Subdomains vs. Subfolders

A subdomain is a prefix added to the domain name, creating a separate website part or a completely distinct website. It is a way to organize and navigate different sections of a site, often used to categorize content that is distinct from the main site. are recognized as a third-level domain in the context of a typical URL hierarchy and exist independently of the main domain.


In URL format, a subdomain appears as a prefix to the domain name, such as “,” where “blog” is the subdomain, “example” is the primary domain, and “.com” is the top-level domain (TLD).


Subfolders, also known as subdirectories, subfolders are part of the main domain and exist within its structure to organize content. They are paths created off the root directory of a domain and are typically used to categorize website content under the same primary domain.


Subdomains are employed when a website needs a functional or thematic separation of content. Common uses include hosting a company blog (, an e-commerce store (, a support section (, or for regional or language-specific content ( or

SEO considerations:

Subdomains can be treated by search engines as separate entities from the main domain, which means they must be optimized individually and can build their authority. Link equity is not typically shared between a subdomain and the main domain, making cross-domain linking important for transferring value. Subdomains can allow for targeted keyword usage and content segmentation, yet managing several subdomains can dilute brand focus and may require more resources for SEO.


A subfolder is reflected in the URL after the domain name, such as “,” where “/blog” is the subfolder contained within the main domain “”


Subfolders are commonly used for organizing content under a main domain, such as having separate sections for blog posts, categories, products, services, and any other type of content that fits under the umbrella of the main site.

SEO considerations:

Unlike subdomains, subfolders inherit the authority of the main domain, which can be beneficial for the SEO performance of the content within the subfolder. They maintain the site’s authority consolidation and can contribute to the overall domain’s strength as they are seen by search engines as an integral part of the main website. This setup is generally preferred for SEO purposes as it can simplify the management of site hierarchy and aid in more efficient distribution of link equity across the domain.


How can subdomains impact SEO?

Subdomains are treated as separate sites by search engines, requiring individual optimization efforts. They do not automatically share link equity with the main domain, so cross-domain linking is crucial. Subdomains can allow for targeted keyword usage but can also dilute brand focus if not managed effectively.

What are the differences between subdomains and subfolders?

Subdomains are separate entities added before the domain name, while subfolders are paths created within the main domain after the domain name. Subdomains are typically used for distinct sections or websites, whereas subfolders organize content within the main site.

Why are subfolders preferred for SEO?

Subfolders inherit the authority of the main domain, contributing to the overall domains strength in search engines. They help consolidate site authority, enable efficient distribution of link equity across the domain, and simplify site hierarchy management. Subfolders are generally favored for SEO due to these factors.

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