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Let's say I run a site where companies get their own page, and within that I also show staff members. I am torn between three different approachs in terms of URL's and want to choose one which is not only more SEO but also aesthetic for the user.

Option 1

  • companyname.example.com
  • companyname.example.com/staffmembera
  • companyname.example.com/staffmemberb

Option 2

  • www.example.com/companyname
  • www.example.com/companyname/staffmembera
  • www.example.com/companyname/staffmemberb

Option 3

  • www.example.com/company/companyname
  • www.example.com/company/companyname/staffmembera
  • www.example.com/company/companyname/staffmemberb

Can anyone please explain the SEO implications between each option. My favourite is option 1, and least favourite is option 3. I have been told that option 3 may be the most SEO because it is clearly categorised, but I think if I used a clear sitemap then option 1 and 2 should be just as good.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You display companies information on your site, you need to use one website as a companies directory, it's logical.

Option 1
Using a subdomain for each company seems complicated to maintain in the future... Moreover for SEO, you don't give all the value to your website but a little value to many websites (subdomains are treated as different websites for search engines).

Option 2
In my opinion, it's the best option for SEO because your URLs are short and easy to remember.

Option 3
For me, adding a /company/ in URLs is useless in SEO point of view because you diluate the SEO weight of other keywords in URLs. However, it's useful for users because it's clearly categorised.

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Just out of curiosity, what about if I was charging each company and giving them each their own company URL and page, would it make sub domains more suitable? –  Jimmy May 10 at 13:37
1  
Using subdomains could be suitable if each company would be able to create many URLs they want for managing their own website (like wordpress.com or blogspot.com do). –  Zistoloen May 10 at 14:11
    
Subdomains let you split things off to separate servers (maybe in different locations), which can make sense sometimes. However, it also means that search engines will have to figure out crawlrates for each server separately (which might cause inefficient crawling). Using wildcard subdomains makes crawling extremely inefficient, so try to avoid that if you can. –  John Mueller May 14 at 8:22

Disagree with the other answer, as there definitely are things to consider here:

Option 1: Zistoloen seems to be assuming it takes more time to add subdomains or something like that, but I pressume that you would just set up a * A record and let the software handle the rest. Now, whether it makes sense using this option would depend greatly on what you domainname itself is. If the domainname has anything to do with 'employees' like whoworkswhere.com, where every company has their own styling and/or where there is not much interlinking between different companies this is the approach I would choose.

Option 2: This option seems sensible if the domain name has anything to do with companies like thecompanydirectory.com.

Option 3: Seems the right choice if the domain name seems to have nothing to do with all of this like zamboladja.com.

Not that it will matter much for SEO, but more so just for normal users and their ability to remember and comprehend it.

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