Should SEOs/Webmasters Attack Google's Matt Cutts?

Apr 9, 2014 • 7:55 am | comments (51) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

SEO ThreatKim posted a thread at Cre8asite Forums asking is attacking Matt Cutts appropriate? She asked this in regards to all the folks in our community yelling that Matt Cutts is a hypocrite.

First, let me say that Matt knows this goes with the job. Heck, Matt even tweeted it saying "comes with the job." I am sure on some level it bothers him because he thought he was providing something useful and it was ripped out from under him.

Second, a lot of SEOs and Webmasters who were hurt by an algorithm directly blame Matt Cutts. He is the face of the spam team and the face of anything negative about rankings. So if a site tanks, a business tanks with it, they blame Matt. So those that were hit feel they have the right to rip him in return.

Is it right? Is it appropriate? Probably not but it is not surprising.

I say this all the time, I am surprised he can walk around at SEO events without a body guard nearby.

Anyway, the Cre8asite Forums thread is pretty heated, so you should check it out. But I wanted to create an anonymous poll and see what the group as a whole has to say.

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: April 8, 2014


Stuart David

04/09/2014 12:15 pm

The abuse has got beyond lately, its actually becoming an annoyance and a black mark of the community. Especially from the Indian and Eastern Europeans whose tactics get ripped out fast, then they proceed to attack. I think, hit drops hurt and being lumped in with spam is tough pill to swallow, but with some perspective Google is a huge company with many departments dealing with incomprehensible amount of data, attacking one man for a sites demotion and getting so personal is just a beyond the point. What people don't seem to realize is, everyone else in Google will see the abuse Matt gets, and they are going to be so less willing to give there advice in public due to becoming potentially (and most definitely) some what of a hate figure (to those who have zero brain cells may I add) like Matt is right now. I think people believe they can bully him into retirement, but better the devil you know right? I just hope this stance with Google and the vocal sections of Google who try to pass information doesn't continue, otherwise we will lose that vital line of information.


04/09/2014 12:19 pm

I answered Other (Yes and No). It's right to let Matt Cutts know that we're aware of the dynamics of certain things, that oftentimes business doesn't equal fairness and to underline a webmaster's sacrosanct right to link to whatever site they want link to (so, Matt is NOT to blame for linking, the indirect blame is directed to the unfairness when it comes to the freedom to link out). But it's NOT right to attack Cutts as a person and a webmaster. Just because some of us get treated unfairly, that doesn't justify revenge. So I'm ALL for Cutts (and every person on Earth) to link out freely. What I'm NONE for is elitism. - Luana

Spam Cutts

04/09/2014 12:22 pm

I like Matt, I have defended him several times BUT I think Matt brings a lot of criticism on himself Barry, I think if he has to do this job, do the job but don’t be smug about it when he brings down a network or something like that. What Matt needs to contemplate is even if some people have gamed his search engine by buying a few links most of these people aren’t criminal gangsters living the high life, most of the sites penalised are most likely owned by people that just scrap by and have young children to feed, by removing the parents income the children become the unintended victims and suffer as a result of his actions. As someone who lived most of his teenage life homeless due to family breakdown I know only too well the wider consciences of a family that loses the ability to provide basic essentials, these are the “unseen” consequence. A little more tact from Matt would be a welcome development in remembering he isn't bringing down .

Mike Weaver

04/09/2014 12:48 pm

Durant would say "no."

Ahmad Wali

04/09/2014 12:55 pm

I have voted "NO".. However, it is appropriate to ask questions and clear the doubts. Many agreed, but asking questions isn't "Attacking". We respect Matt Cutts and I would love to meet him. I think people are taking the "comments" to the wrong direction. I've seen how people reacted to MBG penalty and many came out to tweet against Matt Cutts. His recent interview on usesthis and my tweets were also criticized. I think we should take it more positively because Matt is the head of web spam and we always look for answers from his side to clear doubts!

Abdul Wahab

04/09/2014 01:09 pm

Common guys its his Job. And SEO/SEM or any kind of Internet marketing is our Job. Let's just show some sportsmanship

Josh Zehtabchi

04/09/2014 01:10 pm

It's like blaming a President for a countries failure. There are many more variables behind the scene that may or may not actually control the end result. He's a virtual punching bag for SEO's, sure. But as silly as it is for somebody to directly blame Matt, I think it's even sillier for Matt to let this take up a spec of real estate in his mind. From what I've seen, the majority of SEO's who curse Matt are blackhats and simply need to vent their failures to somebody and have a face to hate. I believe it's simple human psychology more than anything. Poor Matt, he need's a "Hater's gonna Hate" tshirt in his next video.

Deb Dulal Dey

04/09/2014 01:11 pm

enough Internet today .. i have loaded my gun and just about shot myself .. thanks for this

F1 Steve

04/09/2014 01:19 pm

He would, and he will, but it will be more long winded than a simple "no" and probably involve an anecdote of some kind, maybe frying fish? He hasn't used that in a few days it most be coming back soon again.

Stuart David

04/09/2014 01:42 pm

So your pissed at him because he is 'smug' about bringing down a network, which gave UNFAIR advantage to OTHER families ... meanwhile, those who were losing the space because the first family was scamming result ends up homeless. Do you see how utterly stupid and redundant your example is? In this self pitty ridden post, I vote for the family to prosper who played by the rules, which they then would due to the action, the inaction is what puts them on the street! Get a clue mate, your talking out of your behind.

Spam Cutts

04/09/2014 01:47 pm

Stuart, I’m not pissed at all but hey, thanks for being another wonderful caring human being this world has produced, well done, no wonder she left you!

F1 Steve

04/09/2014 01:54 pm

How to start an argument on an SEO forum, Step 1 – Post your opinion Step 2 – Wait lmao

Stuart David

04/09/2014 01:57 pm

Stop talking bollocks


04/09/2014 02:34 pm

I think 'attack' is overly broad, but I do think people have a reason to ask questions over recent Google actions especially after the recent guest blogging issues. Then to go have a link heavy interview posted afterward raised a lot of eyebrows. Where was that line again Matt? We're confused. Also, I don't think its unfair to hold Matt to a higher standard when it comes to the web linking. Many people are held to higher standards because their job knowledge leaves little room or excuse for ignorance. I really don't consider Matt any different, since he's basically in charge of upholding whatever the hell 'best practice' is. Honestly he would get less flack if Google was more clear. Part of the recent backlash is because Google has done a poor job communicating in regards to these past issues, and possibly even miss stepped in regards to their recent penalties. A broad scale warning or individual page penalties would have been a better warning shot then the utter broadside they gave us.

Durant Imboden

04/09/2014 02:49 pm

The majority of SEOs who curse Matt aren't just blackhats: They're failed blackhats who have nothing left to do except vent their frustration. They're like the subway "token suckers" who saw their livelihoods disappear:

That Dude

04/09/2014 03:18 pm

perfectly said!

Ashutosh R

04/09/2014 03:23 pm

Good story and my answer is no.

Sean Van Guilder

04/09/2014 03:47 pm

People should be calling out Google as a hypocrite, not Matt. He's the messenger and that's all. He doesn't set the policies or changes that Google continues to waffle and, what seems to me, blatant arrogance and lack of transparency. He's being told what the policies are and what he can or cannot say.


04/09/2014 03:51 pm

With big power comes big responsibility and as long Google doesn't catche up with their transparency issues, which is their responsibility having such big power, people will continue blaming Google and Matt Cutts. In that regards all the heat around Matt is totally understandable.


04/09/2014 04:25 pm

Criticize =/= attack. Anyone who posts publicly on the internet is subject to criticism. The animosity is practically unavoidable, the two sides are at odds and always will be. The question isn't SHOULD he be "attacked," but rather if the "attacks" go too far. And my answer would be, typically, no. One of the problems is that Google's business model is inherently hypocritical. If you manipulate the algorithm via link schemes then that's some shameful shit. How dare you? Your site doesn't deserve to be at the top of Google so we're going to remove it. However, if you run AdWords and pay us a bunch of money, then the top spot is all yours. That's pretty much insane when you really think about it. He will always be at the center of the conflict between Google and SEOs (particularly black/grey hats). He is a politician; I honestly can't even recall a webmaster video where he answered a question clearly, directly, and decisively. He speaks in vague rhetoric most of the time. I think he and Google could do a much better job communicating. The most recent example - "none of those links are affiliate links." Of course there's clearly an affiliate link on the page, but what he really means is none of the ones HE put there are affiliate. But that's not what he said, so he gets called a liar and a hypocrite. One more example here. Years ago when asked how one might acquire links, Google suggested you get directory links. What they MEANT was get on Yahoo! Directory, DMOZ, BotW, etc. Of course SEOs ran with the idea and started not only getting links on every directory under the sun, but now also building their own directory networks for the sole purpose of getting links. So then when Google goes Hulk smash on spammy, low-quality directory links, everybody goes - wait a minute. YOU SAID to get directory links. Now it's not ok anymore? Worse, I'm being punished for following your advice? What the fuck, Google? It's that kind of miscommunication that creates the animosity. That and people who are just bad at marketing are upset that their shortcuts don't work anymore. I do think Google could do a better job finding middle ground; devaluing/discounting bad links instead of punishing people for them. I don't really understand how one link with optimized anchor text can give you a site-wide penalty. They do go too far sometimes, so naturally there's going to be criticism for that.

Jeff Ostroff

04/09/2014 04:56 pm

Can't easily decide between yes and no. On one hand, getting lowered rank in SERPS caused us to look a lot closer in our page layouts, and get involved more with social media. For that part I'm glad, it was the silver lining on the dark cloud. But then I see Matt Cutts give a site wide penalty to Doc Sheldon's web site because of one stupid outbound link in a blog post. Then Matt criticizes Docs page publicly by stating Doc's one post on Social media has nothing to do with Doc's site on SEO, yet Doc's own site title says "Content Strategy, SEO Copywriting, Tools, Tips, and Tutorials" which covers a wide array of related content. For that Matt and Google deserve some public outcry. When is Google/Matt going to learn to just ignore links that it wrongly thinks are bad instead of penalizing an entire site? That's not giving us quality Search, that's arrogant "my way or the highway search."

josh bachynski (SEO)

04/09/2014 05:11 pm

we'll see what you say about it Barry once I post my article about my meeting with Cutts... coming up soon.


04/09/2014 06:36 pm

About people saying "Blame Google, not Matt, he's just a messenger": Google is not a living person. Google is just a company being made by people like Matt Cutts. So the only right way to complain is not about the THING they're creating but about the creators and decision makers which is especially Matt Cutts.


04/09/2014 07:14 pm

I don't know why they would even consider blaming Matt. He is not the end all be all on what Google does. Blame the owners of Google if you are going to blame anyone. Or better yet don't blame anyone and learn from it.

Stuart David

04/09/2014 09:41 pm

Its free traffic, can't get angry about free food? But people sure as hell do

Stuart David

04/09/2014 09:45 pm

Wrong, a whole generation has adopted it as first choice, given there was a ton of early adopters who helped build the initial following with that whole 'we're open source and for the people' ethos, which has now been stripped (as big business will do to even the most straight of people). You CANNOT take one individual and place almost two decades of growth and lay it on his shoulders simply because his job description dictates that it should. Google, like it or lump it, despite optimistic 'they'll be dead in 10 year' predictions on here, will be around for a long long time. Work with them, this is the scene, adapt or die, your words don't hurt.


04/09/2014 09:58 pm

Everything goes with the job. If you are the visible face in an institution, then all the blame is on you. If someone sells you a bad product you don't argue with a guy in Hong Kong in the production line, you blame someone on the phone that's dealing with your complaints. So, Matt Cutts must be held responsible for the flaws of his team. His decisions are final after staff come up with a new anti-spam tweak of the algorithm. So thumbs down, Mr. Matt Cutts.

Stuart David

04/09/2014 10:02 pm

Evolution ... don't live in the past, the WWW has evolved beyond even last month, the key is to roll with the changes, invest in technology for your site, and if you don't innovate, you are sure to fail ...

Stacey Cavanagh

04/09/2014 10:04 pm

On the one hand, I think it's hugely inappropriate to personally attack an individual who is just doing the job he paid to do and I'd never attack him personally. But on the other hand, put yourself in the position of a company just hit with some update and you see Matt Cutts tweeting about it in a fashion that could be interpreted as somewhat smug... you can understand why some people do go off one at him.


04/09/2014 10:19 pm

Matt Cutts said he wants to financial ruin people... He lied about caffeine/mayday/instant hurting Google's revenues "but they did it anyway to improve searches" ... I blame Matt for the things Matt has done... I blame Google for the things google has done, like financially crippling many small and mid-sized businesses and arguably having a worsening effect on unemployment. Years ok I really respect their motto of "Do no evil"... now I just feel like a sucker. I noticed they don't say their motto much anymore.


04/09/2014 10:25 pm

Maybe you should try actually reading my comment because your response makes absolutely no sense.

Stuart David

04/09/2014 10:39 pm

No one with a job has that much time .. extract on YOUR comment for you buddy 1. "He is a politician;" 2. "Years ago when asked how one might acquire links" 3. "Google suggested you get directory links" Skim reading is correct, so I don't waste my time on stupidity, defend the above, even out of context my response justifies the words.

Stuart David

04/09/2014 10:42 pm

(mis)Quoting Stan Lee isn't a great credential for change ...


04/09/2014 10:53 pm

Yeah, reading is tough for some people. Go away now and let the grownups talk.

Stuart David

04/09/2014 10:56 pm

Says you. Twat. Mr "He is a politician" [EDIT: Nice change from your original quick whit reply]


04/10/2014 04:46 am

The only thing I know is that Matt Cutts is making the Internet a boring place to stay and WORK. Webmasters aren't as motivated to create new sites as they were before this guy Cutts started to punish innocent people. Collateral victims of those stupid Google updates are a lot.


04/10/2014 07:05 am

You're so wrong that I even don't see a point discussing with you.

Running man

04/10/2014 07:56 am

Stu, the new SR moron, ignore him, hopefully he will go away and learn to write a coherent reply in the future or find something else todo with his angry self lol

Ben Guest

04/10/2014 11:39 am

So you're letting Google decide if the family is fed or not? Interesting.

Patti Paz

04/10/2014 12:21 pm

Everyone, hopefully, has a job, but he doesn't have to like it soooooooooooooooooo much!


04/10/2014 12:26 pm

matt cutts get everything what all google team must to get. Really people hate not only matt cutts, but all of google (for stupid decissions, buggy code, greed, etc.), including that spammy guy.

Ann Smarty

04/10/2014 01:59 pm

IMHO it's not right to attack anyone. Period. The only thing: It's questionable any of those tweets was an attack. Just questions asking for clarifications :)


04/10/2014 05:31 pm

OMG, you are so smart.


04/11/2014 07:38 am

Barry you shouldn't have posted this. Attack is not the solution, this will encourage non sense/idiot people to attack. Regards, SoGoSurvey

Gracious Store

04/14/2014 04:12 am

I'm not sure SEO and webmasters are so reckless as to attack Matt Cutts under any circumstance, that they verbalize their feelings about the effect of Google's algorithm changes on their sites in blog forums does not mean that they are barbaric or so indiscipline as to attack Cutts. I can bet you that some of those people that vent their anger on Matts in blog forums will gladly drink beer with him without real ill feelings. It will be hard for anyone who has been negatively affected by the algorithm not to be angry, venting anger is a better way to deal with it it. It does not mean that people who vent their anger are as malicious as they may seem to sound

Faisal Jamal

04/21/2014 02:23 pm

Lack of information and inability to follow Google Webmasters guidelines is the only reason behind the frustration and anger on Google's Matt Cutts


04/21/2014 02:44 pm

Not really, majority of the people who use Google say search results are getting worse. It is quite visible. Shut down sites containing nothing but ads rank the number 1 position in Google. Matt Cutts calls it "improvement". It is dumb and that's why site owners bully him. One time he became popular broker of payday loans. Thanks to blackhat seo, this happened after he released an update to attack those specific keywords and related sites. I personally never attacked Cutts, but I must admit that I enjoy the insults he receives from others. Google Webmaster guidelines should recommend extreme blackhat seo because Google seems to have a passionate love affair with it.

Yo Mamma

04/22/2014 04:23 pm

Attacking Cutts is akin to kicking a dog turd. I dislike dog turds a lot, but respect them profusely and wouldn't like them attached to my shoe or my barefoot. I handle Google and Cutts in a similar way. They both stink, but when you make it real obvious to Google, who you are, they stick to you like the turd they are and the odor follows you into oblivion.

Kapus Attila

06/24/2014 04:04 pm

''Do not put me in the same room with Matt Cutts''. Ill go mad. Nuff said


07/07/2014 09:22 pm

His division now is probably overridden by the need for more Google revenue. Most likely the Adsense division now has more say in what gets listed on the first search page than Google's Spam and Webmaster's division. It probably does not make sense to attack Cutts anymore. Go after Page instead.


07/07/2014 09:28 pm

Ever notice Google does not like getting suggestions. Cutts does reply to some questions, which is very rare for a Google employee.

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