Subdomain vs Subdirectory; What Is the Difference Between Subdomain and Domain?

D o you know the difference between subdomain vs domain or subdomain vs subdirectory? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complex practice in the entire marketing realm. You have to be very cautious about what you are doing. You should have a clear purpose for each action that you take.

When it comes to the selection of the domain name for a new project, often people are confused between different domain types. The first question that arises when choosing a domain name is, what to use subdomain, domain, or sub-direction for leveraging the SEO? What is the difference between a domain and a subdomain? This is a fundamental question that every owner has to ask while creating the website for the new project.

Why Should I Care About URL Structures?

The URL of the website makes a big difference in driving traffic through direct and organic searches. Each type of domain name has its pros and cons that make it separate from each other. Understanding the difference between domain vs subdomain vs subdirectory would allow you to mitigate some of the crucial aspects of digital marketing.

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why should i care about url structures

For Example:

Let say you are ready with the content for marketing, and now you want to create a blog on your website to publish the regular content to drive the users. In that case, you need to have the blog or microsite linked to your website for publishing the content. You have given the following options.

Now the question comes to mind which one would be the best option for the blog site. The ultimate goal of choosing the domain name is to achieve a top search engine ranking. Selection of the right type of domain name would reduce the amount of time and energy you put into ranking your website. Search engines treat each of the domains differently. As result, you will see the different rankings for the different types of domain names.

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Difference Between Subdomain and Domain and Subdirectory

Your top-level domain is the primary website where all the juice is consumed. The entire site depends on the performance of the top-level domain name.

As you start getting the backlinks to your top-level domain name, the entire website is benefited from the link juice. Search engines start pushing your other pages in the search engine ranking. Even your subdirectories would get the benefit from the inbound links received to the top-level domain name.

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difference between the tlds, subdomains, and subdirectories

Subdirectories are the part of the main domain with the different extensions of the domain build for a specific purpose. Generally, the subdirectories are created to host the blog site. For example,

If we want to mention the domain and subdomain difference, we have to say that subdomains are a large part of the main domain name. The name of the domain starts at the beginning of the domain followed by your top-level domain name. For example

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How Domain Structure Impact SEO?

Search engine ranking has many branches. Each branch contains its ecosystem where the specific guidelines are given and every website that falls in the category has to follow the guidelines if they want to achieve success in the organic ranking.

Every domain type is treated differently in the search engine ranking and subdomain vs domain SEO impact is worth mentioning. The subdirectory is created for blogging or any other purpose inherits the trust from its main domain name. Therefore, it is easy to get the pages of the subdirectory in the ranking.

As your main domain starts gaining popularity, the internal pages of the subdirectory also get a boost in the organic ranking. You do not have to perform additional SEO to rank the pages in the organic searches. You can focus on the main domain and pass the benefit to the subdirectory.

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how domain structure impact seo

Moreover, the subdirectory inverts the benefit to the main domain when it starts received outbound links. It is crucial to have both the page’s main domain and subdirectory perform well to achieve the desired success.

You have the option to create the subdomain instead of the subdirectory for your blog site. The difference between subdomain and subdirectory is that subdomain would be treated as a microsite. For example,

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Subdomain vs Subdirectory Pros and Cons

When we want to compare subdirectory vs subdomain SEO impacts, we have to mention that a subdomain is generally created when you have a completely different set of content on the website or you want to target your users based on the location. The subdomain inherits some of the benefits from the top-level domain, however, the concept is still in active debate, and SEO communities still have doubts about the benefits that you receive to the subdomain from the main domain name.

When it comes to comparing subdomain or subdirectory better for SEO effects, the subdomain does not receive many benefits from the main domain as it is considered a completely new website. You have the option to link the page with each other to flow the traffic from the main domain to the subdomain and help both the pages to earn the juice it requires to rank in the organic searches.

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subdomain vs subdirectory; what is the difference

A subdomain is great when you want to start an entirely new site without getting a separate domain name. You can leverage the trust of the existing website and enter into a new industry or region without leaving the ground. All the content published on the subdomain will be under one brand umbrella. Users who visited your main domain in the past would find it comfortable browsing the subdomain due to their trust in the brand.

When To Use a Subdomain?

The decision of choosing subdomains vs domains would be depending on the type of content you are willing to publish on your website. If the subdomain is made for an entirely new set of audiences, then it would help you in search engine ranking as your main domain would have separate content than the subdomain.

Also, it reduces the confusion between the two niche category content. Two groups of people will visit your website on entirely two different web pages to consume the content. The search engine also finds the subdomain content easy to rank as they are separated with the different domain extensions. It would be easy for the search engine to decide in which directory of the category your website is listed.

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what to choose subdomain vs domain

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Domain and Subdomain With Example?

In the example “”, the first part (blog) is the subdomain. It is used to navigate users easier to different sections of your website. The second part “yourdomain” is your main domain name. And .com is the TLD.

Final Words

When comparing SEO subdomain vs subdirectory and main domain vs subdomain, you should be aware of the end benefit of each domain extension and decide which one is right for you . When you are working on the new set content, the subdomain would be a lucrative option as it gives more clarity to the users and search engine algorithm. Subdirectories are best for the blog that complements the top-level domain name.

When it comes to SEO blog subdomain vs subdirectory differences, subdirectories are useful when you want to leverage the exiting domain trust and link juice to rank your blog pages. It saves your time and money that would be needed to rank the new pages of the subdirectories. However, the final decision should be taken based on the purpose that your domain has to serve.

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