Google: How They Treat Subdomains vs Subdirectories In 2016

Aug 4, 2016 - 7:18 am 25 by

Google Move

The SEO debate on using subdomains and subdirectories is one of those things that will never die. But Google's John Mueller said in a Google Hangout on Google+ the other day that it really doesn't matter that much. He said Google does a pretty good job figuring out what you are trying to do and it doesn't matter that much.

He said unless you have massive numbers of wildcard subdomains, you should be fine.

He said this at the 48:24 mark into the video:

Question:

Can you talk about how you treat sub domains? We have 5. Similar topics but different enough we would have put them in separate folders. Instead we used subdomains. Does this hurt us in the rankings?

Answer:

No, not in general.

So we recognize that some sites use subdomains as different parts of the site. And, in the same way that other sites might use sub directories.

With subdomains, the main thing I'd watch out for is that you're not using wildcard subdomains because that can make crawling really, really hard. If we have to go through all of these subdomains and treat them all as separate hosts.

But if you have a limited number of subdomains then that might be an option.

Similarly, if you have different sites that are essentially completely separate websites but they're in subdirectories-- so in folders-- then we'll try to figure that out as well. And say, well, actually these are all on the same domain, on the same host name, but these are maybe user-generated content-- like separate sites that should be treated completely separately-- then we'll try to figure that out as well.

So that's not something that would kind of like improve or hurt rankings. It's more a matter of us figuring that out. And so far I've seen our algorithms do a pretty good job of that.

Here is the video embed:

So I guess Google is typically smart enough to know how to treat your subdomains and subdirectories.

Forum discussion at Google+.

 

Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community

Follow

Search Video Recaps

 
Google Search Ranking Update, Recipe Blogs Drop, Google Hits Reviews & More SEO, PPC and Local - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Google

Google Shopping Carousel Dynamically Changes Products Below

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google

Bug With Google Shopping Exclude Search Operator

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:41 am
Bing Search

Bing Tests Next Page & Refresh In Place Of Normal Pagination

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:31 am
Bing Search

Bing Search Sub-Sitelinks (Expandable Sitelinks)

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:21 am
Google

Google Fading In Text Of Search Result Snippets On Scroll

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:11 am
Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: February 21, 2024

Feb 21, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Previous Story: Here Is How To Edit Your Introduction Field In Google+