Thursday, May 11, 2006

How many links to your Vacation Rentals site ?

I was prompted by a post on the www.laymyhat.com forum to check how many sites have linked to Compare Owner Holiday Rentals . There are a number of tools you can use, but the particular tool that was mentioned was http://tools.marketleap.com/publinkpop/ . This tool allows you enter up to 4 urls and it will tell you how many other sites have linked to these urls.

Compare Owner Holiday Rentals currently has 3275 sites linking to it, indicating a presence in the "average" range, although not bad for a site that has only been around for a few months. However, we have a long way to go, with leading vacation rentals sites such as VRBO and Holiday Rentals having 265,000 and 209,000 links respectively ! Presumably, many of these links are from vacation rentals home owners who have listed on these vacation rentals sites.

However, is all this linking a good thing ? There has been a lot of talk amongst SEO experts that reciprocal linking in particular has fallen out of favour with search engines when determining the "importance" of a web site in search results. Is it worth the effort to continue to build links ?

Although relevant one-way links, (with the right anchor text) are clearly best, my view is that relevant reciprocal links are still a useful way to build up the presence of your vacation rentals site. Although the direct traffic they bring will be minimal, there is still evidence that they will have some positive impact on your search engine results (particularly on MSN).

Also, there is lots of software out there to help minimise the effort involved, although I have personally found that active participation in much of the automated link exchange tools is quite low.

Personally, I have had good experience with free sites such as www.linkmarket.net and www.link2me.com : although the number of links you can exchange per day is limited, they have some nice features that make the process relatively automated.

Regards,

Kevin

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