I’d say that 99% of bloggers know his name and know it well! But who is Matt Cutts from Google and why is he so important to the internet?
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Matt Cutts is a software engineer, a computer graphics specialist, a blogger and programmer in his early 40s. He is famously known as the former head of the Search Engine Optimization and Web Spam Team at Google Inc. where he worked for 15 years until mid 2014.
Cutts is an Alma Mater of the University of Kentucky where he studied a bachelor degree in computer science and mathematics and graduated in 1995.
He then signed up for a master’s degree program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 1998 and enrolled for a PhD program in computer graphics at the same university.
It was while undertaking his computer graphics PhD program at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill that Cutts started working on search engines and web spam.
In January 2000 Cutts was employed by Google as a software engineer. He mainly worked with the search quality group and the ads engineering group and Safe Search; Google’s family filter which he invented and designed.
He was famous for giving cookies to anyone who would flag an example of unwanted porn in search results.
Cutts moved into the field of information retrieval and search engines immediately after taking two sessions from the university’s Information and Library Science department.
At the Web Spam Team, Mr. Cutts headed a segmented and increasingly specialized team that oversaw everything to do with spam and SEO violations, including content quality, back link profile, link optimization and grading the qualities of links leading to particular SEO pages.
They also assessed SEO violations and applied penalties, also doubling up as the team primed with the task of providing detailed reports on the state of spam, in the search engine market.
Extended Leave of Absence
15 years after he joined Google Inc. Cutts released a statement on his blog stating that he was going to fulfill an agreement he made with his wife that he would take time off after 5 years of professional employment to be with his family and trying out new things. Something he was only be able to fulfill in 2014, ten years later than he wanted.
Cutts chose to extend his leave a few months’ into 2015 stating that the Google Web Spam Team has been working exceptionally well since he took his leave in mid 2014.
Over the past one and a half years since his leave of absence, a number of webmaster trend analysts and Google engineers have stepped into the role of the public face of SEOs and publishers at Google Inc. Even then none is yet to take on the popularity and celebrity persona that characterized Cutts during his tenure.
The verdict is still out on whether Cutts flamboyance and outspokenness have been an asset or a problematic phenomenon for his long time employer, Google Inc.
Cutts has been a prolific and particularly inventive figure at Google Inc. where he is credited as the co-inventor of a patent filed on SEOs and web spam. He is also the brains behind Safe Search, Google family filter and search quality optimization programs.
So monumental has Cutts been in the search engine and web spam segments that in 2006 Wall Street nicknamed him ‘the Alan Greenspan of search results’.
After a decade at Google Inc. Cutts set up the challenge to expand the use of Kinect to other devices most importantly Linux OS. That is besides Xbox 360 which was the only compatible device as of November 2010.
Since he became the head of web spam team and the public figure of SEO in 2004 Cutts has been a very legendary tech figure and a polarising personality for SEOs who have continually expressed their displeasure with his professional decisions and by extension Google Inc. policies.
His leave has removed him as the public image and recipient of attacks by other SEOs.
Cutts notably stepped up and defended his employer in January 2012, with a claim that the downgraded PageRank of Google Chrome had been granted special profile, this was after it was revealed that Google had violated its own quality guidelines.
Since his extended leave from October 2014 speculation has been rife as to whether Cutts will return to Google. This was further heightened when he chose to extend his leave of absence. The question of, who is Matt Cutts from Google? will continue to hang on long after because of his sterling career in the search engine giant.
In May 2015 Google Inc. announced the appointment of a new official to fill Matt Cutts position as the head of Web Spam Team. The new official is no longer considered the automatic official spokesman of the publisher and webmaster issues.
Cutts has officiated seminars, talks and bench-marking conferences related to search engines, search quality and web spam related issues.