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Old 31st January 2015, 06:30 PM   #1
Spider
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Default Subdomains Vs Separate Domain Names

My webperson recommends I do not use subdomains for grouping my business activities and recommends using separate domains. He feels separate domains (interlinked) will add to my web presence and credibility and will improve my branding. Subdomains, otoh, will create a mishmash of pages, confuse search engines and destroy branding.

I am unconvinced. What do you Internet Warriors think?

Example: I am a business coach -- domain: frederickpearce.com (that's my name.)
I have various "properties."
1. My business and personal information, credentials, contact info
2. my blog
3. I have published a book
4. short-term coaching access - telephone and e-mail
5. a 9 month coaching program (in 4 parts, available separately as four distinct programs.)
6. I am considering adding a low cost business start-up incubator course.

I see 2 ways of structuring this --

A.
frederickpearce.com for #1 and #2
eyes-prize.com for #3 (the book is titled Keep Your Eyes On The Prize.)
business-coaching-programs.com for #4 and #5
business-startup-incubator.com (or similar) for #6

B
frederickpearce.com for #1
blog.frederickpearce.com for #2
book.frederickpearce.com for #3
phonecoaching.frederickpearce.com for #4 (phone)
emailcoaching.frederickpearce.com for #4 (e-mail)
successcoaching.frederickpearce.com for #5
startupincubator.frederickpearce.com for #6

Which do you think will be best and why?

Your help is appreciated.

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Old 31st January 2015, 08:28 PM   #2
bjay99
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In your example B, the subdomains will act as seperate domains. IN effect, you will have 6 seperate webpages UNLESS you have them pointing to the same hosting site.

i.e. startupincubator.frederickpearce.com -> www.frederickpearce.com/startupincubator

If you have seperate hosting site fore both A and B option, than it doesn;t matter. I would probably stick with option B to solidify your brand.

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Old 1st February 2015, 03:22 AM   #3
bestellen
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Subdomain

+ Maybe technically easier for some setups

+ Has some of the benefits of subfolder in inheriting parent domain authority and separate domain in providing backlinks to main site, but…

– Needs to establish its own reputation through backlinks from other sites so…

– Will not rank as highly or as quickly as a subfolder

Separate domain

+ Helps you control and generate external backlinks for which you control the anchor text, i.e. editorial links within blog copy back to category and product pages

+ Can create a more differentiated brand identity which can be seen as independent from the main site so generates more engagement with it’s audience potentially

+ Can target a different country, i.e. I have seen UK companies launching a US hosted blog

– You may not rank competitively at all for weeks or months depending on the quality of the content you create. This may be hard to sell to your colleagues investing in it – it’s an act of faith…

– Will require a long-term commitment to content creation and backlink development

So, to summarise 1 is the safe option, but if you create exceptional content which creates a lot of backlinks then 3 can be valuable in providing links back to the main site from a separate authority site you control. What do you think?

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Old 1st February 2015, 11:24 AM   #4
Spider
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Thanks for your comments, Bjay. Not sure I fully understand you.

I have one hosting account only.

The URLs, frederickpearce.com and eyes-prize.com and business-coaching-programs.com, are all held in that one hosting account.

Therefore, startupincubator.frederickpearce.com would point to the same files as www.frederickpearce.com/startupincubator (actually, neither exist at present.)

I think you are saying, in my case,

a) subdomains would not be seen by SEs as separate websites and the whole thing would be seen as one website, and this is not good, and,

b) subdomains would benefit my branding, but I'm not sure how.

Can you comment further? Thanks.

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Old 1st February 2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
Thanks for your comments, Bjay. Not sure I fully understand you.

I have one hosting account only.

The URLs, frederickpearce.com and eyes-prize.com and business-coaching-programs.com, are all held in that one hosting account.

Therefore, startupincubator.frederickpearce.com would point to the same files as www.frederickpearce.com/startupincubator (actually, neither exist at present.)

I think you are saying, in my case,

a) subdomains would not be seen by SEs as separate websites and the whole thing would be seen as one website, and this is not good, and,

b) subdomains would benefit my branding, but I'm not sure how.

Can you comment further? Thanks.
Sorry for the confusion.

If you have only one hosting account - does that mean you have only one website with multiple domains (URL) pointing to the same content and directory structure?

If that is the case, whether you are using unique URL's or subdomains, the search engines will not count them as different websites.

To fully take advantage of creating multiple domains (or subdomains), you need to have separate websites, separate content, and interlink them to each other. When you have that, you need to get one of your sites to rank well so it brings up the other sites.

Subdomains benefit branding because it is the same name. If you look at the largest brands, they utilize subdomains only. They wouldn't have separate URLs - it would confuse the customers.

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Old 1st February 2015, 06:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bestellen View Post
Subdomain

+ Maybe technically easier for some setups

+ Has some of the benefits of subfolder in inheriting parent domain authority and separate domain in providing backlinks to main site, but…

– Needs to establish its own reputation through backlinks from other sites so…

– Will not rank as highly or as quickly as a subfolder

Separate domain

+ Helps you control and generate external backlinks for which you control the anchor text, i.e. editorial links within blog copy back to category and product pages

+ Can create a more differentiated brand identity which can be seen as independent from the main site so generates more engagement with it’s audience potentially

+ Can target a different country, i.e. I have seen UK companies launching a US hosted blog

– You may not rank competitively at all for weeks or months depending on the quality of the content you create. This may be hard to sell to your colleagues investing in it – it’s an act of faith…

– Will require a long-term commitment to content creation and backlink development

So, to summarise 1 is the safe option, but if you create exceptional content which creates a lot of backlinks then 3 can be valuable in providing links back to the main site from a separate authority site you control. What do you think?
Thanks for replying, Bestellen. That explains why my webperson favors separate domains. I worry that it will take me a long time to create the required content for separate domains. Also, I rely on him to create a whole new website under a separate domain, while I can easily create subdomains.

Maybe I can take my time to create a subdomain and add content, then have him make a new site/separate domain of it when it has enough content for it to be worthwhile.

You have been a great help, Bestellen - thank you.

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Old 1st February 2015, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjay99 View Post
Sorry for the confusion.
No, you are not confusing - I am a little out of my depth, is all.

Quote:
If you have only one hosting account - does that mean you have only one website with multiple domains (URL) pointing to the same content and directory structure?
If that is the case, whether you are using unique URL's or subdomains, the search engines will not count them as different websites.
I have one hosting account with a main domain and - what they call - an Add-on domain. Two separate domains in one account, two different websites with different content, two sets of files.

Quote:
To fully take advantage of creating multiple domains (or subdomains), you need to have separate websites, separate content, and interlink them to each other. When you have that, you need to get one of your sites to rank well so it brings up the other sites.
Subdomains benefit branding because it is the same name. If you look at the largest brands, they utilize subdomains only. They wouldn't have separate URLs - it would confuse the customers.
Okay, so multiple subdomains benefit branding, separate domains benefit ranking.

It is becoming clearer. I do appreciate you taking the time to educate me, Bjay.

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Old 24th February 2015, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Strategy

If you have different domains or add subdomains, they are functionally the same for ranking sites, all other factors being the same.

I would NOT recommend you do this unless you want the extra expense of several sites. There are reasons to do this, but I don't think you will find any proof that many smaller sites perform better than one large site. I would not spread your resources thin with many sites unless you are sure you need to.

I would start with your many company site and just build it so that you could change it in the future and spin off other sites from it. Chances are you won't need to.

With the money you save you can focus on adding more content and getting the best SEO done for your site.

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Old 1st March 2015, 10:14 PM   #9
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Excellent replies, all. Thanks much.

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Old 3rd September 2016, 09:26 AM   #10
aquisto
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Google will generally treat subdomains as separate sites for ranking purposes.

The shouldn't be any cost in getting xxx.yourdomain and yyy.yourdomain setup. If there is, get a new webhost!

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