!

      no man...don't do it like that....ugh....
      You're tying to build link wheels...and hub sites that point to your money page.
      No, No... I wasn't actually planning on doing it to drive traffic to one another... I've also never heard about "blog farms" so I googled. Seems like google will see me as a spammer if I do that... which is simply not my intention. The only reason why I want to do it this way is because I want users to sign up once, and then they can comment and interact on all of the sites.... but only the ones they want. I don't want all content to be on one site, because I don't want them to have to look at stuff that they don't want to see, and I want each section to have its own design that will fit the topic, and then users can subscribe or join the sites that they like. So the main domain would kind of have the member registration section, as well as an area listing all the latest posts of the sites they've subscribed to.... Think about how wordpress.com and blogger is working.... basically just like that.... except, all the sites will be owned/managed by me.

      Are you saying this is a crap idea for SEO reasons?

      Try and stick with 3 domains hosted on 1 reseller account....but if you're gonna link them together....then not a good idea.
      Are you saying if I link between my sites and they're hosted on the same hosting account.... then that will be bad for SEO? The links will not be there to get my sites higher in the search engines.... more like a way of suggesting other content and showing users my other sites. But if it's gonna cause search engine problems, then I rather won't do that.
      Will having a reseller account, and creating a separate cpanel account for each domain make a difference? Or must it be a completely separate host?

      Really though...what are you looking to accomplish...? Money.....more traffic...?
      Obviously I'd like the money & traffic... but I want it to become a solid community too.... not just put online for money (in a spam way).... I want it to really make a name online.

      I put an autoblog on the main domain and after the Panda rollout, the main domain and all the sub-domains were deindexed and all the PR had disappeared.
      Oh no, that's what I'm afraid of, I don't want them to effect eachother. I guess domains will be better then. But what if I link between them and they are on the same hosting account... if I get penalized by google, will it still effect all my sites even though I have real domains and not subdomains?

      Is Wordpress Multisite a bad idea?
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I wouldn't use sub-domains unless it was a huge amount of content.

    The question is, how many pages will you have for each pet category?

    BTW, there's nothing wrong with sub-domains (ex: wikipedia).
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  • Profile picture of the author DNAWRealm
    Banned
    sub domains can have a huge benefit if it's all sidewide links (so sub links to home, home links to subs). As long as all the content is unique and no black hat seo is used. Problem with this is you would need to put a HELL OF ALOT of content out for it to all work out.

    Time = money
    money = time
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  • Profile picture of the author Yohance j
    Sub domains work fine for my individual service pages and rank quite well
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