Canadian Rental Website Rankings – June 2009

Renters and Real Estate investors both have similar needs. Renters want a place to live and investors have a place for them. Getting the two parties together can be a difficult exercise. However, there is one thing which brings us together. You might jump to the conclusion that it’s just the Internet. You’d be wrong.

The internet is a disjointed web of billions of pages, from the smallest one-page site to the massive and useful. Both have one thing in common: search.

Before the birth of the internet, the field of information retrieval was working to make search a reality. Today we see the impact of search in a very profound way. People use Google (orYahoo, Bing, Ask or AOL) for almost everything on the internet. Even when we know the address of a website (like, we frequently Google it. The word ‘’ is one of the most popular keywords for this website.

Skip straight to:
The Top 15 Websites
Download the full report

The Goal of This Survey

My intention is to provide real estate investors with a list of the most visible rental websites so we can advertise our vacancies where they’re most likely to be found. There’s three aspects I’ve considered when scoring these websites:

  • Search Engine Market Share
  • Keyword Search Volume
  • Organic Keyword Position (ranking)

Search Engine Market Share

It’s no surprise that Google is the leader when it comes to search engines with 80% of Canadian searches. The full breakdown of Canadian search engine market share can be found in my post of internet marketing resources at the end of June. This edition of the rankings only accounts for Google rankings, however the future editions will consider Google, Yahoo and Bing, each weighted appropriately.

Keyword Search Volume

Not all every keyword phrase is a popular as the next. This chart shows search volumes from Google’s Keyword Tool (Canada, May 2009). To come up with the keyword list for this exercise I’ve applied the same methodology I use in my work as a SEO at Enquiro.  Scores are weighted for the popularity of the keyword.

Keywords Local Search Volume
apartments for rent 24,900,000
apartments 13,600,000
for rent 13,600,000
apartments rent 11,100,000
rental housing 7,480,000
house rental 5,000,000
rentals 3,350,000
edmonton housing 1,220,000
apartment 1,000,000

Organic Keyword Position (Rank)

For anyone who has a website or has done any reading around search engine optimization (SEO), it quickly becomes evident that websites get more traffic for a given keyword if they’re at the top. Enquiro did some pioneering research into this using eyetracking software, and the full report is available for purchase. (Shameless plug: the other whitepapers are great too!)

I’ve weighted each ranking based on the principles laid out in our research at Enquiro.

The Results

This report was intended as a test and began with the keywords. I used the results of my keyword analysis to cast a net and see which sites appeared organically (no pun intended). Here are the winners.

The top 15 sites  are:


The full report includes more information on:

  • Methodology
  • Keyword Selection
  • The Full List (76 Websites!)
  • Tips and Tools for Investors

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  • Wow, these rankings are heading in the right direction. This was interesting! Where can I find more like this?
    Celine |

    • A

      Hi Celine, we’ve had to stop creating the reports for technical reasons. You can still create your own ranking reports and if you drop me an email I’ll send you some of the info we use to score rankings.

  • Chris,

    Thanks for your great report, it was very useful for me especially for the keywords.

    However I see that your ranking of rental websites across Canada might vary depending on each city.


    Lethbridge Rental housing

    • A

      Hi William, you’re right, and as a part of that we’re doing a series of geographically-targeted reports, like the series we just released for Ontario.

  • A

    Hi Mike, or whoever you are. I’ve edited your comment to remove all the links. I’m glad you took the time to comment, but hope you’ll actually read the post in the future.


  • Barry Remai

    I could not get report. When I right-clicked, there was no “Save As” option

    • A

      Hi Barry, I’ll drop you a copy by email and make sure the link is working. Thanks for letting me know.