Why SEO is Similar to Fantasy Baseball

Two of my biggest interests these days are search engine optimization and fantasy sports. You might be surprised to hear the responses I get when others hear that they are both so interesting to me. Seriously, I get everything from “What a geek!” to “Why the heck would you like either of those?”

If you are one of the people who doesn’t “get” either of the topics, that is perfectly fine. Let me share my rationale for why the two have parallels that seem to work well with the way I think and operate.

Reasons Why Search Engine Optimization is Similar to Fantasy Baseball

Data Intensive

Both SEO and Fantasy Baseball are extremely dependent on statistics and data analysis. They both require trending, deep dives into why things are happening, and deriving conclusions about what will happen in different possible future scenarios. Essentially, they both involve studying statistics, and studying an even deeper level of statistics than most people will bother with. In baseball, there’s Sabermetrics and other similar analytical systems. In SEO, we have relevance, competition, and the like.

I’ll take your SEO competition score and Page Rank, and raise you a BABIP and a couple of FIPs.

Balances Analytical with Creative Thinking

Balance between analysis and creativity is another area where both disciplines (and yes, both are disciplines in their own way) mirror each other. In SEO, we find high leverage keywords with low competition, then gear our targeting and messaging around it. In Fantasy Baseball, we identify those players whose stats do not truly support their level of performance, and manage our team in a way that exchanges overperformers for underperformers. Essentially, it’s using numbers to come up with creative ways to extract value where no one else sees it yet.

Changes Daily

The rapid rate of change is possibly the biggest parallel between the two topic areas. In any sport, injuries are simply part of the game. Rotations / starting gigs change, players retire or get suspended, and in many cases players are added from the minor leagues or elsewhere mid season (or demoted back down). In business, the competitive landscape can change not only daily, but hourly! In both cases, the changes ripple through in many ways, and it’s up to you to figure out how to respond in the best way possible.

Social Media and Content Heavy

SEO and Fantasy Baseball are both very visible topics around the social media properties. Both are generating content on a daily basis and looking to share that content, then exchange opinions and ideas. There are fanatics in both camps, folks who will spend every waking hour thinking about new ways to win the game. Social is the best way to spread content and talk about it, and both groups have figured that out in short order.

Deep Level of Expertise Required

There are many times where someone finds out I’m into either or both of these topics, and my standard response is, “I’m a geek. I love this stuff.” And sadly, that’s 100% true! I’ve spent years reading every piece of analysis I could find, trying to work out how to apply it, and even generating my own creative ideas for handling the different challenges that crop up. To get really good at either practice, you need to have a depth of knowledge that is unrivaled by generalist types. And you have to absolutely LOVE collecting that information and using it.


There you have it, my take on why SEO and Fantasy Baseball aren’t really different. I brainstormed at least a dozen different angles on this spin, and the above are all that made the final cut. Are you into both topics? What commonalities do you see?

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As Founder and President of Return On Now, Tommy Landry provides the vision behind our SEO and SEM methodologies. With over 25 years of business experience and a deep understanding of modern internet marketing techniques, he spends his time providing hands-on consulting, insightful content, and engaging public speaking appearances to Online Marketers of all skill levels.
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