Subdomains vs. Subfolders, Rel Canonical vs. 301, and Link Structure for SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Subdomains vs. Subfolders, Rel Canonical vs. 301, and Link Structure for SEO - Whiteboard Friday


There are some basic questions about SEO that come up really frequently, and it’s often easy to assume an answer that isn’t exactly right. In today’s Whiteboard …


12 replies
  1. Nick Rider
    Nick Rider says:

    This is three years old. Is this still the same in 2018 or is Google still terrible for SEO on subdomains? I'm stuck with using different packages for content and I need CNAME records for individual sections of a website. Structuring it through subdirectories won't work in my situation.

  2. Arthur
    Arthur says:

    Hey Rand, super curious to know how the subdomain / subfolder debate plays out nowadays. Have there been any significant changes? Are subfolders still better than subdomains?

  3. Bob (WebGuyBob) Raymond
    Bob (WebGuyBob) Raymond says:

    Excellent video, Rand!

    Situation/Question… I have a site hosted on a free hosting platform, Tripod, which I rank very highly for my intended keywords. I will be migrating "myoldsite", and re-writing most of the content, to "mynewsite" on paid hosting, where I can control virtually everything. I cannot implement 301s on myoldsite/Tripod, but I can implement Rel Canonicals. When I complete and activate "mynewsite", it makes sense to me to add Rel Canonicals to each page on "myoldsite", pointing the appropriate pages on "mynewsite". Can I safely use a combination of Rel Canonical and Meta Refresh tags (or JavaScript redirects) to redirect "myoldsite" pages to their equivalents on "mynewsite"? …or should I leave "myoldsite" up for X months just with the Rel Canonicals and then take down "myoldsite" after I see that this practice is working?


    Bob (WebGuyBob) Raymond

  4. Lori Eldridge
    Lori Eldridge says:

    I have a problem that I don't think you covered. I started my website fresh out of college about 15 years ago, mainly for web design but I also set up 3 sub folders which I treat as separate domains, each featuring different kind of poetry (one for children, one for adults, my own) so they could each be on their own domain). According to Google Analytics my top ranking keywords are for the poetry sections and I'm afraid that Google has downgraded my web design content in favor of the other. However, the thought of having to set up 3 new domains to move the poetry to their own domains is too much as I'm too busy with the other end of my website (an income vs hobby type of dilema). How can I tell if the poetry sections of my website are hurting my business?


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