I noticed Barry Schwatz bragging about how a Googler lives 2 minutes away from him – I suppose for a geeky webmaster that is cause to celebrate, especially if you or a client could exploit that acquaintance when things go sideways.
How random, I met a guy tonight who works at Google and is also a member in the same small Synagogue I am part of. Too funny. Oh, and he didn’t know who +Matt Cutts was, which may be more interesting.
But really, meeting a Googler isn’t cause for a nerdgasm, unless maybe I fancy him for something other than “my client bought links and can’t get rid of them, help!” But then that opens up a whole new can of worms regarding conflict of interest, and really, the odds of you or me meeting someone from the fabled spam team during everyday life is nil.
He seemed shocked, however, that said Googler didn’t know who Matt Cutts was. Now Matt is definitely an a-list celebrity as far as webmasters go, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know who he is in this industry. But really, would there be a need for someone working on Google Wallet or Android really need to know who Matt Cutts is?
He mentioned that it was crazy people knew who Danny Sullivan was and not Matt. But it really isn’t so strange when you think about it. Not only has Danny been in this industry for, well, forever, he writes on a lot more than merely search and spam issues.
But he did know who +Danny Sullivan was. Which makes the +Matt Cutts thing even more interesting. No?
But perhaps the most telling part of this conversation is the fact Barry felt the needed to drop both these names after having just met this Googler. When I think back to Googler’s I have met at conferences and events, “Do you know Matt Cutts?” really isn’t in the front of my mind, unless he is part of the spam team. And those tend to be few and far between 🙂 I see it the same as if someone commenting that I am from London and they ask if I know their cousin Ben who lives in Wales (and that is pretty annoying, by the way). And it really isn’t to pick on Barry specifically, as a crazy number of other people would do or have done the identical thing too, I just happened to see Barry’s Google+ post and tweets when thinking about this topic.
For some SEOs, I can imagine name dropping Matt Cutts can have some pretty high end results, if they assume you must be in the know because you are “friends” with Matt. It really isn’t a stretch for someone trying to land a client, especially one penalized, to namedrop the Matt Cutts connection, even if it is pantently untrue. I have met some SEOs over the years who have both openly and secretly bragged that they have Matt in their pockets (although whether this is actually true or not remains to be seen). But they want people to perceive that value added “connection” and the implication they can get those favors, even if it is implicitly untrue. The same how some sleazy webmasters used to post a picture of themselves with Matt Cutts, again to imply they are in the know and know the right people, even though in all likelihood, that webmaster just approached Matt at a conference.
Has anyone gotten a special favor from name dropping Matt Cutts – or Danny Sullivan for that matter? Do you know people (or do it yourself 😉 ) who imply they can get those special favors when they are trying to lock down a client?