What is a Root Domain? – SEO FAQs Simply Answered

Here we explain what is a root domain and why knowing this can help to get traffic to your website.

If when hearing about root domains you think about trees – this post is a must-read for you.

Let’s dig in.

What is a Root Domain?

what is a root domain

Example.com is the overarching structure that contains the subdomains (blog.example.com), and every folder (/SEO/article) that belongs to a website.

Let’s illustrate this with a root domain example:

This term is the site name (others call it root domain name) that you need to buy or register with a TLD extension.

  • Examples:
    • *.linkody.com
    • *.searchengineland.com
    • *.businessinsider.com

What is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is the “third level” domain name – www.example.com.

Subdomains can be named however you please and created under whichever root domain you control.

Let’s illustrate this with an example:

  • Examples of Subdomains:
    • www.linkody.com
    • blog.linkody.com
    • searchengineland.com (Yes – depending on your settings, there are cases that root domain = subdomain)

What is a Subfolder?

Subfolders are folders or “/” that you create for the each subdomain.

This is a classic subfolder – www.example.com/folder.

And you can create as many subfolders you want and name them however you want.

Let’s illustrate this with an example:

Examples of Subfolders:

  • www.linkody.com/backlink-checker
  • blog.linkody.com/seo-tips
  • searchengineland.com/how-to-do-seo

Root Domain vs Subdomain – How They Benefit Your SEO?

As Google is not very keen on sharing the SEO secrets – SEOs have gathered case studies on how to benefit from Root domains, Subdomains and Subfolders to improve your organic traffic.

  • Individual pages benefit from being on powerful subdomains & root domains.
  • Subdomains on a given root domain DO NOT always inherit all of the positive metrics and ranking ability of other subdomains.
  • Some subdomains GET NO BENEFIT from the root domain server on sites like – wordpress.com, tumblr.com, etc.
  • Subfolders DO appear to receive all the benefits of the subdomain they’re on and content/pages behave remarkably similarly. Nevertheless, if the content is buried deep in a subfolder or “/” – search engines won’t be able to find the page.
  • Good internal and cross linking root domains CAN HELP to give share the positive metrics from one subdomain to another. Note: not always all the “link juice” is transferred perfectly.

If a specific subdomain has a high domain quality, this can influence how web pages within that subdomain rank in search results. For this reason, how your website is structured can affect how well your content ranks in search results.

In SEO it’s also useful to track how many high-quality links are pointing to your website. This is a ranking factor affecting how high your content could rank in search results.

The number of links pointing to your website (to track use Linkody) at the root level increases your chances to rank on Google.

I hope now you know what is a root domain, subdomain, and subfolders

So, to sum-up when you register a website name, you are registering a domain – example.com.

This means you know what is a root domain and have the access to create subdomains and file structures all branching from that domain.

If you are struggling to understand other SEO terms visit our SEQ FAQ section.

But if you want to see how many root domains link with your website:

– Check your links for Free Here –