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So the closest example I can give is craigslist, for example:

Is copying this style going to hurt me a lot SEO wise? Does it make more sense to have cities setup as www.newproject.com/winnipeg/ or winnipeg.newproject.com

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to this article last year with Hubpages.com CEO, switching from directories to sub domains had the greatest affect on ranking positively after Google's panda algortihm update killed content farms


You could always do a 301 perm redirect from




to help with people remembering

Bottom line: I would go with sub domains, but there is more configuration involved and you will have to make sure sessions are configured correctly to be able to move between the domains without needing to re-authenticate, etc..

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Cover both ends, this is what I would do. – Andrew Threadgill Mar 30 '12 at 21:35
Thanks for the article that really helps. There really isn't any authentication for this project so I'm not too worried about cookies/sessions although it's something that is on my mind. – Andrew G. Johnson Mar 31 '12 at 0:30
no problem, glad I could help – user3109 Mar 31 '12 at 2:49

I can't see any reason why it would hurt you, it's relevant and helpful to users and to bots. Personally I would go for the sub-domain setup because it's cleaner.

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Some people seem to think that I won't get link juice for all domains and only the specific subdomain will receive it – Andrew G. Johnson Mar 30 '12 at 19:43
@AndrewG.Johnson domains don't get link juice, only pages. You're aiming for localised searches so it shouldn't be a worry. – toomanyairmiles Mar 30 '12 at 23:03

Personally I prefer the www.newproject.com/winnipeg/ And the reason for this is when I'm thinking of a site I think of the name of the site and not the city / country first, thats an after thought.

Also people are more likely to spell the name of the site correctly as it could be less characters. Even if they do get the country/area wrong atleast they will still end up on your site.

But this could be just a preference thing.

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