Blogactiv Director

Friday 28th May 2010 was a memorable day for your author. It was the day when Google’s Matt Cutts came to town. And by town, I mean to Brussels on part of a whistle-stop tour of Europe to speak to web people about SEO.

His presentation was in the format of a Google Tech Talk and was based around his standard presentation (which you can find here) but with a healthy amount of questions and answers.

He was actually a great sport about it all. Perhaps one third of the audience at this event (maybe 50 people in total) works in SEO in one way or another. This meant that at one end of the scale he was asked, “What is SEO?” and at the other end, he was asked some reasonably technical questions. I know – I asked some of them.

For me, I received answers to a few things that I hadn’t yet figured out. No, I won’t put them here – that is my competitive advantage!

More interestingly – for me at least – is how unaffected by it all he is. If you aren’t aware, Matt is the search equivalent of David Beckham – a genuine worldwide star. Once the presentation was over, he shook lots of hands, posed for some pictures (I was first in the line!), answered a few more techie questions and was a nice, friendly and fun guy.

Yep. Thats me with the stupid grin…

Here is the thing though, and it doesn’t relate to search or the web, but to human nature. Most of Matt’s presentations involve one or more pictures of him and his cats. He is a thoroughly down to earth guy. You don’t hear or read stories about him at web events getting drunk and causing mayhem. But he is on a par with rockstars. I mean, the guy has been with Google for nearly a decade – I think we can presume his shares are worth something!! He is probably wealthier than most rockstars, but he has no security service, no sunglasses when indoors and no bling jewellery.

In fact, the presentation could only start after he had returned from buying frites at Maison Antoine. I bet he even waited in line like the rest of us…

You wouldn’t hear of a Premiership footballer doing that.

(For the record, I think a lot of people in the room were confused by the question “What is SEO?”. Wouldn’t you have found that out before you attend an SEO presentation?)

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