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How to assure correct indexing of subdomain pages as parts of the main site on the main domain? 1 Recommended Answer 1 Reply 2 Upvotes
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According to this video https://youtu.be/uJGDyAN9g-g and several other sources, for Google it does not make a difference whether a page is located in a subdirectory or a subdomain; it should be crawled as a part of the same main site.

However, many experts still argue that subdirectories are better for SEO, and subdomains should be avoided (some examples: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/subdomains-vs-subfolders-seo/239795/#closehttps://blog.cloudflare.com/subdomains-vs-subdirectories-best-practices-workers-part-1/). The argument given is that, e.g., backlinks to the subdomains are excluded from the ranking of the main site. If Google sees the whole site as one, including pages located in subdomains, this reasoning seems dubious and even plainly incorrect. Although some experts present certain case studies as evidence to back up their claims.

Clearly, not all subdomains are treated as belonging to the same main site: think all those *.blogspot.com or *.wordpress.com subdomains, for instance.

I would like to get to know what are the exact official requirements for Google to treat pages located on a subdomain as part of the main site located on the main domain.

Some of the things that come up, that might be relevant are:
  • Domain and subdomain are verified by the same owner.
  • Subdomain is enlisted as a domain property in Google Search Console.
  • Pages located in the subdomain are enlisted in the sitemap of the main site (as described here https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/75712?hl=en).
  • Some specific use of dofollow links.

If the requirements are met (whatever they are) can we safely assume there will be completely no difference between a subdomain and subdirectory whatsoever, or does there exist some difference, which could explain the case studies supporting the idea that subdomains are worse? If there is no difference then why are the experts biased against subdomains?

Are the backlinks to pages on a subdomain working towards better ranking of the whole site or not
?

Additionally, I would like to ask about concrete application of subdomains and SEO. One of the most typical use cases of a subdomain is to have a separate sub-site for a specific product which deserves more attention. This is also the case we are investigating now. If we have our main site located at example.com, and a specific site for a product X located at productX.example.com, with the main site having substantially less info about the product X than the specialized sub-site, how do we proceed with SEO to guarantee most benefits both to the searches regarding the product X, as well as, other topics? How should we link the sites with each other? Can we cross-reference? What tags should we use? Product X is clearly part of the main brand and is marked so. How do we deal with unavoidable duplicate content - e.g. info about the company behind the product, or contact pages having the same details on both the main site and the sub-site located on subdomain?
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