"Respected SEO professionals fight over what they think he meant!"
"His guidelines become gospel"
"He lives vicariously through spammers"
"If he was to mention your name, you would list it on your resume"
"He is the most interesting man in the world of SEO!"
As head of Google’s Webspam Team, Matt has become Google’s most influential spokespersons, often answering questions in the press and by online users relative to webspam and developments related to Google search algorithms. Matt’s statements often send ripples and sometimes tidal waves throughout the industry of SEO Professionals (Most recently: The decay and fall of Guest blogging for SEO).
Matt Cutts Education and Employment
Prior to working at Google, Matt Cutts achieved his Ph. D. in computer graphics at the University of North Carolina, his M.S. from UNC- Chapel Hill, and his B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Kentucky.
Matt Cutts played and continues to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Google Search Engine. In fact, he is listed as one of the co-inventors on a Google Patent related to search engines and webspam. Matt Cutts joined Google as a Software Engineer in January of 2000 and credits himself (on his website http://www.mattcutts.com) in writing code for the first version of Google’s Safesearch (Google’s family filter). More recently Matt has worked in Google’s search quality and webspam team for the past several years.
Before going on to learn about Matt’s duties as Head of the Webspam Team at Google, you should understand a little more about Search Engines and what Webspam is:
What is a search engine? A web search engine is designed to search for info on the World Wide Web, in which results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as "search engine results pages (SERP's)". Unlike web directories, which are maintained only by human editors, search engines maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.
It is important to realize that since the birth of the internet, ad revenue created by search engines is steadily becoming a significant source of contributing revenue in the advertising industry. Per the data reflected in Google’s 2013 Financial Tables, Google's total revenue generated by advertising was $50,578 Million Dollars, with $14,073 million dollars generated in Q3 of 2013. To put that figure in perspective, the IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is a survey conducted annually and independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers; reported internet advertising revenues for Q3 2013 to be $10.7 billion dollars. At that rate, if internet advertising generates roughly 40 billion dollars per year in revenue, then Google's market share in internet advertising is equivalent to a little a little more than 10% of the total internet advertising industry.
What is webspam? Most are familiar with spam as it relates to emails. However, savvy and unethical web designers and developers have learned the value of hijacking search engines and have set their targets on strong-arming “Search Engine Results Pages” (SERP’s) and tricking web crawlers. Thus the term Webspam, also referred to as spamdexing. Webspam and/or spamdexing involve a number of “Black Hat SEO Techniques” that are constantly evolving. In order to protect their search engines, Google must constantly modify their search engine algorithms to stay a step ahead of these unethical practices. If they did not manage this threat, then search engine results would surely be hijacked by clever web pirates. The web would be sort of like the wild west! Fortunately, Google lives up their philosophy which is conveyed on their corporate website, “Focus on the user and else will follow.” Whereas, they understand they must provide an effective user experience for those using their search engine. If users where to search Google and the result was content created by black hatters, then the outlaws would have won and the users experience would suffer.
This is where Matt Cutts and his webspam team comes in. Think of them as the Marshalls or the Sheriff of the Wild West! The never ending cycle of modifying behaviors and algorithms certainly provides job security for Matt Cutt’s and his Webspam Team as they continue to guard Google Search. Just like I tell my clients, "search engine optimization is not something you complete, it is something you must continue to implement or risk losing your ranking". Another good analogy would be to say, "completing SEO would be like trying to eat once and for all, that will not work....you must eat every day". The same goes for Matt Cutt's and his Webspam Team. They must continue to figure out how to filter results providing valuable and relative content in search engine result pages.
Aside from Google Search's objective to assist those searching the web, Google's webspam team and "webmaster tools" does an awesome job of communicating guidelines for webmasters which convey best management practices for search engine optimization. It is not a guessing game, Google offers a starter guide to Search Engine Optimization. Additionally, Google's "webmaster tools" allows webmasters to monitor their website's health as well as allow submission of URLs and sitemaps to Google for indexing. It does not end there. Furthermore, Google provides what I find to be the most useful and interesting of all resources, which are videos released on Google Webmaster Youtube Page that feature various Google staff members answering questions and explaining their intentions and objectives to regulate spammy techniques.
In closing this article, I thought I would share some Dos Equis style phrases which are consistent with "the most interesting man in the world campaign" but relevant to Matt Cutts.