The current (and currently accepted) practice of leasing subdomains to third-party brands is beginning to be penalized by Google.
The media are very much in the hiring of subdomains, especially to monetize their huge inventories, and their very good SEO. Concretely, the big actors, often in the media or the press, rent subdomains, or use them for other themes. For example, a shopping space allocated to another company will turn into shopping.nomdumedia.com, leaving a blur around the publisher of the space, the partnership is not always cited.
The practice is unclear and really plays on the gray areas allowed by Google. The latter announced in August that this would be penalized, and that the incriminated subdomains would see decreases in organic traffic. Today Google is able to see if a subdomain is not in the same theme as the main site, and therefore if this subdomain is rented.
As leptidigital.fr reveals, which relays a tweet from Glenne Gabe, the penalization of rented subdomains is under way. The traffic drop would be more than 40% for some sites.
Some wonder if the main areas will also be impacted by Google penalties. It would be rather logical that the lease of subdomains to third parties is perceived as a negative signal by the search engine.
This is in any case a new financial hard blow for the press who could hope for some income in affiliation or “leasing” subdomain. For the reader, however, we can only welcome a little more clarity.