Speculation continues about the whereabouts of the head of the Google web spam team… Matt Cutts. As of July 2014, the lead spam fighter at Google had decided to take an extended vacation from his regular responsibilities at the company.
The head of search spam at Google announced that he was going on leave until October 2014. Guess what? It is now the beginning of January in 2015, so he’s missed his return date by a wide margin.
What does this mean for you as a webmaster? What does this mean for you as a business owner? We will discuss this and more as we delve deeper into the disappearing act by Google spam fighter Matt Cutts.
Why Did Matt Cutts Go on an Extended Vacation Anyway?
Anyone interested in search engines and search engine optimisation has to wonder why Matt Cutts decided to take off for such a long period of time. Is he burnt out on Google? Is he tired of his job? Has he had enough of all of the spam fighting that he’s been doing over the years?
When asked about this problem specifically, Cutts said that he had no desire to quit his post at Google whatsoever. He said he was taking off because he needed to give his wife a break. He needed to spend time with her because she deserved it.
Many people have also speculated that Cutts is not going to come back to Google. He was supposed to come back in October and it is now January of the next year, and he still has not reported for duty just yet.
One other thing that Matt Cutts made very clear is that he was not going to do anything Google related during his hiatus, and we can tell you that this is true six months later because he has been completely missing in action during this time.
Are Spammers Going to Own Google Now and in the Future?
With Matt Cutts on extended hiatus, many people felt and feared that Google was going to become the ultimate spam fest. But Matt never felt this way at all, and he had a great deal of faith in his team.
He went on to say that he had a deep bench at Google with many smart engineers and spam fighters on the web spam team. He knew that he was leaving the company in incredibly capable hands, and had no problem walking away because he was not worried that spammers would begin taking over the search engines anytime soon.
And he was right. In the six months since he’s been on hiatus, web spam has not increased on the Google search engines at all. So that says a lot about the team that Matt Cutts has developed in the web spam department at everybody’s favorite search engine.
Will Matt Cutts Ever Return from His Hiatus?
Most recently, the website Search Engine Roundtable ran an informal poll back in November to find out if search engine nuts like you believed that Matt Cutts was ever going to come back to his position.
60% of the people polled – over 500 – felt that Matt Cutts was never coming back to head up the Google web spam team. But 40% of you believe that he will come back to his old position.
Some people feel that he will still work for Google when all is said and done when he finally comes back from his hiatus, but they believe that he will work for the company in a different role. Nobody knows for sure and only time will tell. So let’s keep an eye out for the Google Poster Boy to see where he ends up when he finally comes back from his much deserved break.
What Does Matt Cutts’ Disappearance Mean for Search Engine Optimization?
Truthfully, nothing has really changed. Updates still take place on the Google servers on a daily basis. Large updates are still rolled out two or three times a year. None of that has changed since Matt Cutts went on a break. So anybody thinking that there is going to be a search engine free-for-all is sadly mistaken.
That’s it for our Google News update. We’ll let you know more about Matt Cutts as the story develops.
PS: we couldn’t resist showing this funny mash-up video of Matt Cutts giving “SEO advice”. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.