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I have a client that wants different subdomains as 'marketing URLs' that point (301 redirect) at directories, so:

shop.mysite.com -> mysite.com/shop
artist1.mysite.com -> mysite.com/artist1
artist2.mysite.com -> mysite.com/artist2

They feel that subdomain-type URLs are more prestigious and give an impression of a bigger organisation.

I'd like some opinion on pros/cons for doing this from an SEO point of view.

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But why the redirect? With a htaccess rewrite (or a real sub-somain) you could load the second page while keeping the first URL. If you do a 301 redirect, the (sub-domain) page will never be indexed. In my opinion that is not what you want.

1

pritaeas is correct that the subdomain is unlikely to be indexed or have any effect if you just redirect away from it.

But I would also disagree with the core reasoning of "marketing". You'll rarely find any business promoting subdomains; rather they use the secondary URLs you mentioned like mysite.com/shop (which may redirect somewhere else).

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