On January 8, 2015 I had the opportunity to watch Matt Cutts give his speech “Lessons learned from the early days of Google”. This was given at UNC at the Nelson Mandela Auditorium in Chapel Hill, NC.
Matt, Google’s head of web spam, joined Google as a software engineer in 2000, when there were under 100 employees.
I have only seen a handful of Matt’s YouTube videos, so I was delighted to discover that Matt is such a great speaker. Below are a few things that I got out of his presentation.
- One person can only be so creative. When developing Google SafeSearch, Matt got other employees on board to help him search in ways he had never thought of. SafeSearch keeps things out of search that kids shouldn’t see, such as adult material. From a content creator’s perspective, this always rings true. When creating content, having a lot of content is always a huge bonus. Not everyone searches for “local restaurant”; they may look for “good hamburger”. It is almost never a bad idea to have multiple perspectives on any one subject.
- What do you believe that no one else believes? If you do not have any atypical or unusual ideas, you are just like everyone else. These are wise words and I could not agree with them more.
- Take more pictures. I find myself telling clients this daily for assistance with their content development, but it is even more important that we do this in our personal lives. I have been trying to take more pictures myself this year.
- There’s a whole lot more: Those are just a few of my personal takeaways. The presentation was basically about the early days of Google. Matt discusses the hardware they used, the software, lessons learned, innovations, lawsuits, challenges, system crashes, controversy, DMCAs, and other problems.
After the presentation, Matt hung out! At the top of this article is a pic of my buddy Jesse, Matt, and Myself. Thanks Matt, for letting us grab this pic with you! Jesse and I hate web spam just as much as Matt does.
Couldn’t be there? No problem! The presentation is only 30 minutes long. It is a great video. Below is the video, and a few of the slides.