16.06.2021 | 13
Author: ContentHub

What is Better For SEO in 2021? Subdomains vs. Subfolders

What is Better For SEO in 2021? Subdomains vs. Subfolders

Search engine optimization is not as straightforward as it used to be. When setting up an SEO campaign, on-page strategies need to be perfected to ensure the website can climb the ranks in Google. A recent topic that created a debate is a comparison between subdomains and subfolders. We take a closer look at how these differ and which one might be better.

Subdomains vs. Subfolders: What's the Difference?

Subdomains and subfolders are used among large and small websites as a way to arrange different parts of the system. The company might have a main website and also a blog that runs on a different platform. In this case, either a subfolder structure or a subdomain needs to be used to set up the platform.

The major difference comes into play when looking at the way the URL will be structured.

  • With a subdomain, the “folder” name becomes an affix to the domain name. For example, a blog on a domain would become accessible at
  • With a subfolder, the folder's name rather becomes a suffix. Instead of, the blog can now be accessed by navigating to

It should be noted, however, that a subdomain requires sectioning on the hosting server. A specific folder on the server needs to point to a subdomain that was registered.

What Does Google Say: Subdomains or Subfolders?

During a stream on the official Google Search Central Youtube channel, it was revealed that the search engine has become much smarter in the last few years. According to these experts, Google is now capable of identifying subdomains and would then associate them with the root domain.

After a study was conducted by Moz, however, it was found that this may not be the case. Data recorded did not match the claims made by Google's experts.

Subdomains vs. Subfolders: Which Is Better For SEO?

While both subdomains and subfolders offer benefits, it should be noted that subfolders could be the better solution. In the end, the structure of a website and the type of hosting servers used matter. The use of subfolders might make it easier for search engines to associate specific keywords with the root domain - while some confusion still exists in terms of subdomains.

The Marketing Benefits Of Subfolders

There are benefits related to marketing efforts with subfolders. This particular structure makes it easy to share links with the public - without the need to explain how a subdomain works. Even though subdomains have been used for a long time, consumers without appropriate knowledge may not be able to thoroughly understand how they can access subdomains without obtaining a direct link.

Subdomains vs. Subfolders: Conclusion

Both subdomains and subfolders are useful options for structuring a website, especially when setting up separate platforms. With subdomains, however, some confusion has been reported - as it does not seem data released by Google matches results from agencies. Thus, website owners consider the use of subfolders instead to avoid confusion and improve keyword density in their URL structures.  



SEO, Linkbuilding, Content marketing for business


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