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CONTENTS DATE CONTACT
Advanced metrics in sports and SEO
18 oktober 2019 Michael Van Den Reym
Advanced metrics
Who?
• Michael Van Den Reym
• www.linkedin.com/in/michaelvdr
• Senior Technical SEO & Data @ Intracto
• Check out our jobs
• Cyclist, but I used to play basketball when I was young
Agenda
• Advanced metrics in sports (Sabermetrics), mainly in basketball
• Systems thinking
• Advanced metrics in SEO
Let’s talk about sports
Which metric do you use?
https://youtu.be/KWPhV6PUr9o?t=85
Let’s talk about sports
Advanced metrics in sports
• Baseball is a long and repetitive sport which make it perfect to analyze
• Also in other sports to an extent
• First: usage of advanced metrics
• Now: advanced computer vision machine learning techniques with 100’s of cameras for spatial analysis
Goals of this presentation:
• Get a more interesting career: become a sports scout or sports manager 
• Inspiration for Advanced metrics in your business?
Let’s talk about basketball
A PHD mathematics and a software developer decided to write
a book about basketball.
“Objective and efficient strategies for understanding how teams
win”
Advanced metrics in basketball – Rebound Rate
Who is the best rebounder?
Basic metric: The one with the highest rebound per game?
Advanced metric:
• What about Rebound opportunities (number of missed shots)?
• What about Offensive rebounds vs Defensive rebounds?
Rebound rate = Number of rebounds/Number of field
goals missed during time on court
Offensive rebound rate = Number of rebound/field
goals missed by own team during time on court
Advanced metrics in business - SEO acquisition rate
Is SEO visits the best SEO metric?
Did you take into account
- Seasonality?
- Trends in consumer search queries?
- Increased advertising space/competitors?
SEO acquisition rate = incoming SEO traffic on relevant queries / search volume on relevant queries
Advanced metrics in basketball – Win value (Winston)
Run a regression analysis
- Put every statistic (Field goal attempted, field goal made, assist, turnover, rebound, block, steal …)
as an X-value in a model
- Y value = the difference in points adjusted by pace.
- Run a regression analysis to find a model that explains how much each stat is contributing to a win
- E.g. Y = 1.2 * point scored + 0.5 * assists - 0,8 * turnovers – 0,7 * shots missed
- Determine value for each individual stat towards the end goals
- Determine player value by filling in stats of player in the regression model.
Advanced metrics in SEO – Win value (Winston)
Run a regression analysis
- Predict conversions based on landing page, browser, device
- Predict clicks based on average position -> look for over and under performers
Advanced metrics in basketball – Adjusted +/-
Start from the results (top-down) instead of individual
player metrics
Which players did contribute the most to the end
result?
+/- : how many points are scored on average for every
second a player is on the court vs number of points
allowed
Adjusted +/- : points differences adjusted by +/- value
of other players and game speed
Adjusted +/- For SEO
Which components deliver the highest value?
Which pages are the most important?
How to adjust your metrics?
What about your competitors?
Advanced metrics in basketball – EFG% and offensive efficiency
eFG% = (FGM + 0,5* 3P FGM) / FGA
=> How many points you make on average for each shot you take
Offensive Efficiency = FGM + A + / (FGA – ORB + A + TO)
=> Combination of offensive metrics
EPS = Offensive Efficiency * (3PM + 2PM + FTM)
=> Effective points scored, does take into account both volume and efficiency
Advanced metrics in SEO – SEO efficiency
Do you go for the three pointer instead of the two pointer?
 Look for conversion value, not just for conversion
 Change your game plan for the high conversion value?
Advanced metrics in basketball – Team value - Entropy
A team is more than a sum of players
E.G 5 short and speedy players on the court in the same time
=> Less rebounding and easy inside scoring
E.G. 5 dominant ball handlers in court
=> not efficient
Solution: maximize entropy: maximizes difference in skills between players`
Advanced metrics in SEO – SEO Entropy
Are you scoring on different terms with different pages
or does your homepage gets 80% SEO traffic?
How are you scoring across different topics against your competitors?
What are advanced metrics?
Super advanced metrics?
Probability to win the game of GO?
From basic to superadvanced metrics
Basic metric Advanced metric Super
advanced metrics
Everyone can understand it X
Experts can understand it X X
No one can understand it X
Coolness
Complicatedness
Systems thinking
Because SEO and basketball are different sports and different systems
“A system is a group of interacting or interrelated entities that form a unified whole” (Wikipedia)
Can be visualized with rectangles (the entities) and arrows (the relations and interactions)
Why system thinking?
1) Better analyze the different items and relations within a system
e.g. SEO is decreasing
-> Which part of the system causes SEO to decrease (the persons, the search engines, the web pages?)
2) System thinking can be used to find useful advanced metrics
The complex system of SEO
Finding advanced metrics in a system
Basic Metric Advanced metricPercentage Weighted percentage
Basic metric Basic Percentage Weighted advanced
metric
Combined
Advanced metric
System 1 entity 2 direct linking
entities
2 direct linking entities,
but weighted or
adjusted for other
entities
Non-direct linking
metrics or
combinations that
are adjusted
Type of metric Simple number
(524)
Percentage
(20%) or
correlation
Weighted ratio
(10% of metric/total)
Complicated
formula,
combination or
regression
coefficient
Example Number of SEO
visits on websites
Bounce percentage Relevant SEO
acquisition rate
(clicks / relevant search
queries)
Number of visitors
who visit a page
with loading speed
> 3 second
Keyword rankings
Position increase (basic metric) vs effective traffic increase (advanced metric)
Keyword Position Previous
position
Monthly
searches
Keyword 1 3 8 200
Keyword 2 11 34 200
Keyword 3 2 9 20
Which of these 3 optimizations is the best?
Keyword rankings
Effective traffic increase = avg. monthly searches * (CTR (new position) – CTR (old position))
Keyword 1 wins!!!
Take aways
- Don’t be biased, use metrics
- Weight and adjust your metrics
- Think in systems to find your advanced metrics
- Combine your metrics across entities in a logical way
- Use advanced metrics to win the game
Questions?

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Advanced metrics in Basketball and SEO

  • 1. CONTENTS DATE CONTACT Advanced metrics in sports and SEO 18 oktober 2019 Michael Van Den Reym Advanced metrics
  • 2. Who? • Michael Van Den Reym • www.linkedin.com/in/michaelvdr • Senior Technical SEO & Data @ Intracto • Check out our jobs • Cyclist, but I used to play basketball when I was young
  • 3. Agenda • Advanced metrics in sports (Sabermetrics), mainly in basketball • Systems thinking • Advanced metrics in SEO
  • 4. Let’s talk about sports Which metric do you use? https://youtu.be/KWPhV6PUr9o?t=85
  • 6. Advanced metrics in sports • Baseball is a long and repetitive sport which make it perfect to analyze • Also in other sports to an extent • First: usage of advanced metrics • Now: advanced computer vision machine learning techniques with 100’s of cameras for spatial analysis Goals of this presentation: • Get a more interesting career: become a sports scout or sports manager  • Inspiration for Advanced metrics in your business?
  • 7. Let’s talk about basketball A PHD mathematics and a software developer decided to write a book about basketball. “Objective and efficient strategies for understanding how teams win”
  • 8. Advanced metrics in basketball – Rebound Rate Who is the best rebounder? Basic metric: The one with the highest rebound per game? Advanced metric: • What about Rebound opportunities (number of missed shots)? • What about Offensive rebounds vs Defensive rebounds? Rebound rate = Number of rebounds/Number of field goals missed during time on court Offensive rebound rate = Number of rebound/field goals missed by own team during time on court
  • 9. Advanced metrics in business - SEO acquisition rate Is SEO visits the best SEO metric? Did you take into account - Seasonality? - Trends in consumer search queries? - Increased advertising space/competitors? SEO acquisition rate = incoming SEO traffic on relevant queries / search volume on relevant queries
  • 10. Advanced metrics in basketball – Win value (Winston) Run a regression analysis - Put every statistic (Field goal attempted, field goal made, assist, turnover, rebound, block, steal …) as an X-value in a model - Y value = the difference in points adjusted by pace. - Run a regression analysis to find a model that explains how much each stat is contributing to a win - E.g. Y = 1.2 * point scored + 0.5 * assists - 0,8 * turnovers – 0,7 * shots missed - Determine value for each individual stat towards the end goals - Determine player value by filling in stats of player in the regression model.
  • 11. Advanced metrics in SEO – Win value (Winston) Run a regression analysis - Predict conversions based on landing page, browser, device - Predict clicks based on average position -> look for over and under performers
  • 12. Advanced metrics in basketball – Adjusted +/- Start from the results (top-down) instead of individual player metrics Which players did contribute the most to the end result? +/- : how many points are scored on average for every second a player is on the court vs number of points allowed Adjusted +/- : points differences adjusted by +/- value of other players and game speed
  • 13. Adjusted +/- For SEO Which components deliver the highest value? Which pages are the most important? How to adjust your metrics? What about your competitors?
  • 14. Advanced metrics in basketball – EFG% and offensive efficiency eFG% = (FGM + 0,5* 3P FGM) / FGA => How many points you make on average for each shot you take Offensive Efficiency = FGM + A + / (FGA – ORB + A + TO) => Combination of offensive metrics EPS = Offensive Efficiency * (3PM + 2PM + FTM) => Effective points scored, does take into account both volume and efficiency
  • 15. Advanced metrics in SEO – SEO efficiency Do you go for the three pointer instead of the two pointer?  Look for conversion value, not just for conversion  Change your game plan for the high conversion value?
  • 16.
  • 17. Advanced metrics in basketball – Team value - Entropy A team is more than a sum of players E.G 5 short and speedy players on the court in the same time => Less rebounding and easy inside scoring E.G. 5 dominant ball handlers in court => not efficient Solution: maximize entropy: maximizes difference in skills between players`
  • 18. Advanced metrics in SEO – SEO Entropy Are you scoring on different terms with different pages or does your homepage gets 80% SEO traffic? How are you scoring across different topics against your competitors?
  • 19. What are advanced metrics?
  • 20. Super advanced metrics? Probability to win the game of GO?
  • 21. From basic to superadvanced metrics Basic metric Advanced metric Super advanced metrics Everyone can understand it X Experts can understand it X X No one can understand it X Coolness Complicatedness
  • 22. Systems thinking Because SEO and basketball are different sports and different systems “A system is a group of interacting or interrelated entities that form a unified whole” (Wikipedia) Can be visualized with rectangles (the entities) and arrows (the relations and interactions) Why system thinking? 1) Better analyze the different items and relations within a system e.g. SEO is decreasing -> Which part of the system causes SEO to decrease (the persons, the search engines, the web pages?) 2) System thinking can be used to find useful advanced metrics
  • 24. Finding advanced metrics in a system Basic Metric Advanced metricPercentage Weighted percentage Basic metric Basic Percentage Weighted advanced metric Combined Advanced metric System 1 entity 2 direct linking entities 2 direct linking entities, but weighted or adjusted for other entities Non-direct linking metrics or combinations that are adjusted Type of metric Simple number (524) Percentage (20%) or correlation Weighted ratio (10% of metric/total) Complicated formula, combination or regression coefficient Example Number of SEO visits on websites Bounce percentage Relevant SEO acquisition rate (clicks / relevant search queries) Number of visitors who visit a page with loading speed > 3 second
  • 25. Keyword rankings Position increase (basic metric) vs effective traffic increase (advanced metric) Keyword Position Previous position Monthly searches Keyword 1 3 8 200 Keyword 2 11 34 200 Keyword 3 2 9 20 Which of these 3 optimizations is the best?
  • 26. Keyword rankings Effective traffic increase = avg. monthly searches * (CTR (new position) – CTR (old position)) Keyword 1 wins!!!
  • 27. Take aways - Don’t be biased, use metrics - Weight and adjust your metrics - Think in systems to find your advanced metrics - Combine your metrics across entities in a logical way - Use advanced metrics to win the game