The Noisy Channel


Matt Cutts Keeps Google Honest

February 19th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

The other day, I was shocked to hear that Google was employing a pay-per-post stategy in Japan–precisely the sort of strategy they’ve historically condemned. I was certainly among those crying “hypocrisy”.

Well, to his credit, so was Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team. In fact, he didn’t just complain–his team did something about it. Via “Google Penalizing Google” at Google Blogoscoped:

head of Google’s anti web-spam team Matt Cutts via Twitter writes, “ PageRank is now ~5 instead of ~9. I expect that to remain for a while.”

Matt Cutts blogged about it himself today, saying “To the extent that I can speak on behalf of Google, I apologize that this happened.” I haven’t met Matt yet (I’m looking forward to meeting him at the SIGIR ’09 Industry Track!), but I’m delighted to see this preview of his integrity.

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daniel Lemire // Feb 19, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Is this “integrity” or just protecting Google’s value?

    If Google’s search results start to go downhill, I, for one, will be quick to move to a new search engine. I am sure others would move too.

    So, they can’t afford to produce noticeably worse search results.

  • 2 Daniel Tunkelang // Feb 19, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I give him credit for slapping down his own employer. It may be in Google’s self-interest as a corporation, but it also takes some guts for a employee–who is human being, not a corporation–to do the right thing in a situation like this.

  • 3 jeremy // Feb 19, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Yes, he does deserve credit.

    But how often is someone on (ie searching for a page that is located on Who actually searches for a search engine?

    So I agree; it’s a nice symbolic move that took guts. But ultimately will probably have very little real effect on… much less effect than if it were some shoe maker or vacuum sales company that took the 4-point pagerank hit.

  • 4 2009 Predictions Update: Google Penalizes Itself | The Agitationist // Feb 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

    […] here we are in late February, and we are inching toward proof of my prognosticatory powers. As Daniel Tunkelang reports on his excellent blog The Noisy Channel: The other day, I was shocked to hear that Google was […]

  • 5 noor // Jan 2, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Good work. Thanks for sharing.

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