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I have a website about things in Europe and I had an idea to make one specialized domain for specialized category of my website. So it is basicaly changing this:

example.com/countries/germany

to this:

germany.com/countries/germany

All this to get better positioning in search results. Is it worth doing that? Would it be better to do something like this?

germany.example.com/countries/germany

Anyway, the problem I see here is a duplicate content, because the links to articles would be on the old domain

example.com/articles/germany-won-the-world-cup

And the germany.com is the outbound link, even if I set it as a mirror in robots.txt .

If anyone ever considered something like this, I'd love to read some input on that, thank you!

2 Answers 2

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To begin, there is very little weight given to keyword matching domains these days. It is something you can do, but there is little to no advantage to moving your content to a keyword based domain name. However, if you want to do this for other personal reasons, then I say go for it. Making the change for other reasons may make sense. As far as SEO, which is your question, you are likely to make a bigger mess and lose a fair amount of traffic for a significant period of time and in the end have little or no gain from the change. You are likely better off focusing on your site as it exists. If you have a preference for Germany, then you can promote that portion of your site in a more forward way.

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  • Thank you for your answer! I reconsidered it all and I am going to make a subdomain for each category, as it is going to be more useful. My site is running WordPress and there is an intelligent plugin for that :) As far as keyword matching in domains: my main audience is predominantly using a Search Engine called Yandex (Russia) and it is a very very different beast than, say, Google or Yahoo. It has it's rules set up obnoxiously, so people literally try everything to make some progress there :)
    – iSS
    Jan 29, 2015 at 16:01
  • @iSS Sub-domains for each country may be a very good idea! There will be a loss/gain scenario for a period, but I rather suspect that using sub-domains will let you tune each sub-domain specifically and in the end, you will do rather well. I do not know Yandex, but I rather suspect that for any search engine, this idea will work out well over time. Just make sure you use semi-blanket 301 redirects from your old directories to the new sub-domains. It may help to make exact matches from say, /germany to germany.example.com to make regex based 301 redirects easier. Not a requirement of course.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 29, 2015 at 16:24
  • I managed to get a hold of very simple plugin that does precisely that, so I don't have to programm it myself. WordPress community, what can I say :)
    – iSS
    Jan 29, 2015 at 17:23
  • @iSS There is a perfectly good reason why WordPress is the most popular platform on the net by a long shot. It not only enjoys an enthusiastic user base, but has a plethora of plug-ins that are excellent to choose from.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 29, 2015 at 17:37
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I will suggest if you are using open source like wordpress or something it will be very to use the slug and do it

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  • Thank you for your answer, I am in fact using WordPress. Found some plugin, that does subdomains for categories, that is probably going to be better.
    – iSS
    Jan 29, 2015 at 14:40

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