June 16, 2008
Why Google's Matt Cutts Reminds Me of My Older Brother, Adam
Why I was sitting in the You&A With Matt Cutts session at SMX Advanced a couple weeks ago, I twittered "mattcutts so reminds me of my older brother." Matt then asked me about that twitter the next day - but I couldn't really give a good answer. The other day, I was thinking about it...
Before beginning, I am not sure how Adam, my brother, is going to like this post. I doubt he will mind, but I am sure he won't like to be the spotlight of a blog post here. So, I am sorry in advance.
Adam, my older brother, is a Rabbi in Israel. He works with teenagers who are not exactly on the right path. In a sense, he is somewhat of a social worker or guidance counselor. From what I know, he balances the line of being part of "the law" and at the same time, being friends for these kids. I know there is a line, but from what I understand, many kids trust him and go to my brother for advice and support.
Adam has learned over the years how to speak with these kids. He uses words that reach out to them and it is his hope that they use his words in daily practices. Kind of like a "moral compass" but not exactly.
Just picture how careful he has to be with his words. He can't jump down these kids throats or else they won't trust him and won't come back to him for advice. So when talking, he kind of has to be somewhat of a diplomate and be sure not to touch on sensitive points in the wrong way.
Matt Cutts, the famous Googlers, who deals with webmasters and SEOs all day - is kind of in the same position. Each day, he has to be careful how he words things, as to not harm his relationship with the webmaster community. Matt has earned the trust of many webmasters. He, like my brother, has earned the respect, trust and friendship of many of those who practice actions that are not in accordance with Google's terms of service (TOS).
When Matt talks to webmasters, either publicly or one-to-one, I hear that same out reaching voice of concern. When it comes to certain tactics that webmasters can deploy to trick Google or the searcher, you can hear it in his voice. You can hear how his appeal is genuine, genuine to the industry and to the betterment of the searchers world.
Matt has to balance his speech to make sure he draws that line in the sand, that he is "the law." But at the same time, he wants to keep the line of communication open so that there is a healthy dialog between webmasters and Google. This way, he act as the "moral compass" in his venue.
I am not sure if this makes much sense. I really think it is about the tone I hear in their voices when they both have to balance on that line. They both know that line is easy to cross over and once they cross over it, it is really hard to get back on it.