Google Treats Subdomains As Internal To The Domain In Webmaster Tools

Aug 17, 2012 • 7:58 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsBack just about a year ago, we covered a change on how webmaster tools handles subdomains. I since forgot about that and now I see John Mueller from Google explaining it again in a Google Webmaster Help thread.

In summary, even though for ranking purposes, Google may not treat a subdomain as part of the internal main domain - Google Webmaster Tools generally does.

John Mueller said in the thread:

In Webmaster Tools we generally treat data from subdomains as being internal with regards to the domain name. With regards to creating a site structure with subdomains or sub-subdomains, we generally leave that to the webmaster :) (though as with other infinite spaces, we discourage the use of wildcard subdomains).

Just a reminder, Google Webmaster Tools and Google's algorithms may treat things different.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Website Developers India

08/17/2012 12:48 pm

Thanks for sharing. I was looking for it..

Tad Miller

08/17/2012 02:36 pm

If you want to do XML site maps that you upload to WMT for sub-domains I think you need to have separate WMT accounts for them. So one account won't get it done in that respect.

Paul Edmondson

08/17/2012 03:31 pm

We don't see aggregated webmasyertools data for hubpages sub domains. Each one needs to be added and looked at individually. It would be a nice option to be able to look at the overall data easily.

Srikar Srinivasula

08/19/2012 08:00 pm

I have a question barry,i know that subdomain and main domain are treated as two different domains and thats how hubpages got out of panda on matts advice blah blah but does a sub domain carry any seo value or authority of the main domain,i mean if say i have a tech blog and i want to cover android as subdomain would that be of any advantage over a new android blog ? im really keen to know this as i am seeing a lot of subdomains on serps lately (in tech niche).

Nick Pateman

08/20/2012 08:03 am

Yes, a subdomain will benefit slightly from the main domain. How much? It's impossible to say, but no where near as much as using a subfolder i.e. as opposed to

Mark Hughes

08/20/2012 10:58 am

I recently had to set up a separate GWT account for a subdomain because the one thing I (don't think!) you can do is submit a sitemap if it's based within the subdomain. Otherwise, it makes total sense in most cases to treat subdomains as internal pages.


08/20/2012 06:40 pm

@Barry, To what do you think he is referring when he said "we discourage the use of wildcard subdomains"? Thanks, Russ

Russ Offord

08/20/2012 06:41 pm

@Barry, To what do you think he is referring when he said "we discourage the use of wildcard subdomains"? Thanks, Russ

Steve Duffy

05/15/2013 09:21 pm

Agreed. I have a site that uses multiple subdomains for geo-location (e.g., vs. and each one has to be looked at individually. I would *love* to be able to aggregate this data. The only upside is that Google Analytics supports a global approach to subdomains, so while you can't easily see rankings, you can at least attribute traffic.

Julian Perry

08/05/2013 06:47 pm

I own the site which lets users create a site running off a subdomain such as and I was just wondering how this will affect the rankings of my site as well as users

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