Somebody told me recently "Subdomain generally ranks lower than domain", this is not the only one to say to avoid use subdomain.

Can a subdomain rank as a root domain? Will it hurt ranking or SEO to use a subdomain as main domain?

I'd redirect 301 the root domain to the subdomain. I'd have lastname.example and www.lastname.example each 301 redirect to firstname.lastname.example,

  • 2
    See also: Do subdomains help/hurt SEO? subdomains have long had a bad SEO reputation because they can be used for separate sites that are not linked from an SEO perspective. (Think blogspot.) That doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad for SEO or can't be used. Feb 18, 2019 at 11:05
  • Subdomains, when used for a particular category or a purpose to rank certain attributes will help. In your case, I understand that you would like to showcase, firstname.lastname.example to make it yours, but is it really necessary? Do you wish for users to search firstname, lastname to find you? Also, by using this subdomain, you're losing the URL space, which can also be utilized for meaningful URLs without being shown as "..." or breadcrumbs in SERP.
    – idk
    Feb 21, 2019 at 8:35
  • TLDR: Subdomains do not hurt SEO, but what benefits are you going to gain from doing those many redirects? If you have a website that has a lot of traffic and you want to maintain them seperately, then go for it. (Consider the other SEO factors such as URL length, search query for example)
    – idk
    Feb 21, 2019 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


This is usually bad for SEO. I've seen it myself, even same content on subdomain will fail to gain SEO.

You are better off doing domain.tld/website than website.domain.tld

I've seen none of my subdomain rank at all, or if they do, they rank poorly. Do me a favor, and search tor-relay-1.innonetlife.com. Last I saw, nothing comes up. Now search innonetlife.com. Second result. We've even submitted a sitemap for the subdomain

Also, the way our site is set up,it should always redirect to the "www" subdomain-but Google never shows it

See #5 here

See here

See here

Also, the less typing a user has to do to get to your site, the better. No one would rather type subdomain.domain.com than domain.com.

Of course, SEO is more than subdomain vs domain - it's about links, quality content, etc. If you don't have good indexable content, this entire discussion is pointless. If you wish to reformat a question for general SEO (hopefully,not a duplicate), I can certainly give some pointers.

  • 5
    Where have you seen this before? I've never seen a website that uses a custom subdomain to which it redirects the bare domain and www. The closest I can come up with is Craigslist which redirects the bare domain and www to a subdomain for your closest city. Craigslist does well as far as SEO is concerned. Feb 18, 2019 at 16:00
  • I've seen few people using firstname.lastname.com for their blog or personal page, the lastname.com was not redirected to firstname.lastname.com. I'm just asking, wondering if that would be a bad idea to do that. If i take a look at your website, i see that you use lastname.org and you seem to be fine without firstname in the url, so maybe i shouldn't worry about not having my firstname in the url.
    – zetrader
    Feb 18, 2019 at 16:24
  • There is no mention anywhere or any proof that creating subdomain for general ranking will hurt SEO. If you can provide a brief explanation, I will be glad to learn about it.
    – idk
    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:13
  • 1
    Your links don't appear to back up your claims. Your first link says "Google itself has stated that — from a ranking perspective — content in subdomains and subdirectories is treated roughly equally". Your second link is more in depth but it boils down to the worry that using a main domain and a subdomain at the same time will split the same keywords between the two and confuse Google causing the subdomain to rank worse than the main domain. That wouldn't be an issue here because the main domain would only be a redirect, there would be no "keyword splitting" between the main domain & sub. Feb 21, 2019 at 11:29
  • All of your links say to prefer folders vs subdomains when possible but there are exceptions such as languages and marketing reasons. This question looks like a special case marketing reason. Feb 21, 2019 at 11:30

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