Google’s Matt Cutt to take a break


Head of Google web spam Matt Cutts said that he is taking a break and going on leave. Matt certainly does take a lot of abuse defending the Panda and the Penguin and while I am sure he has made a lot of money at Google, it must be a stressful job. Maybe Sergey and Larry could make it easier on him by allowing Google to be a little more transparent and accountable for their actions.

Danny Sullivan wrote on Search Engine Land:

It will be the longest break Cutts has ever taken from Google since he started with the company back in 2000 and since he began overseeing the web spam team in 2004. It’s also one that he writes is overdue. From his post:

When I joined Google, my wife and I agreed that I would work for 4-5 years, and then she’d get to see more of me. I talked about this as recently as last month and as early as 2006. And now, almost fifteen years later I’d like to be there for my wife more. I know she’d like me to be around more too, and not just physically present while my mind is still on work.Cutts says he’ll be off work through October of this year. He notes he won’t be checking any work email. He also stressed that there’s no specific event behind him taking the time off, other than fulfilling this long-standing promise to his wife.

Tom Foremski wrote on Silicon Valley Watcher that he thinks this move may foreshadow Cutts leaving Google, a move that Foremski says he would not blame Cutts for making.

After 15 years as head of the webspam team at Google, Matt Cutts says he is taking a long break, to spend more time with his wife and family.

It’s the same language that senior executives often use when suddenly departing their employer. I wouldn’t blame him if he doesn’t come back because he is often the target of much vitriol and anger from the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) communities every time Google changes its algorithm every few months.

Cutts has one of the toughest jobs at Google he has to explain Google’s mysterious search algorithm and why some sites rank high or low. It’s a highly charged arena because the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people depend on Google ranking their business as a trusted online entity.


  1. says

    {{Maybe Sergey and Larry could make it easier on him by allowing Google to be a little more transparent and accountable for their actions.}}

    From your keyboard to their eye’s. I can see why Matt would want to leave after the havok the updates undeservedly wrought on small businesses/sites including mine over the last year. Google’s rollout of these updates was either a massive case of short sightedness on their part … or an intentional tactic. A person would have to either be insane or making enough money to rid them of a conscious to destroy the livelihood of so many people claiming they are all “spammers” or even being the mouthpiece of those higher ups who made the call.

    Many of us had sites that may not have been “perfect” but the “punishment” that Google dealt was definitely not fitting. I know this is unlikely to happen but maybe this time off will give Matt the opportunity to give some thought to things. Then at least offer those who were as Google called “collateral damage” of the updates at least the opportunity to prove they weren’t deserved of being crushed or offer us the opportunity to at least know what it was about our sites that was so terrible.

    I want to believe that Matt wasn’t the one that made the final calls on this … from his videos I’ve watched and articles I’ve read he really did appear to care about the small developers and users. Not just driven by the massive profits that Google has been reaping. I’m trying hard not to let Google’s non responsiveness to the issues make me too pessimistic.

    What’s most apparent is that Google’s motto “Don’t be evil” has been replaced with “We’re in control”.

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