Any SEO Advantages?
If you are looking to add a blog to your website, how you set it up can have SEO ramifications. In this post we’ll explain the difference between adding your blog in a subfolder versus a subdomain, what experts say about it, and my recommendation.
What’s the Difference?
Let’s get the technical explanations out of the way. Here are some definitions:
- A subdomain is like a separate website that’s related to your main domain name. It typically has its own unique content. For example, you might have a subdomain for a product user guide. It could have a name like “myproducts.domain.com.”
- A subfolder, on the other hand, is… well a subfolder. Think of your website like a filing cabinet. Within the file drawer you have multiple folders for things like content. For example, in WordPress there are three main folders: wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes. The content subfolder holds images, blog posts, theme information, etc.
So what’s the big deal? How you structure your website can affect how search engines crawl and index your site’s information.
Recommendation: Put Your Blog in a Subfolder
In order to gain search visibility, there are basically two ingredients: content and links. By adding content via a blog, you are sending signals to search engines that you are answering questions and providing useful information to searchers. A consistent blogging (or adding new pages of content) practice builds organic SEO equity. There are two main reasons why I suggest having your blog in a subfolder versus a subdomain. First, your blog is meant to support your website. If it’s separate, you’re building SEO equity outside of your main web property which should be designed to convert visitors into prospects/customers. Lastly, subdomains are confusing to search engines and, more importantly, to humans. It’s a more seamless experience if everything is filed appropriately in one area.
I would still strongly urge folks to keep all content on a single subdomain. We recently were able to test this using a subdomain on Moz itself (when moving our beginner’s guide to SEO from guides.moz.com to the current URL http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo). The results were astounding – rankings rose dramatically across the board for every keyword we tracked to the pages.
I’ve had the opportunity to see many dozens of other sites do the same, almost always with similarly positive results (assuming they’re moving from a subdomain without other content/link signals to the subdomain that has those signals).
I agree with Rand. I’ve seen positive SEO results firsthand. So my answer to the question of “should I place my blog in a subfolder?” is: YES!
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photo credit top: Jenna
photo credit body: Jared and Corin