Should I Use Subdomains?

February 19, 2010 Steve

Neil wrote in to ask a question about subdomain use to target different niche sites from a generic:

“Hello, I have a newbie question about subdomains.

I would like to register a generic domain such as and run some niche sites on subdomains from it such as or

Does that make any sense from an affiliate marketing and SEO point of view?  Will Google always favour over, or do you think a bit of hard work and good content can make that strategy work?

Many thanks.



Personally, I would go for a main domain name for each niche site.  It’s better in the long run as it will allow you more flexibility should you wish to sell the site on, change your hosting and any issues you may encounter with link strategy.  For example, if a particular linking strategy were to backfire and kill a site, only the one site would be affected.  If you use sub-domains from one main domain, you run the risk of killing everything in one go.

However, if you have a domain and a lot of “on-topic” mini-sites, then I see no reason why sub-domains would not work.  I have done this on sites in the past, but it was to host different content and prices, based on the country the person was from, and in that case I hosted the sub-domain in an IP range of the country the sub-domain was targeted towards.  Google favours good content; your IP plays a part, but if Google can’t work out what country a site is targeted towards, you will only get ranked based on getting links in and having decent on-page optimisation.


I don’t use subdomains on Allkids, but I do have different sections with several pages attached, and I have found that the main page is usually indexed in Google quite high for relevant terms, many at the coveted No 1 position.

For example:

Kids Beds – Single Storage Beds
                   Bunk Beds
                   Cabin, Mid Beds
                   High Sleeper Bed

The main page, i.e. Kids Beds, is usually the indexed page for most of the ‘kids beds’ related terms, but quite often I get both pages listed, which is a bonus.  Google does take an overview of the whole site, so a large site with a dedicated theme, should win over several smaller sites all interlinked, especially if you take care with the internal linking structure and urls.

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Filed under: Clinic, Domains

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One Response to “Should I Use Subdomains?”

  1. From an SEO perspective:

    I would use subfolders to run your niche sites, so you would have – this way you can run as many niche sites as you want and link build to each folder if required.

    Google views sub domains as separate websites therefore any website authority your domain has will not be passed to the sub domains. If you were to use sub folders authority is passed to the subfolders, therefore making it easier to rank for desired keyterms meaning you will need to build fewer links.

    Although sub domains are still being used and in some cases the correct method to use, Google understood that spammers were using sub domains to rank for multiple listings in Google.

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