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Content Marketing

SEO Myth: Using a Subdomain for Your Blog Is Bad for SEO?

June 10, 2014

Before I left on my trip earlier this month, I came across an article on how it is better to host your blog on a subfolder (e.g. www.brightpod.com/blog) on your site rather than a subdomain. We host this blog on a subdomain (e.g. blog.brightpod.com) so I was curious to know more about how this would impact our search engine results and ranking.

I searched a bit more on this issue and found a ton of posts, forum q&a from 2010 to 2013. These articles argue that with the subdomain method the mighty SEO juice will not get passed up (or flow) to your primary domain which ultimately can be detrimental to your search engine rankings.

I added this to my list of things to look at after my trip.

Last week, I spent a few hours researching what would be the best way forward for our blog. There are lots of articles around this topic. Seems like a lot of people want to know what the right way forward is.

I asked people on twitter and friends via email. Almost all of them said it is advisable to move to the subfolder method (e.g. www.brightpod.com/blog). Just like I mentioned above, the main argument to moving to a sub-folder was because Google did not pass link juice up to the root domain. In a sense, what they were trying to say is that brightpod.com won’t benefit from the popularity of blog.brightpod.com/xxx because Google thinks of it as a separate site (due to the subdomain).

At first I was stumped. Really? Could that be possible today? Would Google actually be not smart enough to know that blog.brightpod.com and brighpod.com are not tied to the same site?

I then did a Google search to find out if companies (mostly in the digital marketing software space) were actually using the subdomain method. Here is what I found…

blog.kissmetrics.com blog.crazyegg.com blog.marketo.com blog.buffer.com blog.hubspot.com blog.hootsuite.com blog.mailchimp.com blog.eloqua.com etc.

I wanted to know what a few of the SEO gurus thought. Co-incidentally, Neil Patel, famous for his QuickSprout blog and co-founder of CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics had mentioned in a forum that they decided to go the subdomain route (for both, KISSMetrics and CrazyEgg) due to security reasons. Valid point, you don’t want to run your application and a Wordpress installation on the same server.

I then spoke to my developer and he told me that it would be better to have the Brightpod app and the blog on separate instances/servers — just the way it is right now. I agree that if you are running a B2B software then it is always good to have your app instance on a separate server. It is just a cleaner experience for your customers. The application experience should not be hampered if your blog gets a surge in traffic. Technologically, keeping things separate makes a lot of sense.

Ultimately, what sealed the deal for me is that Matt Cutts doesn’t think it makes a difference if you follow the subdomain or the subfolder method. Lets hear it from Matt…

 

I think what Matt is implying is that don’t worry about the technicalities, just produce great content that people want to share. Focus on your content strategy.

For now, we are are not going to move from blog.brightpod.com to brightpod.com/blog. A part of me wants to try the subfolder method and see what happens but the switching costs are just way too high — setting up 301 redirects, spinning up a new server etc.

Sahil Parikh

Building Brightpod, playing golf 🏌🏽 and traveling the world 🌏

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