Frickin’ cold

The good news is that when my wife came back from her trip, she didn’t freak out and take back her lamps or her “Languages of the World” poster (yeah, it’s hers, not mine).

The bad news is that I’ve been trying to fight off a cold since SES San Jose ended. I’m going to give in and just wallow for a day or so. Bleah. Gimme a couple days and I’ll be as right as rain though.

73 Responses to Frickin’ cold (Leave a comment)

  1. Hot water. Straight. Drink as much as you can for as long a period as possible.

    No teas, no additives, no preservatives, no Neo Citran, no nothing.

    Hot water. Straight.

    Keep in mind that, unlike the rest of the home-remedy-doctor-types here, I’m Canadian and haven’t had a cold last longer than two days in the last 8 years (the girlfriend hates me for that.) And there is a scientific logic behind the theory…hot water does kill the bacteria that cause the cold (or so I read somewhere…I forget exactly where, though.)

    And when it works, send me a nice big Google schwag bag as a thank you. πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve taken that Airborne stuff for a year and I rarely get sick…

  3. Ooh, sounds rough. Take it easy and follow the previous poster’s advice, but consider adding a shot of fresh lemon, or some chicken and veggies, to that hot water, eh.

    I already got my schwag bag (thanks to Tina P).

  4. Good morning Matt

    After you drink all that Hot Water of “Canadian Matt” you take few days rest thinking abou your next Gadgets post πŸ™‚

    Wish you a speedy recovery.

  5. All I will say is take care of yourself and get well. I’m sure Adam L. will not rewrite all the algorithms while you convalesce. (Though he might stick a preference for the number 42 in a few places.)

  6. Hope you’re feelin’ better soon Matt. I’ve had to get over a couple colds myself this year, one just a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to hear more about SES πŸ˜€

  7. Dave (Original)

    Adam, so there IS a cure for common cold πŸ™‚

  8. Ditto!!!

    Sick as a dawg since SES San Jose, I think all the after hour events and the abundance of great conversation and tasty cool libations took its tool on many immune systems this year.

    Still chuckling from the meet the engineer’s session. White wine almost shot out my nose when you asked Greg Hullender from Microsoft β€œDo you guys at Microsoft sit around shooting pool just trying to think of what evil things to do next?”

    Thank God I had my sidekick on me so I could catch his reaction

  9. good to see all the usual sympathetic responses are apparently from the males

    it’s a ‘man cold’ – live with it, work through it and get over it.

    geez you men πŸ™‚

  10. Dave (Original)

    weary, we males suffer more than females with things like colds etc. Ok, maybe not more, but certainly LOUDER πŸ™‚

  11. Hot water killing the bacteria? Not sure about the science of that (whether it works for you or not). I doubt you could realistically drink water hot enough to kill all viruses / bacteria and even if you could that’s only in your throat / stomach?

    I also thought colds were viral (not bacterial) anyway? πŸ˜‰

    I have always beed told drink plenty of fluids, rest and let your immune system kill it off!

    So Matt – take it easy and get back to bed…

  12. The best cure for any cold or flu is to drink 4 hot Irish whiskeys before going to bed, you will be sure to wake up the next day bright as rain.

    My only problem is stopping at the 4th.

    Best of luck getting over this one Matt.

  13. I would love to post a cure for the common cold, But sadly it doesn’t exist, Even on the internet.

    You can treat the symptoms though. Drink plenty of clear fluids, Eat well, get plenty of fresh air and post google algo secrets on your blog (or email them directly to me).

  14. Getting sick sucks, get well Matt.

  15. What is they say about colds, feed a cold, starve a fever – or is that the other way around? I never remeber – probably explains the weight problem.

    Also – leave a cold to get better on it’s own – better in 7 days
    Take medication to “cure” the cold, better in a week.

    There is no cure for the common cold, it is uncommonly complicated and every cold is a mutation on the last.

    Best solution -variations on the above, a “hot toddy” before bedtime.

    Hot water, lemon juice (vit C), honey (to sweeten and cos honey is great) and a shot of whisky to aid restful sleep.

    Tootle pip

  16. Whenever I have a cold/flu virus, I keep in the warm and drink water almost constantly, to the point where I feel sick just because I’m drinking so much water. It always clears my cold up within 1-2 days. Also drink lots of fruit juice. I’m not a believer in any meds for colds.

  17. Hi All

    Please no more Hot Water Drinking!

    With or without cold, Matt prefer drinking Spriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite πŸ™‚

  18. Take a hiking trip to everest and the cold will kill the cold. If it doesn’t , try equator…

  19. As everyone has wished you well, I will use a diversionary tactic and ask you about something else in your post. πŸ˜›

    I noticed that languages of the world poster – I would absolutely LOVE to get one! Any idea where she got it? I’ve become something of a language hound, though I don’t devote enough time to it…

  20. good to see all the usual sympathetic responses are apparently from the males

    It’s not sympathy. It’s vested interest. If he’s fighting spam and posting lamer sites, we get more entertainment value. πŸ˜‰

  21. A good dose of some of that Kentucy Distilled Malt Beverage will do in that cold ;).

    Matt, what’s this about:


  22. I’ve been struggling with a sore throat for a few days. Some doctor-recommended “home treatments” I wasn’t aware of (but which I found after performing a Google on search…I mean, a search on Google) include:

    1) Take alternating doses of Ibuprofen and Acetaminaphen every two hours (reduces inflamation of the joints and throat)

    2) Take Claritin and a decongestant (you need to drain your sinuses and keep them clear)

    3) Gargle with salt water 4-6 times a day (an antiseptic mouthwash is almost as good) (helps drain fluid from swollen throat tissue and kill any bacteria if you have a bacterial infection there, which often results from sinus drainage)

    4) Drink hot caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate (the hot caffeine helps open your bronchial tubes)

    Drink lots of fluids (the hot water suggestion is ideal).

    Pray for a cure for the common cold.

  23. Whisky, Honey, & Lemon is the cure..

    but then again enough whisky can cure (and cause) almost anything.

  24. Ester-C (calcium ascorbate), 6000mg/day while suffering from a cold to accelerate recovery; 3000mg/day while healthy to avoid acquiring a cold.

    I know, I know – everyone has some patent remedy for colds, though very few seem to do any good, but check this out: ascorbate is fundamentally necessary for proper immune system function, not to mention a required building block for both collagen and elastin (from which your cardiovascular system is constructed). Humans are one of the only 2 animals on earth which cannot manufacture ascorbate in metabolism, yet we do require substantial amounts: chronic deficiency leads to scurvy and a quick death (Google ‘why are brits called limeys’), while a mild deficiency leads to poor immune response, atherosclerosis and a somewhat slower demise from coronary artery disease. The usual supplementation methods (eg orange juice, vitamin-c tabs) dont give you nearly enough, and tend to be acidic and thus lead to gastro-intestinal discomfort. Calcium ascorbate (Ester-C) is PH neutral, so you can get as much as you need with no adverse side effect. In fact the most significant side effect is a healthy dose of supplemental calcium πŸ™‚ Disclaimers: Im not a doctor and I dont work for any pharmaceutical companies. However I do take 3000mg Ester-C daily, and have for about 15 years. In that time I’ve only suffered from a cold 3 times – and every time it’s happened after I’ve neglected my Ester-C intake for a few weeks. I survived SES cold-free πŸ˜€ .

    Get well soon Matt!!

  25. Chicken soup is the cure for everything. Find your local Kosher market, and get a chicken in 8ths (I’ve heard of people using non-Kosher chicken, but those are the people that claim that chicken soup is an old wives tail), a large yellow onion, potato, sweet potato, and other vegetables.

    Extra Preparations: wash everything, but don’t skin it. Keep the skin on the potato, chicken, and yam (but wash to remove anything gross), but do peel the onion, and possibly the outer layer, but nothing else. You can cut the onion in half first, but don’t dice it.

    Prepping chicken:
    1. Wash to remove crap
    2. “Clean” the chicken (run a knife over the skin backwards pulling any feathers out)
    3. Don’t worry so much about the process, but the stems of feathers may poke out otherwise and be gross.

    1. 1 Chicken (cut in eights ideally, otherwise quarters)
    2. 1 Potato – NOT peeled, but stabbed
    3. 1 Sweet Potato – NOT peeled, but stabbed
    4. One onion – BIG, peeled, stabbed a few times tot
    5. Bag of mini-carrots (I hate cutting carrots small, but I normally cut mini-carrots in half and call it a day)
    6. Celery if you are feeling ambitious
    7. Salt & Pepper for flavor
    8. Chicken Boulon (a decent amount)

    Cook it a few hours. The soup will be best the next day. Between days, refridgerate the soup, when you take it out, scrape off the top layer of fat (use a spoon, scoop it out), put on stove and bring to a boil, serve.


  26. Man, I never knew how many doctors posted on this blog;)

    Hope you feel better soon Matt. Best wishes from humidity ridden Nebraska!

  27. Cold-Eeze! Honey Lemon is my usual flavor but they have others.

    Get well soon!

  28. step, my wife told me where to find a copy of that poster:

    Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. Just a day or so of good sleep/rest is all I need, I think.

  29. Get some sleep, good rest and some tissues. Get well soon indeed πŸ™‚

  30. I also have the SES cold – maybe one of those “close talker” exhibitors? I like the Whisky remedy better than hot water. Adam it may work for you but hot water does not kill most bacteria unless it’s … boiling. Ouch.

  31. Chicken soup!

  32. best wishes from germany… get well soon and keep in mind: better catch a virus on a conf than a hidden toolbar, which clicks on ads while you sleep! hot water does not help with that crap!

  33. I thought it was only SES Chicago in December that left people sick for weeks afterward and too exhausted to finish their Christmas shopping!

    At least your wife is back to make you some chicken soup. I don’t think the cats are going to be much help. Try not to thank your wife by sharing.

    Take care Matt

  34. Hot water and plenty of water works for me too.

  35. Adam it may work for you but hot water does not kill most bacteria unless it’s … boiling. Ouch.

    You may have a point there. I have a high pain tolerance. But yeah, the hotter you can stand the better it works. I have an electric tea kettle that I leave plugged in for ten minutes.

  36. Adam!

    Honestly. Is it true that you drink boiling water? Is it something all Canadians do?
    Do you do that because your natural water resources are infected or something πŸ™‚

  37. Get well soon monsieur cutts.

    Try a nice sprite, laced with a shot of finest cognac πŸ˜€

    um..on second thoughts, forget the sprite part πŸ˜›

  38. Honestly. Is it true that you drink boiling water? Is it something all Canadians do?
    Do you do that because your natural water resources are infected or something

    100% true. I love the stuff.

    Not all Canadians do it. Just the psychotic ones like me. πŸ˜‰

    I just do it because I prefer the taste of hot water to cold (and it helps me sleep at night). They have two very different flavours. I’ve been doing it for years now.

    Give it a shot, bro. Once you get used to it, you’ll feel a lot better (or put a teabag in if you’re feeling that you need a little flavour…wuss. πŸ˜‰ )

  39. How hot does the water have to be for this to work! I’ve never seen anyone drink boiling water.

    I have tried the salt water approach and it does help if you catch it it early enough.

    Get better Matt.

  40. How hot can you stand it, Victor? The hotter it is, the better it works.

  41. Dave (Original)

    Let’s not forget, the air temp in Canada is below zero on a good day πŸ™‚ So boiling water is likely iced water by the Adam gets it to his lips.

  42. Obituary:
    Respected Google Engineer MC died after drinking a quart of boiling blog water. Before he died he was heard singing quitely to his wife the South Park classic
    “Blame Canada”

  43. Damned Americans. I hope you all melt in your 110-in-the-shade streets. Especially those of you in Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska. You too, Dave, you bastard. πŸ˜‰

  44. Dave (Original)

    Now, now. Compliments will get you everywhere πŸ™‚

  45. In the old days, the French had this little tool which served as a remedy for a wide variety of problems…kind of a fix all…

    Think it was called a guillotine…

  46. Dave (Original)

    That was only for head colds TxRex πŸ™‚

  47. Why not achive all of your Google Guy posts from WW into this blog under a seperate category. πŸ™‚

    It is interesting reading your posts from 2001 and 2002, and watching Google’s algos evolve.

    Why was there such an objection to the ‘Google-Guy Says’ Website?

    How did you manage to convince Google to let you construct your own SEO blog, especially after Mark Jen got fired, did they respond to all the bad PR? πŸ˜•

    This is all so fascinating, please, do a topic on it? πŸ˜€

  48. Best wishes for you. Get well soon. I always do a little inhaling of steam when I catch cold. Helps open the blockage and breathing gets easier. Boil the water and inhale the steam with deep breaths. Always works for me…
    Get well soon. Bye!

  49. Dave (Original)

    RE: “This is all so fascinating, please, do a topic on it?”

    Not sure Matt should spoil a good story with facts. πŸ™‚

  50. Colds are rubbish!

  51. Always Behind Dave

    Get better soon buddy, developing a cure for cold as we speak……now there is reason to……comment for swag bag purposes only.

  52. Hope you feeling better Matt

    A cold is dry mucous membranes which over compensate by creating more mucous. Steam is the answer for relief – Shower, humidifier….

  53. THAT IS WHERE I GOT IT! I figured my daughter gave it to me! Either that or the flight back. Just be glad you were able to drive home rather than flying on that Thursday when all that terror stuff came out!

  54. How did you manage to convince Google to let you construct your own SEO blog, especially after Mark Jen got fired, did they respond to all the bad PR?

    Could they really stop him? I mean, if he pays for a domain name and hosting, what could they really do about it? As long as he doesn’t reveal secret sauce-type or confidential stuff, it’s his private site and he can do what he wants.

  55. When you’re better, Matt (or any other healthy Google-types that may be reading this), off-topic question:

    I found a rather unusual bug in the Google toolbar completely by accidentt. I typed in “Custom 404” (sans quotes) and noticed that the disappeared in the toolbar while it did remain in the regular results.

    Just wondering where to report that so it can be fixed. No hurry.

  56. I would suspect that this blog is semi offical.

    It is related to Matts work so he has to tread a fine line.

    back in the day I almost got to post on the phone compays behalf to alt.2600 – But the pressofice thought better of it.


    Not everyone knows that stuf releted to work you do out of hours belongs to your master^h^h^h^h^H employer.

  57. Really?

    I guess that makes sense. Employers have to protect their rep from maverick employees and stuff. Still, I would have thought that privacy and the right to free speech would have combined to throw a knockout blow to that issue.

  58. OK:

    The true secret. An old Herbal remedy from my uncle Herb.

    Take the juice from one half bottle of Scotch

    Pour the juice into a tall glass with just a splash (stop thats too much) of water.

    Drink half and get you wife to drink half.


  59. Adam

    Re work

    Its because the Uk and the US derive a lot of the employer/employee legal stuf from the “Master and Servents”

  60. Is this another bad data push? Google search = momskitche

  61. Hi Matt,

    First thing first: get better as soon as possible and show us you’re sound (or video) and healthy :).

    In case you can respond some time, I would like to ask you how Google deals with diacritics. More exactly, most (if not all) people search without using diacritics, and they expect to get both “diacritic-ed” and “non-diacritc-ed” results. Does meta charset affect this?


  62. Matt,

    Rankings for many shot up, and for many dropped today. So perhaps you can have a timely video up explaining, cautioning, etc? It is in times like this that communication from you or any of the Google reps are most wished for. As for me, this is the fourth flip flop this year I think… Now I am used to it and not truly worried, but still something from you about the ups and downs would be nice right now. The threads in WW have just started growing!

  63. Hey Matt, Sorry your not feeling well. I know what thats like, i gt sick a lot, bad immune system.

    I had a question for you, if you have a chance to answer it. One of our members at SEO Guy Forums posted it and it made me think, hmmmm…I couldnt find an email or somewhere to post questions so i thought i’d try here.

    If you have a website that has pop up ads on the first page, will that affect your google rank? How does google respond to pop up ads? Do they have a permanent for or against stand on pop up ads? Or do they really not care and just ignore them?

    Thanks Matt, Feel better soon. If its in your throat try drinking Lemon and Honey in Hot water, thats my mummies trick!


  64. Hi Matt,

    I’m somewhat of a cold expert. I get one once a year, it lasts from begin november until late march.

    My advice take a valium, if it doesn’t help at least you don’t care anymore.

    Get well soon, your blog is an immense help.


  65. Matt (not Cutts), this is the same data refresh from June 27th and July 27th, just being refreshed again. We’ve been doing it for ~1.5 years at this point, and I’d continue to expect that we’ll just keep refreshing the data to that algorithm every several weeks or so.

  66. P.S. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone..

  67. Hi Matt

    Welcome back. Glad to see you among us again.

    Looking forwards for your next Video πŸ˜‰

  68. Matt, without spilling any secret Google sauce is there anything beyond what you mentioned in the ‘Google Terminology’ video you can tell us about these data refreshes? It seems as though there is some threshold that is being tripped with a “yes” or “no” kind of response. For sites that change very, very little between these data refreshes they experience significant swings in SERPs. How could it be that sites that change so little experience such dramatic shifts in ranking?

  69. The secret to holding off post conference sickness is “C-blast” – powder packets of 1000+% daily vitamin C – works like a charm every time

    I SWEAR by these things. Even if you do get sick, it helps to kick it much quicker.

    They actually don’t taste too bad either

    Works like a charm – right BEFORE you get sick anytime.

  70. Matt, thanks for the link. I’ve requested it as (one of my) birthday present(s). πŸ˜€ Glad you’re feeling better.

  71. Thanks for the quick clarification, Matt. Sorry, didn’t remember that you are not in the right shape now for a video on this!

    I hope that with the next refresh, things would be back to normal for me.

    (Now, how does one go about figuring out what is in my site that would create such huge ups and downs in rankings… Have to try and see that now)

  72. Hot Water? For true anti-bacterial action you have to immerse a plate in water of a temperature greater than 60 degrees centigrade for more than 2 minutes.

    So Adam’s idewa of drinking water would work, so long as you could stand drinking water, that you’d probably consider quite hot in the washing up bowl, continuously for a few minutes.

    Thinking about it, my cup of tea right now is hot, and I pretty much sip it all down in about 5 minutes.