Matt Cutts

Matthew Cutts (born 1972 or 1973)[1] is an American software engineer. Cutts is the Administrator of the United States Digital Service. He was first appointed as acting administrator, to later be confirmed as full administrator in October 2018.[2] Cutts previously worked with Google as part of the search quality team on search engine optimization issues.[3][4] He is the former head of the web spam team at Google.[5]

Matt Cutts
Cutts in 2008
Matthew Cutts

1972/1973 (age 46–47)[1]
Alma mater
Known forSafeSearch, Google's family filter, Webspam Team
Cindy Cutts
(m. 2000; died 2018)


Cutts completed his high school career in Morehead, Kentucky at Rowan County Senior High School.[6] He received a bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Kentucky in 1995.[7][8] He went on to receive a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998.[9]


Cutts started his career in search when working on his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In January 2000, Cutts joined Google as a software engineer.[3] At 2007 PubCon, Cutts stated that his field of study was computer science; he then moved into the field of information retrieval and search engines after taking two outside classes from the university's Information and Library Science department.[10] Before working at the Search Quality group at Google, Cutts worked at the ads engineering group and SafeSearch, Google's family filter, which he designed.[3][11] There, he earned the nickname "porn cookie guy" by giving his wife's homemade cookies to any Googler who provided an example of unwanted pornography in the search results.[12]

Cutts is one of the co-inventors listed upon a Google patent related to search engines and web spam.[13]

In 2006, The Wall Street Journal said Cutts "is to search results what Alan Greenspan was to interest rates".[14]

In November 2010, Cutts started a contest challenging developers to make Microsoft Kinect more compatible with the Linux operating system. At the time, Microsoft had stated that the use of Kinect with devices other than the Xbox 360 was not supported by them.[15]

Cutts has given advice and made statements on help related to the use of the Google search engine and related issues.[16]

In January 2012, on the news that Google had violated its own quality guidelines, Cutts defended the downgraded PageRank of the Google Chrome homepage results, noting that it was not given special dispensation.[17][18]

In July 2014, Cutts stated that he was going to take a few months of leave to spend more time with his family and try new things, including a half ironman race.[19] Upon joining Google, Cutts agreed with his wife to work for four to five years and then spend a period of time together. Fifteen years later, Cutts made the decision to do so.[20]

In May 2015, Google announced it had placed someone new in Cutts' position as the head of the web spam team, but this person would not be an official spokesperson for publisher and webmaster issues.[21]

In January 2017, Cutts announced that he would be leaving Google to join the US Digital Service.[20] Cutts noted that he handed in his notice to Google on December 31, 2016. Cutts was originally going to spend his leave at the USDS for three months which then turned into six months.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Matt Cutts: The Greenspan of Google". Bloomberg Businessweek. March 17, 2011. Matt Cutts, the 38-year-old
  2. ^ "Matt Cutts gets the official nod for top spot at USDS". FedScoop. October 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "About Me". Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO.
  4. ^ Ward, Mark (June 8, 2004). "Inside the Google search machine". BBC News Online. Retrieved May 4, 2008.
  5. ^ "Google Has New Head Of Web Spam But Won't Be The "New Matt Cutts"". Search Engine Land. May 22, 2015. Matt Cutts remains on leave, but Search Engine Land can report that Google does have someone new in his position of head of web spam fighting.
  6. ^ Grant Stevens (13 July 2012). "Google this: Matt Cutts, hometown proud". The Morehead News. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  7. ^ Olgiate, Christina (October 21, 2012). "Google employee Matt Cutts returns to UK". The Kentucky Kernel. University of Kentucky. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014.
  8. ^ "Just Google Him: CS alumnus talks about how UK prepared him to work for the Search giant". University of Kentucky, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering. August 26, 2011.
  9. ^ "Graduate School Honors Fellowship Winners". News And Notes. Department of Computer Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Spring 1999.
  10. ^ Kaushal, Navneet. "PubCon – Matt Cutts Keynote". PubCon 2007. WebProNews. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  11. ^ "Google's chastity belt too tight". ZDNet. April 23, 2004. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "'Google': An interesting read on a powerhouse company". USA Today. November 13, 2005.
  13. ^ Acharya, A., et al., (2005) Information retrieval based on historical data
  14. ^ "Readers React to 'SEO' Contest". The Wall Street Journal. February 16, 2006. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  15. ^ "Kinect hacked days after release". BBC News. BBC. November 12, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "Matt Cutts Talks Keyword Density". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  17. ^ Arthur, Charles (January 4, 2012). "Google shoves Chrome down search rankings after sponsored blog mixup". London: The Guardian.
  18. ^ Shankland, Stephen (January 4, 2012). "Two days after Google flub, Unruly raises $25 million". CNET.
  19. ^ Cutts, Matt. "On Leave". Matt Cutts Blog. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Ratnesar, Romesh (October 21, 2018). "Meet the Obama Appointee the Trump Administration Loves". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  21. ^ "Google Has New Head Of Web Spam But Won't Be The "New Matt Cutts"". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  22. ^ "Staying with the US Digital Service". Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2017-01-19.

Further reading

External links


BigQuery is a RESTful web service that enables interactive analysis of massively large datasets working in conjunction with Google Storage. It is a serverless Platform as a Service (PaaS) that may be used complementarily with MapReduce.


The Chromebit is a dongle running Google's Chrome OS operating system. When placed in the HDMI port of a television or a monitor, this device turns that display into a personal computer. Chromebit allows adding a keyboard or mouse over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The device was announced in April 2015 and began shipping that November.


Gayglers is a term for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees of Google. The term was first used for all LGBT employees at the company in 2006, and was conceived as a play on the word "Googler" (a colloquial term to describe all employees of Google).The term, first published openly by The New York Times in 2006 to describe some of the employees at the company's new Manhattan office, came into public awareness when Google began to participate as a corporate sponsor and float participant at several pride parades in San Francisco, New York, Dublin and Madrid during 2006. Google has since increased its public backing of LGBT-positive events and initiatives, including an announcement of opposition to Proposition 8.

Google Behind the Screen

"Google: Behind the Screen" (Dutch: "Google: achter het scherm") is a 51-minute episode of the documentary television series Backlight about Google. The episode was first broadcast on 7 May 2006 by VPRO on Nederland 3. It was directed by IJsbrand van Veelen, produced by Nicoline Tania, and edited by Doke Romeijn and Frank Wiering.

Google Dataset Search

Google Dataset Search is a search engine from Google that helps researchers locate online data that is freely available for use. The company launched the service on September 5, 2018, and stated that the product was targeted at scientists and data journalists.

Google Dataset Search complements Google Scholar, the company's search engine for academic studies and reports.

Google Finance

Google Finance is a website focusing on business news and financial information hosted by Google.

Google Fit

Google Fit is a health-tracking platform developed by Google for the Android operating system and Wear OS. It is a single set of APIs that blends data from multiple apps and devices. Google Fit uses sensors in a user's activity tracker or mobile device to record physical fitness activities (such as walking or cycling), which are measured against the user's fitness goals to provide a comprehensive view of their fitness.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a survey administration app that is included in the Google Drive office suite along with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

Forms features all of the collaboration and sharing features found in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Guice

Google Guice (pronounced "juice") is an open-source software framework for the Java platform released by Google under the Apache License. It provides support for dependency injection using annotations to configure Java objects. Dependency injection is a design pattern whose core principle is to separate behavior from dependency resolution.

Guice allows implementation classes to be bound programmatically to an interface, then injected into constructors, methods or fields using an @Inject annotation. When more than one implementation of the same interface is needed, the user can create custom annotations that identify an implementation, then use that annotation when injecting it.

Being the first generic framework for dependency injection using Java annotations in 2008, Guice won the 18th Jolt Award for best Library, Framework, or Component.

Google Panda

Google Panda is a major change to Google's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites", in particular "content farms", and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.

CNET reported a surge in the rankings of news websites and social networking sites, and a drop in rankings for sites containing large amounts of advertising. This change reportedly affected the rankings of almost 12 percent of all search results. Soon after the Panda rollout, many websites, including Google's webmaster forum, became filled with complaints of scrapers/copyright infringers getting better rankings than sites with original content. At one point, Google publicly asked for data points to help detect scrapers better. In 2016, Matt Cutts, Google's head of webspam at the time of the Panda update, commented that "with Panda, Google took a big enough revenue hit via some partners that Google actually needed to disclose Panda as a material impact on an earnings call. But I believe it was the right decision to launch Panda, both for the long-term trust of our users and for a better ecosystem for publishers."Google's Panda received several updates after the original rollout in February 2011, and their effect went global in April 2011. To help affected publishers, Google provided an advisory on its blog, thus giving some direction for self-evaluation of a website's quality. Google has provided a list of 23 bullet points on its blog answering the question of "What counts as a high-quality site?" that is supposed to help webmasters "step into Google's mindset".The name "Panda" comes from Google engineer Navneet Panda, who developed the technology that made it possible for Google to create and implement the algorithm.

Google Penguin

Google Penguin is a codename for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques involved in increasing artificially the ranking of a webpage by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page. Such tactics are commonly described as link schemes. According to Google's John Mueller, Google has announced all updates to the Penguin filter to the public. was a web directory (or human search engine) and Internet-based knowledge exchange (question and answer site) launched in May 2007 by Jason Calacanis. It differentiated itself from algorithmic search engines like Google and, as well as other directory sites like DMOZ and Yahoo! by tracking and building hand-crafted result sets for many of the currently popular search terms. President Jason Rapp exited the company in September, 2012.In 2014, Calacanis announced that Mahalo would be sunset as he moved his focus towards an app called Inside. He was quoted by TechCrunch saying "it makes 7 figures so we’re not shutting it off but we are not investing in it". Mahalo's website has since shut down.


nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML a element to instruct some search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link's target in the search engine's index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of internet advertising because their search algorithm depends heavily on the number of links to a website when determining which websites should be listed in what order in their search results for any given term.

Search Engine Watch

Search Engine Watch (SEW) provides news and information about search engines and search engine marketing.Search Engine Watch was started by Danny Sullivan in 1996. In 1997, Sullivan sold it for an undisclosed amount to MecklerMedia (now WebMediaBrands). In 2005 the website and related Search Engine Strategies conference series were sold to Incisive Media for $43 million. On November 30, 2006, Danny Sullivan left Search Engine Watch, after his resignation announcement on August 29, 2006. Rebecca Lieb was named editor-in-chief the following month.

In 2015, Incisive Media sold SES, Search Engine Watch, and ClickZ to Blenheim Chalcot.Google's Matt Cutts has called Search Engine Watch "a must read." Yahoo's Tim Mayer has said that it is the "most authoritative source on search."

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. SEO differs from local search engine optimization in that the latter is focused on optimizing a business' online presence so that its web pages will be displayed by search engines when a user enters a local search for its products or services. The former instead is more focused on national or international searches.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, the computer programmed algorithms which dictate search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, adding content, doing HTML, and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic. By May 2015, mobile search had surpassed desktop search. In 2015, it was reported that Google is developing and promoting mobile search as a key feature within future products. In response, many brands are beginning to take a different approach to their Internet marketing strategies.

Timeline of Google Search

Google Search, offered by Google, is the most widely used search engine on the World Wide Web as of 2014, with over three billion searches a day. This page covers key events in the history of Google's search service.

For a history of Google the company, including all of Google's products, acquisitions, and corporate changes, see the history of Google page.

Traffic Power

Traffic Power was a Las Vegas, Nevada search engine optimization company that engaged in black hat techniques. These were spamdexing practices that violated Google's webmaster guidelines. As a result, some Traffic Power clients were banned from Google's organic search results.According to a Wall Street Journal profile of the company, Traffic Power used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients. Wired reported that Traffic Power sued a blogger, Aaron Wall, and the website Traffic Power Sucks, for mentioning that they were banned. Google software engineer Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients.In January 2009 Traffic Power's CEO, Matt Marlon, was jailed on accusations of fraud related to a foreclosure "scam".

True Link

True Link Financial, Inc. is a San Francisco, California based financial services firm that offers investment accounts and debit cards customized for seniors. Notable investors include Y Combinator, Cambia, Mitch Kapor, Alexis Ohanian, Eric Ries, and Matt Cutts.

United States Digital Service

The United States Digital Service is an elite technology unit housed within the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It provides consultation services to federal agencies on information technology. It seeks to improve and simplify digital service, and to improve federal websites. It was launched on August 11, 2014.The US Digital Service is the creator of:

A Digital Services Playbook, for improving digital government

Draft Web Design Standards, for building consistent, beautiful, federal government websites

TechFAR Handbook, on federal contracting and procurement

College Scorecard, to help students and their families make more informed decisions about college selectionThe United States Digital Service submits a report to Congress each year detailing its projects and accomplishments. Its federal agency work spans across the Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, and Health and Human Services.

The United States Digital Service was the brainchild of Jennifer Pahlka, who took the job of US Deputy CTO in 2013 with the goal of creating an elite government technology unit at the White House that would be equivalent to the UK Government Digital Service. The first head of the US Digital Service was Mikey Dickerson, a former Google engineer who was involved in the 2013-2014 rescue of website. He was succeeded by Matt Cutts.

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