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Best Practices For SEO - Subdomain Vs. Sub-folder

We have gotten conflicting reports about the best way to set up our community. Based on the most up to date guidelines set forth by Google and Moz, it is preferable to set our forum up in a subfolder on our domain (http://elearningbrothers.com/community/discussions rather than http://community.elearningbrothers.com/discussions). Can someone please explain the most logical and low cost method of implementing Vanilla forums on our own server? We are looking to earn all of the rankings and traffic on our server and we are also prepared to facilitate the traffic that will come to our site as a result of creating the community. Also, we do not want to set our community up on Vanilla's server: elearningbrothers.vanillaforums.com/community since this will likely create duplicate content issues. The best example of the implementation we are looking to emulate is the Calloway Community.


  • x00x00 MVP
    edited April 2015

    A lot of all these SEO questions are like splitting hairs these days.

    SEO is really all about content don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    If you want to you reputation to brush off on you forum (hypothetically) go for a sub folder. If you wish to build up more as its own thing, go for sub-domain.

    Neither is wrong or right and it depends. Doing one thing may be a disadvantage for one site, and an advantage for another.

    It might take a while to get the kind of content an cross traffic you want, so either way plan for a a soft landing. That is about content an incentives for content and not tricks.

    Sub-folder is the most straightforward install. I would get it right first before allowing search engines to crawl.

    Vanilla urls are naturally SEO friendly and you can turn on RewriteUrls. Although the argument for eliminating the script part is merely cosmetic, it is no longer the case that you get penalized for it, if it ever was the case. Even some of the most successful sites have terrible url schemes, and it never harmed them. The most ridiculous and debunked suggestion is you must make each page look like a static .html page, it total nonsense, as is a lot of SEO 'advice'.

    grep is your friend.

  • Thank you for confirming for us which direction is going to make sense. Are there any special instructions for that? Thanks!

  • I would block search bot access until you are ready. There are various ways, google.

    You can set up sitemaps.

    set $Configuration['Garden']['RewriteUrls'] = TRUE; int conf/config.php

    Work on you structure and content so it is conducive to what you wish to achieve.

    grep is your friend.

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