I'm looking at how best to launch a project using subdomains to create around 10 'minisites' of sufficiently differing content using the subdomain as branding. There will never really be much content whatsoever on the main domain, it will only act as landing page for the subdomains with some aggregate content.

Are there any pitfalls I need to be aware of with this approach? I assume I should set canonical link tag to subject.domain.com and add said address in webmaster tools, repeating the action for further subdomain minisites as they're added? With this approach I will never really have much content on the main domain, it will only act as landing page for the minisites with some aggregate content.

Thanks very much for advice. While this is my first question here I'm seasoned on SO so not liable to hit and run.


Do not over-worry about it. I do the same thing and all my mini-sites rank well. On the domain page there are only link to sub-domains. Personally, I never link back from the sub-domains to the main domain (why? - reciprocal links are bad).

Focus on your off-site seo efforts.

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domain names with different subdomains are considered as totally different websites for Google. Nevertheless, you should ensure that you don't have any duplicate content. Every single URL should have different content with different canonical url. It is a smart move because rather than buying X domain names, you can use the benefit of one domain name & one SSL certificate for all websites. But the "naked" domain (domain.com) is just like any other subdomains in this case. It does not weight more.

So in google webmaster tools, you can "declare" every single subdomain like "afirstone.domain.com" and "asecondone.domain.com"

The biggest examples are:

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