Webspam is a nasty part of life that everyone knows exists, but doesn’t like to talk about – just like vampires (at least, if you read today’s popular books and go to the movies!). Since webspam would happily attack everyone in its path and completely take over the world if it were left unchallenged (just like vampires do in the fiction world), the web needs someone that’s brave enough to take it on, face to face.
That someone is Matt Cutts.
Personally, I picture him with a business card that says “Matt Cutts, Webspam Hunter”, because that’s what he’s paid to do every single day – hunt down spammers and get them out of the Google search results. But this isn’t just any job. In order to keep the web free of bogus links and useless drivel, you’ve got to have some hard-core training. You’ve got to have tireless devotion. You’ve got to have a ton of engineers working beneath you, capable of finding webspam lurking in even the darkest of corners.
After all, there are millions upon millions of website owners out there, and a big chunk of them will do anything they can to wind up at the top of the Google results. They don’t care if they have to lie, cheat, or steal to do it. They don’t care if most people see them for what they are – as long as some people are gullible enough to buy their products. They’re driven by a thirst for quick and easy money, just like a vampire is driven by his thirst for blood.
So, if you’re an innocent web searcher – or an innocent website owner who’s simply trying to get more search engine traffic the honorable and proper way – you don’t have much of a chance against these greedy spamming cheats. Without someone to take them to task, you’ll never be able to find the legitimate answers and solutions that you so desperately need, because the top of the search results will be cluttered with keyword-stuffed gibberish that only succeeds at one thing – cutting corners. And, you’ll never see your own success as a website owner, because you’ll be buried at the bottom of the search results by the bad guys. No clove of garlic will be strong enough to fend off this vampire-like attack.
That’s why Matt Cutts is so important.
As the head of Google’s webspam team, it’s his duty to stay one step ahead of the blood-sucking spammers. He and his team are tasked with coming up with ways to analyze links, determine who’s REALLY an expert, and figure out who’s working overtime to cheat the system. And, at the same time, he’s stuck tackling hundreds of emails each day, updating his blog, creating new videos, debunking crazy rumors, and trying to keep website owners informed of Google’s thought process without revealing too much of the “secret sauce”.
As if all of this didn’t sound exhausting enough, his job gets a little bit tougher every single day. (How’d you like to walk into work on a Monday morning and know that you were going to have to get through an even bigger battle than you did on Friday?)
Just Google the term “buy links“, and you’ll see more than eight hundred million results pop up! Google the term “link exchange“, and 514 million results come up! Sure, not all of these websites are aimed at cheating the system, but a good chunk of them are. And, more of them are added all the time. After all, there’s always going to be a captive audience for those that are offering ways to manipulate the search results without doing any actual work!
What makes being a Webspam Hunter downright terrifying, though, is knowing that the fight will never truly be over. Just like another blood-thirsty vampire always seems to pop up as the movie is winding down, new webspam tools and techniques are being created by the second. Trying to keep it all under control is like trying to keep your head above water during a hurricane!
In true Webspam Hunter fashion, though, Matt Cutts doesn’t make his job sound as scary as it actually is. Instead, he paints a friendly, calm picture on his blog (including what he calls his “hairball posts” – some of which are downright hysterical), in responses on various Google forums, and on his videos. He always seems to be smiling. He never reveals just how much dangerous webspam there is bubbling below the surface, waiting to sweep your legitimate website away, never to be seen again.
When you think about it, maybe that’s why Google comes up with cute, cuddly names for its big algorithm changes, like “Panda” and “Penguin“. Maybe it’s all a way to keep the web safer from stress and anxiety? (After all, can you imagine what would happen if Google named its algorithm updates a little more literally – like “Content Thief”, “Link Cheater”, or “Dirty, Rotten Scoundrel”? Utter panic would set in!)
But, that seems to be the life of a Webspam Hunter. You spend your time fighting off the bad guys, all while trying to make things better for the good guys. It’s a tough job (some might argue that it’s downright impossible), but someone’s got to do it.
Doesn’t all of this sound like the perfect plot for a summer action movie? However, this plot is even more intense because it’s REAL!