How does Google Treat Websites with Sub-domains?

Making sub-domains on a domain has now become pretty popular, and many bloggers are now using sub-domains to create custom pages, such as contact and about pages. Although they look professional (and classy :P), they raise a concern. Usually, they are not part of a theme or template, and are custom designed. So some of the on-page SEO elements might be present. And Google Panda and Penguin is said to be domain-level penalty, with one low quality page effecting the whole site. So the popular question arises; how does Google view these sub-domains? And what is the difference, if any, between sub-directory structure and sub-domain structure?

Sub-domains and sub-directories

A sub-domain is an extension of a domain name. But instead of the www prefix, you have your own custom prefix, such as etc. The option to create a sub-domain really is provided by your hosting provider. And those who have the option with their hosting, they take benefit from it, and create sub-domains. You might have seen people having contact pages like or This looks professional, which is why many bloggers and webmasters use the option.

(Note: You might be running sub-domain blogs, such as These sub-domains work differently, so don't get confused)

Sub-directories are folders within your site's main directory. Some people have their blogs or other CMS installed in sub-directories too, such as This is another way of organizing your site.

But as far as the question of which is better is concerned, it is entirely up to you. Sub-directories are located in a single sub-domain. But there is nothing wrong with having many sub-directories. You can go for what's easy. But I would personally prefer sub-domain structure, because it is easier to implement, and keeps the URLs short(er).

Sub-domain or no?

Now comes the question of what Google thinks. A long time ago, Google only allowed two results from one single sub-domain to appear in search results. Hence, people started making a bunch of sub-domains to make sure most of their content gets into search results. Now, Google considers results from all the sub-domains.

As far as how those sub-domains are treated, well, they get the same treatment the whole website gets. So any malicious software you install on a sub-domain will effect the whole website, so be careful.

Hope I made it clear. You can watch the video by Google above to get a clearer picture. And as always, feel free to ask questions. Cheers :)

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