Profile: Matt Cutts
In the online world were so many significant figures remain anonymous, Matt Cutts stands out for his numerous accomplishments in the industry. Most famous for being the head of webspam at Google, Cutts began his search career promisingly enough with a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky, followed by a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina. Cutts subsequently entered the field of computer science, later making a shift into information retrieval. After taking classes at the Information and Library Science department of his university, he then delved deeper into the search engine industry.
Matt Cutts first joined Google in January of 2000, in a position as Software Engineer. With his stint at the Search Quality arm of Google still a few years away, he began working for the company in the ad engineering department and the company’s SafeSearch department. It was here that Cutts became known as the “porn cookie guy”, as a result of his practice of giving away homemade cookies that his wife had baked to any Google user that called attention to unwanted pornography brought up in the company’s search results. Matt Cutts would later become on of the co-inventors of a Google patent that dealt with search engines and web spam. This patent was later to be recognized as being the first to use historical data as a means of identifying link spam.
Cutts would make many more contributions to Google in the coming years, many of which sought to provide advice on the proper and efficient usage of the Google search engine and its related services.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Matt Cutts while he was at Google. Like all companies, Google has gone through its share of issues and controversies, and Cutts would play an essential role in helping the company deal with one such issue. Accusations that Google violated its own rules plagued the company in January 2012, and Cutts was at the center of much of the controversy. The issue stemmed from the lower page rank of the homepage of search engine competitor Chrome’s, although Matt Cutts was quick to point out the absence of any lapse in policies or judgment.
SafeSearch is arguably Cutt’s most significant contribution to the Google legacy. A family filter feature that is still in use to this very day, SafeSearch would prove to be only one–albeit significant–of a long line of accomplishments in what is probably one of the most remarkable careers in the Internet related industry.