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Subdomains vs Subdirectories?
Juan Gonzalez
I studied Regional Studies of Latin American at the University of Cologne - Germany, majoring in "Business Informatics“. I also studied Business Administration and currently I’m doing a Master in International Business Administration. I feel a fascination with SEO and the people who make it possible.
Juan Gonzalez 25. January 2018 6 Comments

Yesterday, Barry Schwarz reported on the fight between SEOs and Google over how Google treats Subdomains and Subdirectories. At SISTRIX, we subscribe Johannes Müller statement: “Google web search is fine with using either subdomains or subdirectories”, which confirms what Matt Cutts said in Oktober 2012. And this is true, both subdomains and subfolders have equal opportunities. The problem here is that Google and SEOs each have a different point of view.

Rand Fishkin is talking about something that almost every single SEO has seen before. When you move from Subdomain to Subdirectory, you rank much better, and you get more organic traffic from Google. This is what the real world looks like:

Monster moved /jobs/ from subdomain to subfolder

The same for Monster.de on Google Germany:

Monster moved their /jobs/ from a subdomain to a subfolder on Google Germany

Let’s complete the picture with https (because http and https are 2 diferent URLs):

Monster moved from Sudomains to Subfolders on Google Germany

Next let’s look at Germany’s largest telecommunications provider, Deutsche Telekom AG (the same people behind T-Mobile), and their online news portal, t-online.de. They moved their advisory guides from the subdomain to a subfolder:

But why does this happen?

Assuming that Google web search is fine with using either subdomains or subdirectories, the reason must lie within the website itself.

First, when we move from subdomains to subdirectories, it often also implicitly means that we are doing something new and probably something better than before (new design, better usability, better URLs, better content, better internal links, etc). That could be one reason for better rankings on Google.

Second comes the systems we use. Many systems in use are not optimised for subdomains. Subdomains are complex, requires more time and attention, special content management systems (CMS) and oftentimes they are not well interlinked, some of them are even not in the navigational menu of the main site. Try it yourself by figuring out how to get to the subdomain teachers.theguardian.com , from using the following navigational menu?

Honestly, I don’t really know how to get there when I use theguardian.com.

It seems like a simple contract: We elect men and women to represent us, and their votes reflect our concerns about issues that are important to us. They are responsive to our needs and the issues we value. But manipulated voting maps in Michigan and other states can make elected seats so “safe,” the voices of voters can get the silent treatment.

Elected leaders who are sure they will win re-election, regardless of what they do, can become less responsive to voter concerns, particularly concerns of voters in a district’s minority party. When elected leaders win by 10, 20, maybe even 30 percent, what incentive do they have to listen to dissenting views among their voters? None. This is a big concern and it happens on both sides of the aisle. Consider a few recent examples from Republicans and Democrats.

Rep. Dave Trott, who represents the 11th District in the U.S. Congress, OCTAVE® Mens Summer Beach Wear Flip Flops Collection Various Styles amp; Colours Techno Design Blue 3mYqFLpT
, his KHSKXSexy Hate Days High12Cm Fine With Short Boots Female Plus Velvet Thick Waterproof Taiwan HighHeeled Shoes Black 34 7bdi32zf
. He hadn’t held a constituent town hall since March 2016 and his constituents were demanding that he meet them face to face. He famously got a lot of criticism for flying to Mumbai during the February 2017 congressional recess, rather than hold an event to hear voters’ concerns.

Trott has said publicly that the protestors aren’t from his district and are being paid to protest . This doesn’t pass the smell test any more than the same accusations from Democrats against Tea Party protesters in 2009. Representatives need to acknowledge all of their voters — the voters who elected them, the voters who disagree with them and the people affected by the laws that they passed.

We’re not picking on Trott, though his example shows that a 12 percent margin in the most recent election can make you feel like you don’t have to hear from your own supporters or the thousands who may have supported your opponent. And he’s not alone. Michigan U.S. Reps. Mike Bishop, Bill Huizenga and Tim Walberg all dragged their feet in holding live constituent events this spring (before eventually following through).

We’re not picking on Republicans, either. Remember the Tea Party protests of the summer of 2010? There were Belmondo Women’s SneakerDamen Trainers Grau Celeste Y4u4H7JYL
of Democrats, many from safe congressional districts, dodging angry protesters wanting to voice heartfelt views about the passage of the Affordable Care Act and other issues. For example, Rep. Frank Kratovil, Jr., a Maryland Democrat, Under Armour UA W Micro G Assert Trainers Women Black 6H0o7BG5
of that year that protesters at a town hall were “a group of people who were there to disrupt, purely politically driven.” Sounds remarkably similar to GOP representatives in 2017, doesn’t it?

Both sides do it, when given a chance, because facing voters can be hard and partisan voting maps give representatives no incentive to hold town halls.

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