Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do you work for Matt Cutts?

I was lucky enough to meet a whole bunch of cool Googlers at SES London this year. They're really helpful people.

Guess which question I heard them get asked the most. "Do you work for Matt Cutts?"

It was like a broken record. I think they're a script that's followed.

SEMer: "Do you for Matt Cutts?" (*awe in voice*)
Googler: *maintain smile* *count to five silently*
Googler: "No, I work in webmaster support/industry vertical/api support"
SEMer: "Yeah, but you know Matt! Sometimes you might talk to Matt!"
Googler: *maintain smile*

Actually, this script isn't always followed. A Googler told me of an occasion where the SEMer simply walk off the very second she said she didn't work for Matt! How rude! It's pretty stupid too. That particular Googler was a member of Web Quality which sits high up in the Google hierarchy.

To be honest, it must be pretty annoying for the Googlers who come to events to constantly get asked, "Do you work for Matt Cutts?"

I also think it's a wasted question ask. Sure, Googlers are very good and very careful about what and how they answer questions but that doesn't mean you (the SEMer) shouldn't try and learn something new by some careful questioning! Imagine you have your most demanding/high paying client behind you and this might be your last ever chance to ask a Googler a direct question. Is it really going to be, "Do you work for Matt Cutts?" It shouldn't be!

I'm not going to share the questions I asked! Ha!

One answer I got ended with the careful, "... but that doesn't mean we won't do that in the future." - which is my cue to think that that may have been a good question to ask.

Another series of questions was diplomatically and expertly answered. No secrets were spilled... but I think I noticed a common theme to some of the answers which is inline with suspicions I already had from reading patent applications (It would have been good to have Bill Slawski handy to bounce ideas off then!).

As a whole I'm reminded of the Simpsons' episode called Homer and Apu where Homer and Apu travel to India and trek up a mountain to ask the wise head of the Kwik-E-Mart if Apu can get his job back. They have three questions. Homer blows each one of them.

Oi, SEM crew, don't be a Homer. Okay?

2 comments:

Colin Boyd said...

There's a weird SEO celebrity culture thing going on the UK over Matt Cutts and others, Danny Sullivan, Kevin Rose etc.
Funnily enough I got talking to Matt at the SES in New York two years ago when in the states he was just an employee of Google, and still is.

Although he probably forgot me 30 seconds after walking away. I'd like to think it's better that Matt doesn't know me or the clients I work for. Why would someone want to take the chance and piss of the guy that can mess up your clients site rankings. How much 7up would you have to send to Googleplex to fix a bad joke?

I prefer to remain out of the self promotion of the SEO fame. Although it might bring in the odd client I wouldn't want to waste valued time on guest blogs and that radio station thing they have.

Andrew, I did try to catch you at the A4U conference for the Kwik Fit affiliate thing, but some other BMM guy was there.

Maybe next time.

Andrew Girdwood said...

Sadly and annoyingly I missed A4U at the last minute due to being very ill. I hope to make the next.