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Backlink Analysis Factors in an Easy to Remember Acronym

Explaining backlink analysis has never been so easy…

Backlink analysis, or the examination of incoming links to a site, is an important part of identifying why a particular site ranks the way it does (outside of on-site SEO) and for discovering (and uncovering) link building techniques.

While important, sometimes explaining backlink analysis can be tricky – there are just so many things to consider, right? And what happens when you’re talking to a super busy person who’s new to SEO and doesn’t appreciate a 30 page report, but rather a five minute meeting or a brief e-mail? What a challenge! For occasions like these, a solution is needed!

Are you a fan of mnemonic devices? You know, memory tricks and the like? I’m more than a fan, I rely on them – they are like a secret weapon! Drum roll please…

VARVATLAR! (Go on; give it a go by saying it out loud… you may just enjoy yourself)

V-A-R-V-AT-L-AR! (Sing it!)

(Did you just think of LARPING?)

What does this break down to, you ask?

  1. Volume – the quantity of inbound links and linking domains
  2. Authority – the trust and reputation of sites providing said links
  3. Relevance – the degree to which said links are useful to the audience
  4. Velocity – rate at which said links have been acquired, or will be acquired
  5. Anchor text – the visible, click-able text of a hyperlink used by search engines as an indicator of the content on the destination page
  6. Longevity – expected lifespan of said links
  7. Administrative relationship – diversity of linking sources as editorial signals (ie. site network ownership)

And there we have it. This nifty acronym will take an explanation of backlink analysis from 0 to 100 faster than you can imagine. It’s a clean-cut, freshly pressed summary of (what I believe are) the seven cornerstones of backlink analysis, which search engines then adjust niche by niche. Again, this is by no means exhaustive (that’s what those 30 page reports are for), but something that I hope you find helpful when you need to communicate backlink analysis more easily to clients, friends, or that friendly bloke that said “what do you do?” down at the pub.

References and Credits

VARVATLAR is an expansion of the VaVa™ search methodology developed by the expert London SEO team at

Startrek image credits are via I Can Has Cheezburger

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