2 Replies - 1909 Views - Last Post: 10 September 2007 - 04:57 PM

#1 jamess  Icon User is offline

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Why do web sites set up sub domains for individual cities?

Post icon  Posted 10 September 2007 - 03:44 PM

Hi, I am going to create a site similar to craigslist.org/ ( using PHP and MYSQL on a Linux VPS) and was wounding if anyone can provide me with information on why sites like craigslist.org/ ( or the one listed below ) set up sub domains for each city. Can anyone also provide me with any suggestions on how best to set up the site structure with SEO and programming in mind.

I plan on creating a site for one city and then moving it in to a new folder for each sub domain / city on my server. Any helpful information with programming in mind on this would also help. Is this a bad idea? How best to efficiently approach this?

http://dallas.kijiji.com/

http://birmingham.gumtree.com/

http://newyork.backpage.com/

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/

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Replies To: Why do web sites set up sub domains for individual cities?

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do web sites set up sub domains for individual cities?

Posted 10 September 2007 - 04:52 PM

Well the main reason they create the separate domains is that it is easier for people to get to city specific information. Once they know the format city.domain.com they can easily jump to SanFrancisco.domain.com if they want to know about good o' sanfran. They often are mapped to separate folders as well... just like you plan on doing for each city. By doing that you can keep all images or city specific files isolated to one folder. Navigate to the folder "seattle" and you can expect to find all files related to the seattle portion of your site.

Another format you might see is a domain name with appended subdirectory like www.domain.com/seattle. This too makes it easier for people to quickly type in direct paths to other parts of the site without having to go to the navigation. Do you know how to get to miami's listings? www.domain.com/miami might be a pretty good guess.

It is largely a convenience thing but it also has some great organizational traits to it as well.


As for the organizational with SEO and programming in mind, I usually have the standard images, includes, documents, and files folders. A folder specific to what type of content it is and then put the main files in the web root reaching down into the subfolders as necessary. This does a couple things...

1) Limits the length of your relational paths.
2) It is easy for websites to crawl if they don't have to go everywhere to find every file.
3) Keeps everything in once nice area... need an image, it will be in the images folder, no where else.
4) Very aesthetically pleasing to the eye when viewed as a hierarchy. Making it easy for you to find something like a quick index.

Largely your SEO stuff is going to be based on the content of the pages, not too much on how the files are logically structured. So you can work on meta tagging, good content, relevant content, and building pagerank with good traffic relationships with other sites.

Hope that information helps. :)
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#3 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why do web sites set up sub domains for individual cities?

Posted 10 September 2007 - 04:57 PM

1 Reason: SEO

That's it. That's the only reason to use sub-domains.


Google treats every sub-domain as it's own domain which used to help out, but since google started to devalue sub-domains, especially sites with LOTS of sub-domains, they are now considered gateway pages and are frowned upon a little.

There's nothing wrong with sub-domains, we used to use them here and I moved to sub-folders instead because I feel it's now better for SEO.
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