For best SEO and page ranking, should a sub-item page be with or without a parent? Please note that in both cases this sub-item (Reports) is displayed under the main (top) menu item (Research).
IT does not matter . Google constantly updates algorithms so one day first one can be good and other day second one .
However, I noticed that in some of the leading global websites, which belong to the world's largest consulting firms. Many sub-item pages are non-parent and others have a parent.
These are multi-million dollars websites which are designed and built by some of the best forces in the industry so I am sure they have good reasons for that.
Please don't quote but I would say left to right priority matters. however, keeping the subpage in subpage is honest way of building the site your eg line 1. line 2 is bit smart way... but its not the actual structure of your site. so if I were you I would go for line 1. in both case it does not matter a lot as long as the URL is not way too long 256 chars or something cant remember...
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