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I run a coupons and deals website in a niche market, and I'm in the process of adding a questions and answers section to it.

Based on my research, I found popular websites that use either subdomains or subdirectories for the Q & A forum section of their site. What I want to know is, which is a better option, and if there are any advantages of using one over the other?

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There is a difference between Q&A and a forum. Generally speaking, Q&A is good for facts, data, and science. A forum is good for more traditional, open ended discussion. Sounds like you're seeking the latter. –  mikey_w Jul 7 '13 at 18:21

2 Answers 2

Subdomains do make it a little clearer for users which part of the site they're on (apart from breadcrumbs). For example, compare:


With Google, you won't see any advantage in SEO with one over the other as of late. See this for more about that: Subdomains vs. subdirectories for SEO: No SERP benefits for subdomains anymore

Therefore, it's really a matter of preference and manageability, since you'll have to create the subdomain and set the Q & A forum to run under it. But it may be quicker for users to identify that they're on the Q&A portion of the site, as well as recognize this in SERP by looking at the URL.

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You should use a subdirectory rather if you want the SEO benefits for your main domain, and if the keywords you have in your Q & A will bring you the right traffic. Because subdomains are now seen as seperate domains by Google, you will have no SERP benefit to your main domain from your subdomain.

If the content and purpose of your main site is very different to what you expect in the Q & A forum, and you don't want to get cross benefits between the two, then go with a subdomain.

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