Your blog is an important part of driving online traffic to your site and establishing your business as an industry expert. But where you post your blog on your website could have a direct impact on your search engine optimization.
Subdomains and subfolders are reportedly treated as equal by search engines, but there's some argument as to whether one may help your website rank higher than the other. So how do you know whether to put your blog in a subfolder or on a subdomain?
Here are some of the different opinions on subdomains and subfolders, and how both may affect your search engine rankings.
Why do some websites use subdomains?
Some businesses decide to post their blog on a subdomain because they may already use other subdomains for different pages on their website. Subdomains are an extension of a registered domain name so you can send online users to specific IP addresses in your hosting account.
Subdomains help to organize web content into distinct sections. Unfortunately, when you're using your blog as a form of content marketing and not just as an informational section, you can end up dividing your search engine rankings from your IP address.
For instance, let's say you own a pumpkin farm and you're trying to use SEO and backlinks to get online traffic and conversions. If your blog "blog.pumpkinfarm.com" is on a subdomain of your website "www.pumpkinfarm.com," there's a chance that search engines will be confused.
Although your blog and main website have different subdomains, both websites have the same second level domain (SLD). This puts search engines at risk of separating a large portion of keywords under your subdomain, which produces undesirable results like diluting your website's backlink strength.
What makes a subfolder better for SEO?
According to Moz, subfolders are the best place to have your blog for SEO purposes. This is because of the different metrics being returned by various search engines.
This doesn't mean subdomains don't have their benefits. Subdomains can be great for foreign language variants of your main website and for content that's thematically different from the rest of your main website.
But subfolders are your safe bet for SEO ranking because they're linked directly to your main IP address. That means whatever traffic and backlinks your blog receives, your main website receives those same backlinks and web traffic. Search engines are less likely to be confused, and they won't compromise your backlink strength.
What's more, most online users are familiar with subfolders. That means even if you don't have a direct link to your blog on your main website, most online users will be able to type "/blog" into the IP address to get your website's blog.That said, while there's no definitive answer as to whether subdomains or subfolders are better for your website and your search engine results page rankings, subfolders may be your safest bet.
Not only are they the most common place to put a blog on your website but they're also the easiest to find for both search engines and online users alike. And, after all, SEO is all about increasing visibility.