If you own a business that gets referrals from search engines, most notably Google, then you should get to know the man who goes by the name of Matt Cutts. In the SEO world of experts, pundits and gurus, Mr. Cutts sits on top of the search engine food chain as the head of Google’s web spam team. The team is responsible for monitoring search engine results and websites by fighting against people looking to “game” the search engines with low quality content and links. By maintaining the integrity of Google’s search engine results pages, Matt and his team are maintaining relevance and order for Google’s search property as a whole.
That’s nice and all, but why do I have to know who he is?
As head of the web spam team, Matt spends a lot of time trying to educate webmasters and search engine professionals on best practices for websites and SEO. He has released numerous videos answering questions from webmasters, business owners, etc. when it comes to setting up a website to perform well in Google. These videos provide business owners with a good overview of how Google envisions the web to be, and instructs them on how to create sites that will “play well” within Google’s guidelines. These videos can also help folks learn to distinguish between legitimate SEO professionals and the “fly-by-night” firms looking to make a quick dollar.
He also controls the stable of Google algorithm animals that you’ve undoubtedly heard about. Matt Cutts has unleashed Pandas, Penguins, Hummingbirds and Pigeons into the wild for the past ten plus years since creating the first ever “safe search” algorithm for Google. His team is responsible for the changes and tweaks in Google’s search algorithm and their 200 plus ranking signals.
Cool, but how does he affect my business?
Along with automatic algorithm changes, Matt’s team is also in charge of manual penalties, link disavows and reconsideration requests. Basically, when you get in trouble with Google, this is the team you have to go through to get back in their good graces. Ignore Matt Cutts’s advice, and your website may be banished and invisible to Google’s search results, which could ultimately cost you traffic and revenue. He is also the reason that your SEO “expert” will call you and tell you how important it is to switch your website over to a secure protocol to get better rankings in the search engines, just because Cutts mentioned it in a panel that one time…
But in all seriousness, Matt and his web spam team really do implement good things on the internet search front. Their quality guidelines are a must read for anyone whose business relies on search engine traffic. It provides a good primer for the best practices that one should employ with their websites. The goal of the team is to make Google’s search engine results more relevant and valuable to the users. Not following them, sooner or later, will get your website dinged and dropped from rankings and Google’s search results altogether. Knowing, following, and reading what he has to offer should keep you abreast of any changes to Google coming down the pike.
At the very least, if you have someone working on your site for SEO, dropping Matt Cutts’s name will imply that you know a little something about the subject.