Many of my clients and friends have emailed me regarding the seo benefits of using a subdomain or a subfolder in their websites.Are sub folders recommended or are sub domains recommended?
First of all let me explain you the difference between both of them.
SubFolder : A folder created inside a folder on your web hosting account similar to the sub folder you create in your computer’s hard drive. It is followed by a front slash from the main directory, like http://www.yourwebsite.com/subfolder.
SubDomain : A Sub domain is a part of the main directory/domain and is comes as a part of the main domain name like http://www.subdomain.yourwebsite.com. In the following domain name www.internet.com internet is a sub domain for the com domain name and this is the same way sub domains are created.
Advantages, benefits and disadvantages compared :
SubFolder in terms of SEO gets the maximum benefits of the main domain name since its a part of the main domain name. If you have a website by name www.wikipedia.org every sub folder created like www.wikipedia.org/health would normally get all the search engine rankings benefits of the main domain and this folder would always be a part of the main domain name, but in case of the SubDomain they are normally always treated as a new domain in the eyes of search engines [based on my experience] and they normally dont get any extra advantages unless and until they are heavily interlinked with the main domain name.
There is always a advantage of sub domain which is branding, because if you are having a website which is not going to be promoted much via SEO, but to be promoted via media like television, newspapers etc then sub domains are always recommended because games.yoursite.com , shopping.yoursite.com & jobs.yoursite.com would always look more professional rather than yoursite.com/shopping.
Let me know if you have found any more advantages or disadvantages of using subfolders or subdomains.