Should you host your blog on a separate domain or as a subfolder under the same domain?

Google has officially said that they treat both subdomains and subfolders the same but most SEOs will tell you that it's better to have your blog as a subfolder instead of a subdomain.

This is an important question which almost all web developers face when adding a blog to a website, and the SEO community is divided on this.

Google has officially said that they treat both subdomains and subfolders the same. So according to Google, it doesn't matter to them if your blog is hosted on sports.com/blog or on blog.sports.com. If your blog is on a subdomain, initially Google has to learn how to crawl each of the domains separately - but this is an issue only for the first few days.

But most SEOs will tell you that it's better to have your blog as a subfolder (sports.com/blog), instead of a subdomain (blog.sports.com).

Who should you listen to? Are both these opposing views correct?

This is one instance where both of these views are correct. From a crawler perspective, it doesn't matter to Google if the blog is on a subdomain or a subfolder. But from an SEOs perspective, it takes more time to rank when your blog is on a separate domain.

Here are the main reasons why it makes sense to have you blog as a subfolder instead of a subdomain.

1. Subdomains are treated as separate websites.

Every subdomain on your main website is treated as a separate website. So, golf.sports.com, tennis.sports.com, football.sports.com, blog.sports.com are treated as 4 different websites. If you had these 4 under the same domain using folders (eg. sports.com/golf, /tennis, /football, /blog) - they would be treated as one website. When you have 4 different websites, you have to optimise each of these 4 different websites separately.

2. It takes more effort to rank multiple websites instead of one.

The same effort you put in to rank one website has to be repeated with each other website when they are under a subdomain. As each subdomain is treated as a separate website, the SEO benefits of one website cannot be easily shared among all the others. From an SEO perspective, it requires more time and costs to rank multiple websites instead of one.

3. Backlinks

Building 80 backlinks to one website is not the same as building 20 backlinks to 4 different websites. When you are building all the backlinks to one domain, it's domain authority goes up much more than splitting it among all subdomains.

4. Link strength via internal links

The link strength you pass between different pages will be better if all the pages are under one domain.

To conclude, in almost all cases it is better to choose subfolders instead of a sudomain to host your blog because the effort it takes to rank is much less. 


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