We have some sort of clear communication from Google Webmaster regarding practice in Search. While this practice is not illegal, we know that this is not common as well. Therefore, it is not very easy to notice if someone is doing it. We are talking about the practice of renting or leasing your subdomain or subfolder to a third-party which might involve money or other benefits.
For example, you are an owner of the domain which has plenty of trust and is ranking very well in Google Search. This will mean that your domain is seen as an authoritative one inside Google Search. Therefore, you would be contacted by third-parties that they want to rent or lease a subdomain or subfolder on your primary domain.
This means that they get some of the link juice that your primary domain is enjoying. This will, in turn, make their websites rank better and also give an impression to Google Search that the subdomain is owned by you as well.
However, Google might have seen many cases of such leased or rented subdomains appearing in its Search results. Thus, Google Webmaster Twitter account has said that users should avoid doing the process of leasing subdomains or subfolders on a domain that is not owned by you.
Here is what Google Webmaster’ reply was on this issue:
We’ve been asked if third-parties can host content in subdomains or subfolders of another’s domain. It’s not against our guidelines. But as the practice has grown, our systems are being improved to better know when such content is independent of the main site & treat accordingly.
Overall, we’d recommend against letting others use subdomains or subfolders with content presented as if it is part of the main site, without close supervision or the involvement of the primary site.
Our guidance is if you want the best success with Search, provide value-added content from your own efforts that reflect your own brand.
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