Wired: The first Google ad for “Matt Cutts” as a search phrase.

Yelp Engineering Position
www.yelp.com/jobs Join one of the hottest web 2.0 startups out there

Very savvy, Yelp. Notice that they even geotargeted the ad to the Bay Area to get laser-targeted leads. Somebody’s putting that new funding to good use.

Tired: The other Google ad for my name:

Matt Cutts PLR Alert
“It’s Official Scgm v3 is Smoking”
Great PLR Offer: Almost Sold Out

This ad was more a little creepy (“Grab $50,000 Worth Of Source Code And Master Rights To 10 HOT Software, eBooks & Multi-media Products For Mere Pennies On The Dollar,” says the site).

Expired: Finding a full copy of one of my blog posts in Google News. Why? Somebody just copied the post wholesale:

Newsfactor's copy of my blog post

I haven’t noticed Newsfactor doing that before; is it new?

43 Responses to Wired-Tired-Expired (Leave a comment)

  1. Imagine if it didn’t have your name on it but rather someone elses. Could you prove that your originally wrote it?

  2. Q: Would you have known that they were using your name as an ad-keyword if you weren’t a Google employee?

    I can’t tell from here, on the East Coast, what ad that you, within a geo-targetted area, might have inspired… but I’m more curious about how you found out? Inside info I presume?


  3. PS: If you aren’t talking about PPC-based ads, are you actually pointing out the fact that they used your name?

    (Ignore the fact that they directly copied your post for a moment) – Are you surprised that SEO-related news sites use your name when quoting your advice?

    I’m not sure I understand your surpirse about this.

  4. Why don’t you develop a nice little DMCA package based on google’s search ability?

    That would be a great tool.

  5. Hmmm, that’s a good idea: copy the lot of MC’s blog and replace the name. Why didn’t I think of that?

    After I’ve done that, I’m gonna pee in the Godfather’s swimming pool and then sleep with the First Lady.

  6. There are actually loads of “official” sites that claim to be new spins on content aggregation and feed reading that will publish a full feed if it is available.

    How does Google handle content that links back to duplicates of itself? Would the linked to content be looked on as the original source of content, and the link count as a benefitial “vote”.

    Whilst this is interesting from an RSS syndication point of view, it would also be relevant for article and press release syndication.

    If you include in the byline a direct link to the original source, such as…

    Originally posted at XYZ site where you can find out more about keyword

    This would be a direct link to duplicate content.

    Would this be good or bad practice?

  7. FYI: h**p://www.newsfactor.com/bloggers_info.xhtml – apparently, according to this page, they are doing you a *favor* by republishing your blog post in its entirety

  8. Well…you don’t have any sort of license or terms of use or copying rules, and your RSS feed is “full feed”.

    I think you have to expect that people are going to “aggregate” your content and use it on their site given those facts.

  9. So Matt why were you so popular in 2004?


  10. Hmmmh, how odd can somebody be, to use you as advertising…

  11. It’s the bay area.. when it comes to recruiting it’s not called “odd” it’s “creative”

    Recruiting based on Matt Cutts ensures you’re going to only get an SEO type (or matt himself) seeing the ads.

    It’s really no more weird than “send your resumes to http://www.[ the first 12 digit prime number in pi] .com” type billboards.

    (ps… who gets more points for figuring that out… the guy who writes a program to solve it, or the guy who uses google to find the website)

    So Matt.. did you buy the source code and e-books for pennies on the dollar? With that deal you can afford to quit Google and just sell e-books on ebay.

  12. I see graywolf has already taken action to leverage this post.
    Very nice. One thing I like about Michael is that he is always thinking outside the box.

  13. It doesn’t surprise me, especially considering that your blog’s name is the same as you name.

    Any Web site with the amount of traffic as you have, is going to have some adwords adds showing up for their Web site name.

  14. what’s the first 12 digit primer number in pi?

  15. In fact,

    this is what google told me:

    A pi-prime is a prime number appearing in the decimal expansion of pi. The known examples are 3, 31, 314159, 31415926535897932384626433832795028841, … (Sloane’s A005042). The numbers of digits in these examples are 1, 2, 6, 38, 16208, 47577, 78073, … (Sloane’s A060421). The largest of these were found by E. W. Weisstein on Apr. 1, 2006 and Jul. 13, 2006, respectively. There are no others with (E. W. Weisstein, Jul. 17, 2006).

  16. Copyscape + DMCA works great in this situation, although a cease and desist letter is usually enough. E-consultancy.com and us nailed some business in the UK that had been ripping off stuff wholesale and replacing names and companies so it looked like they wrote it, I doubt they’ll ever do it again.


    The articles have mostly been removed now, as has the actual e-consultancy page, I think the company in question didn’t like being referred to as thieving b*****ds, although I believe it to be the correct definition in this situation πŸ™‚ . Matt if you want a laugh try digging the old e-consultancy page out of a backup tape if you use such things there at the plex.

  17. Even more interesting (and I have no idea how this works out) is a little search I did on the Wayback Machine.

    The Wayback Machine have copies of most people’s websites, but not this one in it’s current form.

    However http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.mattcutts.com does bring up some interesting links to http://www.gandi.net/

    I don’t block the Alexa crawler, thus most of my sites have a complete copy of some kind in the wayback machine, but many do block it for copywrite reasons.

  18. graywolf, 2004 was totally my year. πŸ˜‰

    Ryan, since we just rolled out source code search, I figured that I didn’t need to buy any more. πŸ™‚

  19. What a great way to PO the Search Gods. It’s kinda like at Google Dance 2005, there was a dunk tank there to dunk “googleguy” and the guy next to me said, “Yea right, sink google guy and sink your website.” There are some things just better left alone. πŸ™‚

  20. Matt I’m still dreaming of a day when your resume falls into my inbox…don’t make me beg. Ok fine, I’ll beg.

  21. Hi Matt, wouldn’t it make sense to keep codesearch serps out of the web-search? eg, inurl:”www.google.com/codesearch?q” . I don’t see the value of keeping them indexed twice πŸ™‚

  22. Jeremy, I only know the basics of Python.. but for 100k, my resume can find it’s way to your inbox while I learn it…

  23. Jeremy, you guys are doing fine without me. πŸ™‚

  24. hmm i need to learn some php, im so far behind, i dont know any language except html lol o well

  25. For us webmasters out there that make a living on content (and thus lose money from the copy-n-pasters), is there anything we can do? It’s especially painful when a site clones content but then somehow gets higher in the search engine placement than the original content.

    I’ve reported sites like that which contain adsense ads before to the adsense crew. I never got anything back if action was taken or not.

  26. Name targeting is nothing new in the search engine field. Aaron Wall (seobook) targeted some well-known SEOs’ names a while back (including mine). Some of the SEOs objected and he stopped targeting their names. I can’t imagine why anyone would object though. It’s not as though anyone is pretending to be anyone else. In fact, it’s quite flattering.

  27. Hi Matt,

    How do you handle sites like these in your index? http://www.winxq.com/

    Look at the title of the site’s page. Clearly, it copied all it’s content and just changed the logo.

    I asked because it’s in the google index (query “www.winxq.com”) for months already.

  28. Matt, it would be great if you could reply to Andy Beard’s comment about Google differntiating between a strong site re-publishing an RSS feed and ‘stealing’ the content and ranking from a not-so-popular blog.

    I have now stopped giving out my feeds, which really beats the purpose of having one. RSS is a great idea to aggregate content on other sites as long as Google can figure out who the original owner is.

    Until then RSS will remain a black art in the hands of blog directory spammers.


  29. Matt/Anyone..

    why is it that when I type in “domain” into google search my site “www.domain.com” doesn’t show up until page 4-5? In all other cases when I type in say.. “google” I get 1st result “www.google.com”, etc, etc. Have I been put under some penalty? What does this result mean? Even since I have noticed this I have lost 99% ranking and 99% loss in traffic.

    Also, there is a site out there that is using.. http://www.domain.com.BR. While I own http://www.domain.com I believe there is a conflict in this and google is penalizing my site for it.

    Anyone? Matt?

    Thanks for any advice.

  30. Jirka

    I suggest that you do your best to do some major cleaning through out whole your site. Then do it again.

    Then file a reinclusion request.

    You may wish to read this “evergreen” too Filing a reinclusion request

    Good luck!

  31. Thank Harith.. been there done that about a dozen times. All started back in late April 06 when many webmasters were hit.

    Believe me site is clean and have followed all guidelines exact. Been around since 2002..

    Just wondering what the two scenerios I have mean? Penaltly? Google error? Anyone have any idea?


  32. Jirka Said,

    “Thank Harith.. been there done that about a dozen times. All started back in late April 06 when many webmasters were hit.”

    Oh..I see. So you are one of them πŸ˜‰

    “Just wondering what the two scenerios I have mean? Penaltly? Google error? Anyone have any idea?”

    IMO, Google is still struggling in deployment of the new infrastructure. Hopefully things will be back to normal at the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007.

  33. Matt

    On G Reader I get this post??
    “Testing 1 2 3. Test 4 5 6. Can I post to this blog from Writely?” It does not appear on your blog however?

    Its titled “Une Title” linked to “/blog/a-test/”

    Is this a hack??

  34. Harith.. seems I am one of the countless.. yes. Some have bounced back while making zero changes proving your point of the new infrastructure that is in dear struggle.

    I hope you are right and I bounce back to normal πŸ™‚ But then who knows..

    Anyone have experiece with my specific two scenerios I explained in detail?

  35. Nope Steve, no hack, I did that myself. But it’s not a very useful post, so then I deleted it.

  36. Matt! πŸ™‚

    Can you tell me if I own a site http://www.domain.com and another person own a site http://www.domain.com.br if this would cause a conflict in google? I believe it might be so in my case.

    I own the http://www.domain.com

    Thanks for any advice!

  37. Jirka

    since March 2006 did you notice that most php style pages dropped from google?

    Most of the time only php that I have found in google has been on .org sites and .com seemed to disappear at that time…

    very few have come back…

    about 2004 php sites from osCommerce popped up all over…the link system created multiple directions to the same content…at first these sites did great…but I think google put the ax to them which isn’t a real bad thing as it forces them to clean up the link system…

    please note this is just my observation and i have no direct proof…but think about all the talk on duplicate content and the conical site thing (probably miss spelled that one)…

    my thought…html pages until in the shopping cart then php and have php no index no follow…

    again…just my thoughts…and I am sure others have their thoughts about it so I expect there might be a few that might jump on this one to correct me…

  38. I am surprised that you hadn’t come across ads with your name before. I often see mine turn up as an adsense add – Though I do share my real name with a fairly well known Buddhist scholar and a minor Irish writer from the mid 20th century so some of them are legit (Amazon for example) but some are just generic Ebay adds which is just annoying

    Of course maybe it’s a Headhunter being sneaky

    I have also had my Blog posts repeated as has my our pet project (a Blog about football boots – talk about niche marketing) – I’me not sure if it’s a bad or a good thing.

  39. April 06, Jirka? Just a guess (hard to do more without the URL): you might have content on your site that can be automatically detected as being “not-good for the user experience”. Google will know more and if Matt doesn’t reply it might mean he knows more as well (or he’s just busy as usual). Just a shot in the dark, but perhaps your site has a high ratio of affiliate (or sold) links to total outbound links. Perhaps your site has lots of duplicated content from other sites (perhaps again: the standard affiliate product descriptions from a feed). Perhaps you have other items on your site that might be recognized as being misleading or not as valuable – by an automated system. If so, what could you do? 1) make original content, 2) get a healthy outbound link ratio, 3) switch to drop-shipping, etc, 4) cloak your “bad stuff” (officially not recommended, if recognized – and hey, we’re on Matt Cutts blog – then you might be worse off), or 5) ignore indexing / organic ranking and promote your site in different ways.

  40. Thanks JohnMu for the detailed advice.

    Yes I use affiliate links. Have been for a long time with no problems. My website adds plenty of unique conent (all pages are hand written not mass-java-program created) with 1,000’s of customer reviews on products I offer. The reviews concept was something I first to introduced in my niche on the net and it brings great value to 100,000’s of visitors – hence the visits. Of course, the visitor has an option to make a purchase, nothing spammy about that. No tricks. No redirects. Most visitors (when I had them) use to read the reviews and leave – MAIN point of site.

    I am not a cookie-cutter affiliate site by any means, those 5 minute 10,000+ page sites ARE complete spam and should be banned.. even though they still rank above me.

    My products consist of about 70% of my site, the rest 30% is unique informative content. Once again, my site is first and foremost and has been from day 1 an informative site that allows users to share opions, that is why I am in the dark these past 6 months as to why I would be under some penalty?

    I would rather stay away from cloaking as it seems like a trick and I have never tricked or mislead googlebot in the past.. I don’t wish to be banned anymore than I already seem to be.

    ? How is a site filled with a dozen adsense ads/links? any different than a site with a dozen affiliate ads/links? hmmm

  41. Its from your RSS feed, Matt. That’s why a lot of people have their RSS feed only post a snippet of the full post. Personally, this is a gray area to me … RSS feeds don’t exactly come with EULAs, and afterall you *are* making the data programmatically available. So, I don’t think they really did anything wrong.

  42. “Somebody just copied the post wholesale”

    You have just touched upon my pet peeve Matt! Its as annoying as all get out when someone takes your material “wholesale” as you put it! It happens to me all the time. The real kick in the face comes when it is a big site with lots of PR and they beat my site in the Google rankings with MY OWN MATERIAL!!!

    All I can say Matt is either get used to people stealing from you or learn what is required to fill out a DMCA report which is what my friends at Google have told me to do on two separate occasions. (You were the first to tell me that at the Boston PubCon)

    I have had people copy my stuff many, many times on blogspot. Have you ever tried to get the attention of anyone on that site to report this kind of theft? Good luck!

    I have tried several times to wade through the stupid DMCA instructions and each time, my eyes glaze over at the bottom of page one. I just can’t stand to deal with all that legal mumbo jumbo. I wish somebody would start an online business submitting DMCA reports for webmasters who have been robbed. I’d use a service like that at least 2 to 3 dozen times a year!

    I genrally try not to be glib or unfeeling, but personally, I’m glad this caught your attention and that it obviously annoyed you enough to write about it. Welcome to OUR world! Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be the last time!

  43. hello
    could you thank you translate your site into several language