Among Internet marketers, a hotly debated topic is whether you should use a subdirectory or a subdomain for your blog. Though search engines have not provided a definitive answer, Google has hinted that their algorithm shows no preference between the two methods.
However, evidence has repeatedly shown that subdirectories work better for SEO purposes. Here’s why:
What are subdomains and subdirectories?
URL Structures: A blog hosted on a subdirectory would have a URL such as v9seo.staging.wpengine.com/blog. Conversely, a blog on a subdomain would appear with a URL such as blog.v9digital.com.
Site Structure: With a blog hosted on a subdomain, you’ve created an entirely new site for your blog. But when the blog is hosted on a subdirectory, the blog lives on a page within your main site.
Why is using a blog subdirectory better for SEO?
As I mentioned, with a subdomain (blog.v9digital.com), you’ve created an entirely new site. With a completely new site, you’re increasing your workload as far as SEO is concerned because your efforts are less focused.
Let’s say you’re a plumbing contractor and you want to drive organic traffic to your contact page. You start a blog to help drive organic traffic. If you’re using a subdomain for your blog, the authority you build on your blog exists separately from the site where your contact page lives.
Conversely, a blog hosted on a subdirectory is treated as a page on your site. Thus, a well-received blog post lends authority (in search engines’ eyes) to an internally linked contact page. And the exchange of authority works both ways, thus a more focused SEO approach.
What does the data say?
Google claims it has no preference, but the data tells a different story. Several companies have found greater success with subdirectories than with subdomains.
- Moz, a company that provides SEO tools, found that their guide for SEO beginners performed much better when they moved it from a subdomain to a subdirectory.
- On the other hand, Iwantmyname.com experienced a significant dip in traffic after moving their blog from a subdirectory to a subdomain.
- Several others companies have seen better search performance and site traffic related to using a subdirectory rather than a subdomain.
Not convinced that you should use a subdirectory instead of a subdomain? Set up a time to talk about search engine optimized site structure with the team at Volume Nine!