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    Sub Domain or Sub Folder


    I want to create a site like:
    *not really tshirts odviously*

    tshirts.com

    I'm debating to use sub folders for each major city like:

    tshirts.com/losangeles
    (sub folder)

    or

    losangeles.tshirts.com
    (I'm thinking sub domain)


    Is the above sub domain like I'm thinking? Are there other ways to do this as well that I'm overlooking? Which will be the best for local city searches of that site?

    Folders are free but would the other options free or do I have to purchase domains for each city?

    Thanks!
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    I should add is that the reason I was leaning towards sub domains is because this site referring to blogs seemed to have alot of positive towards it and it seems as though it will get referenced alot faster by search engines vs sub domains?

    http://www.conversationmarketing.com...ns-and-new.htm
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    I would always choose a subfolder.

    Keyword: Apple Tree

    blogspot.com/apple-tree
    Using a page like this gives authority and trust to the page which will rank the keyword higher in the serps.

    apple-tree.blogspot.com
    this is like starting a new site with no authority or trust.

    the subdomain also looks spammy
    the only time i would use a subdomain is if i wanted to expand my site to another country.

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    Poster above is correct.
    Each subdomain is treated as a separate website. Do you want to do seo work for multiple sites, or one large one. Obviously the latter.

    And subdomains are free. You register your tld, and subdomains are created in records off of that tld. Your host will likely have features to automate their creation.
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    The answer is dependent on branding. If you want to the cities to be very unique and specific then use subdomains. If you want everything under parent umbrella and city specifics aren't as crucial use sub folders.

    Also, as noted above, sub domains typically are more autonomous, although Google has some association between domains and sub domains in mind.

    BTW, next time do a SEARCH in the forums, this question has been asked multiply times in the past.

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    Thanks so much for the answers already. They are very clear and helpful thanks!

    And for the record I did do a search but was slightly confused by some of the answers. I didn't want to bring back a thread that was from a couple years ago because some forums don't like that much so I thought it best to start a new one. Sorry...

    Anyways, if I can continue to pick your brains I'd appreciate it. If you wouldn't mind going to mywedding.com (again, nothing to do with the content matter of my sites).

    I'm curious why and how they are setup. If you click on sacramento it brings you to "mysacramentowedding.com" as do lots of the other cities. However the other half of the cites will bring you too mywedding.com/santarosa/ or something like that. As if they are doing both sub domains and folders to handle that site. Do you think they started with sub domains and then jumped ship to folders halfway through their growth or is there other logic behind this?

    I also notice that their individual webpage links don't have page extensions on them. For instance:

    mywedding.com/santarosa/disc_jockeys

    how is that possible and is their logic behind it?


    All of these questions I'm asking in relation to SEO so if it's just odd web developing then I guess I can ask that on an appropriate forum but I'm just trying to pin down the direction I need to take my site(s)...

    Thanks again!
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    Originally Posted by Blue_Vision
    I'm curious why and how they are setup. If you click on sacramento it brings you to "mysacramentowedding.com" as do lots of the other cities. However the other half of the cites will bring you too mywedding.com/santarosa/ or something like that. As if they are doing both sub domains and folders to handle that site. Do you think they started with sub domains and then jumped ship to folders halfway through their growth or is there other logic behind this?
    I didn't look, but that's what it sounds like to me. Kuddos to the developers there for not changing paths on established existing content. Too frequently, people decide on a change an just apply it site wide: pages years old with higher pr suddenly 301 to a new url and wonder why the pages lost value and fell in the serps: google sees them as new pages and some of the link value is lost in the redirect.

    Originally Posted by Blue_Vision
    I also notice that their individual webpage links don't have page extensions on them. For instance:

    mywedding.com/santarosa/disc_jockeys

    how is that possible and is their logic behind it?
    This is very common. It's "friendly urls". Usually done through mod rewrite (plenty of information and posts on it around). The url is rewritten to something like mywedding.com/script.ext?city=sarasota&whatever=disk_jockeys
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    Great! Understanding...

    One last question:

    I had already setup 4 sites with one of them being the master hosting and the other 3 as sub domains.

    They are about 6 page sites with good solid content on the subject matter for each city.

    HOWEVER for each city I have just copied the entire original site and then changed the city names throughout the page (including the meta data and site content). This way I figured I can target each city individually with a separate website.

    Is that a good way of handling this or bad for SEO? I'm really not doing it to try and trick google or anything but it's what made sense to me for having one of these websites for each targeted city.

    If I switch it up to folders instead of sub-domains will this really piss google off that I have so much of the same content in each folder within the master site or will it view them as different and good since I changed the city names?

    I should add that some of the content is different for each site since I have directory listings (homemade) which differ in businesses for each city and featured advertisers with their own separate profile page. So some of the content is different for each site... but I'd say it's about 50/50 of the pages being exactly the same with just a different city name throughout the pages and those are my main SEO pages. <--- or maybe not if google hates me for doing this?

    Thanks and sorry for the lesson on seo 101 but I am understanding and I think I've almost got it figured out what to do : )
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    I would find 6 different ways to say the same thing to avoid duplicate content issues.
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    I see relevance as being fluid. It flows from one page to the next, getting stronger with every related phrase and link.

    When you build sub-domains, you are building a dam. If you want their to be a dam, that's fine as they can be useful for stopping the flow of relevance in cases where content is completely different. Otherwise you are better off in your main domain.

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    • Jocelyn agrees : Nice comparison...
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    ok, but then how about keyword signifigance? If I create a folder for each city rather then a sub domain then after I add 50 cities won't the keyword signifigance for the main keyword go up but the city keyword go down?

    IOW:


    (hopeful scenario after time using sub domains)

    Key-phrase
    Soccer Trophies - Very little signifigance. PAGES back in the results.
    Las Vegas Soccer Trophies - Page one of the Results. Top Listing.



    (hopeful scenario after time using folders)

    Key-phrase
    Soccer Trophies - Page one of search results.
    Las Vegas Soccer Trophies - Page 2 or 3 of the Results.


    I'm only concerned about this because my target audience is direct local searches so I'd rather have the highest ranking local searches for terms then a broad search term such as "soccer trophies".

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all over this folder idea and even changing text on each city page to avoid duplicates but I want to be sure I'm doing the best thing for local city searches as thats kind of the point of all my sites.

    I've noticed websites like mywedding.com kind of suck as SEO for local searches even though they are probably large corporations. Maybe that's because the way their sites are setup or maybe because they don't have much content to pull the weight (mainly ads) but I want to be careful of that.
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    did I make no sense and lose you guys?

    Or maybe your sick of me and my "one last questions" that never are...

    i'd appreciate any comments towards my last post if possible.

    Thanks so much!
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    Originally Posted by Blue_Vision
    did I make no sense and lose you guys?

    Or maybe your sick of me and my "one last questions" that never are...

    i'd appreciate any comments towards my last post if possible.

    Thanks so much!
    If I answer it again my answer will be the same

    Here's the deal: You want to build major huge king kong mea mea relevance for Soccer Trophies. From there relevance will bleed from the home page so that ranking Moose Jaw Soccer Trophies, Mississippi soccer trophies, Biloxi soccer trophies and so on is easier because you have such a good head start. Building it in sub domains stops the flow of relevance!

    Now here's the part that sucks: I have been using this strategy for years, it works brilliantly but since either mayday or the reasonable surfer patent or just an algorithm tweak, me and many others have faced a tougher row to hoe with our long-tails. Now Google (it seems to me) wants pages to stand more on their own strength. It's not enough to be 2 or 3 clicks from your PR5 root, you also need to build some local links in to the geo-targeted pages (which really isn't that big a deal)

    ALL THAT is still easier than starting all over with a sub-domain.

    Damn, that's a long answer, no more coffee for me.
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    Ok, fully understand the bleeding through part now. I won't ask again.

    This is the part I'm not fully understanding now unfortunately...
    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    Now here's the part that sucks: I have been using this strategy for years, it works brilliantly but since either mayday or the reasonable surfer patent or just an algorithm tweak, me and many others have faced a tougher row to hoe with our long-tails. Now Google (it seems to me) wants pages to stand more on their own strength. It's not enough to be 2 or 3 clicks from your PR5 root, you also need to build some local links in to the geo-targeted pages (which really isn't that big a deal)
    I was thinking of having:

    restaurants.com/city/mexican/list-of-restaurants/featured-resteraunt.html

    List of restaurants and featured restaurant would be my 2 most important pages that I need SEO'd for local search. Are you saying this is bad then?
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    If that's bad then the only thing I can think to do is have 1 master site with subdomains for each type of food and then the websites following that.

    for instance:

    mexicanrestaurants.com/city/list-of-restaurants/featured-resteraunt.html

    I'd still have to optimize multiple sites that way though?

    Would "city" count as a click since it's a sub folder away from the root or not because it's link is hosted on the homepage?

    Have I gone crazy with this...LOL?
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