For SEO, Use Webpages over Blogs and Domains over Subdomains

This article is going up because it’s an example of content hacking – which you all should do – and providing useful info. The response from me below is just an email reply to a question about SEO, copy and pasted. If we’re all writing so much over the course of our emails, it makes perfect sense to make those emails blog posts. And, if you have a WordPress site, you can use this nifty tool called “Publish Post by Email.”

Hi Cort,

I was at the ***** office this week and they mentioned the great presentation you went through with them. Another of my clients is finally looking at SEO, and ***** mentioned that blog posts are the way to go. This client has their blog as a subdomain– is there still value to pushing content there?

thanks!

Hey *****, good to hear from you. I’ve been tackling these questions a lot lately.

Blogs are great when you have a ton of keywords and longtail keywords to hit and it doesn’t make sense to have so many web pages in your navigation or architecture. However, for ***** and ***** and all businesses, there are definitely going to need to be search optimized web pages that fall under different tabs or menu options on the homepage.

At the end of the day, you’re really creating great content, and if that content is highly relevant to the product and consumer, it should be featured more, and not buried in the blog. Web pages accessible from the home page get assigned greater importance because they frequently get views, where as blogs eventually filter down to the bottom of whatever page or subdomain they’re on.

With that said, you definitely use the blog for SEO. Just start with your best content getting posted as web pages.

As for domains, don’t go sub-domain. There is only one real crazy advantage I see, but it’s a long shot that a company will ever realize it.

(Subdomains) can achieve a higher level of SERP saturation as search engines can rank more than the traditional 2 listings per site – multiple pages from your root domain as well as your subdomain” 

This happens because Google treats your subdomain as a completely different site, and Google doesn’t like to have one site take up most of each search engine result page. So in this case, you may be able to get 3 or 4 spots on page one with a subdomain. However, the chances that a company could write 3-4 search optimized articles around the same keyword and got them all on page – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

Disadvantages:

These disadvantages will for sure happen, where as the advantage above is highly unlikely. For example, lets say your company’s primary domain gets a link back from TechCrunch. The subdomain will not get any SEO benefit from that. That’s a huge miss, and as stuff like that continues to pile up, your subdomain (which holds all of your blog content) will have a much lower domain authority than your primary domain.

Google treats a subdomain as a completely different site, so it’s definitely splitting your SEO efforts in half. SEO Moz, which is a leader in the SEO industry, as well as Matt Cutts – head of Google’s search quality team, all say they generally prefer that blogs go in a sub directory over a subdomain. (Here’s the Moz article – #5)

Interestingly, this blog a friend sent me answers both your questions in detail! Check it out.

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