Matt Cutts - Salary Negotiations in the Near Future?


While there has been a lot of speculation about Matt's future with Google after this post. Fellow TW editor has a post up about hiring Matt Cutts. In it their are some nice sized offers being made if Matt ever does decide to jump ship, or at least to bring up the next time he comes up for review. Would You Hire Matt Cutts?

There is no factual basis to confirm Matt is even considering leaving Google. Consider this a bit of entertaining speculation


From Google to?

Matt would be a very good asset for an SEM/SEO firm, but I doubt he'd go that path. Maybe he's going to get involved in an Open Source project? Ubuntu calling you Matt?

I'd Hire Him in a heart beat

I would love to have him here.

But why would he do that? All he needs to do on his blog is put up a post saying 'I don't work for Google Anymore, SEO for hire on a consulting retainer e-mail me at seo/ matt/ to discuss, anything under $1000 an hour not considered' (the / added to e-mail as to cut down on spam)

He would have a waiting list.

Not only that with zero overhead other than webhosting.. he could work out of his bedroom and be set for life.. could you picture the fees that he could charge to speak at conferences?

This is of course on top of the Piper Jaffray saying the target stock price of Google is 630 dollars a share which he should of been rewarded with plenty of options for how much he contributed to Google.

He would go blackhat....

I actually estimate his potential contract price would be 7 figures.

As entertaining as this is

As entertaining as this is - countdown until Matt says how happy he is at Google and how he's not going anywhere in the foreseeable future? 12 hours?

no chance

>very good asset for an SEM/SEO firm

no chance.

The one reason I've always respected Matt much more than most is his idealism beyond just search, despite the times I disagree with him. (Of course it pisses me off wrt to paid links and the likes). This is the reason I've always tried to vent criticisms mainly at google instead of Matt directly as well.

I give it 0% chance he would work for a search firm. His motivation is not, and I doubt it will ever be $$ - especially after I'm sure he's done quite well with G.

I think this is the same reason his days with G are probably limited. Like it or not - Matt *is* the face of google to most, and a hypermegaginormouscorp cannot continue to "do no evil".

I really don't think Matt would like to be seen as an "Iraqi Bob", and as the sentiment becomes more of what it has been for M$ in the future, this will become more of a consideration I would guess as doing what's right for the company and doing what "feels right" becomes more difficult. He doesn't have the luxury of being a faceless googler like most, and it's tough to be the face for a company that would have similar hostility to what M$ has faced in the past. Please explain to me what personal growth benefit there is for him to continue to take heat for G beyond his loyalty to his friendly fellow googlers?

I'm very certain he would be much more likely to take a job pro bono for a cool company that would change the world (open source, alternative energy, etc.) - than taking a 7 figure job with a search firm.

>he's not going anywhere in the foreseeable future?
Yep - just like Nick Sabans:)

Btw...Is it time for friday Matt bait already? :)


They could use help with their search results quality, and they have enough cash to make an offer that would make anyone think twice.

(Jumping the gun on Friday bollocks)


I think there must be enough NDAs and gardening leave conditions in his contract for anyone with that much knowledge of the algo that Matt won't be working for anyone else in search for a while after he leaves Google...
But isn't dreaming fun? ;)

If I was Matt....

I'd be on a beach somewhere drinking mai tais.

Cat & Mouse Game

Matt like most of us probably loves what he does. Studying and analyzing the techniques that he must see behind the scenes and then deploying his team of spam fighters to find a way to filter out dodgy techniques and sites from Google with there algo, must be fun. Call me a geek, but if I was in his position I would personally thrive on this sort of stuff.


will need either a challenge or a cause. Google was both when he started.

Head of spam to King of

Head of spam to King of spam. Should go solo :)

Matt leaving Google. I think

Matt leaving Google.

I think there is more chance of Britney singing a duet with Elvis, whilst having a snowball fight in hell!

But if he ever did leave I think it would be to appear as my "Evil Twin". The problem will be I will potentially be clean by then so he will be a spammer :D

Seen Those Job Swap TV Programmes

two completely different people swap jobs for the week.

Maybe Matt and Jason could go on it - see who could cause the biggest train-wreck !


1000 an hour comes out to about 2 million a year... :)

well basic seo work

Day rate is around the £250/£300 from what I hear which is over $500

Where he'd really go

I agreed with the comment DaveN made on his blog; most likely Matt would do something with open source...something altruistic.

Better yet, maybe he'll have a kid and be a stay-at-home dad; that might be a nice change of pace and scenery while he thinks about what he wants to do 4-5 years down the line.

As Good As The Last Update

This is a fun exercise. Personally, I think if he left, it would be to go to another search engine (vertical or otherwise).

On the off-chance that he actually surfaced at an SEO consulting firm (or started one of his own), once Matt is out, he's out. Once an algorithm changes then his "inside knowledge" is done. So the $1,000 and hour seems a bit far-fetched.

Having said this, I really like the fact that Matt is a true interactive diplomat. You can tell that he cares about his job and his company.

I bet he goes to Stanford

I bet he goes to Stanford and teaches the next round of upcoming Google employees...... either that or he takes over the DMOZ.


Can anyone say... "CMGI" (Better know as Alta Visa - The forgotten Search Engine) - Yup AV is really still out there and they provide search results as good as google, I hear they are ?recruiting, Matt you could do worse...

Be Careful Matt

I imagine that Matt's contract didn't foresee the level of interest or notoriety that he would gain as part of his role at Google.

I've been part of an organization that forced me to sign a contract in order to hold on to my job - a year and a half into my work. I signed the contract and it was potentially the worst decision of my life. It got me my first lawsuit and I literally ended up paying for it for years.

I left company A to work for company B. Company A sued, and won. Company B bought company A. I made monthly payments for YEARS to company B so that I could work for them.

A point for everyone to take is that although my work was based in California, I was a resident in California, I was hired and I signed the contract in California, California laws had no bearing on the case, as company A was Colorado based. Colorado has very employER centric employment laws whereas California has very employEE centric employment laws.

The moral of the story, Matt, if you are listening, is "do not sign a contract if you have an existing agreement" - even if that existing agreement is at-will. Not without substantial compensation for entering a new agreement, and with an impartial review as to the fairness of the compensation.

What if...

I read some where that "Google Guy" was mainly Matt but that other Googlers some times post as "Google Guy".

What if Matt left Google but they kept his name... and still advised people as "Matt Cutts" in the forums, etc. basically he turns into an Ask Jeeves like character for Google.

Then... down the road, they decide to give "Matt" a going away party during a search engine conference. Perhaps since many view Google as the evil Empire...:

>Once an algorithm changes

>Once an algorithm changes then his "inside knowledge" is done. So the $1,000 and hour seems a bit far-fetched.

Bet he can spot trends pretty good though. And even know approximately what the algorithms may look at, and why some criteria are not worth optimizing for, etc.

With what I guess are pretty

With what I guess are pretty good stock options my guess would be on Matt simply putting his feet up for a while till he gets bored!

And let's be brutally frank here. Who can blame him? Having to put up with arseholes like me and the industry as a whole!!!!!

>>Yup AV Yeah, not as if

>>Yup AV

Yeah, not as if Yahoo really needs it. They'd probably give it to him for a pretty fair price.

SEO would be no-go...

I'm not sure if most folx herein realize it, but most of us working for mega-corporations have specific limits on what we're allowed to do, even after leaving the corporation's employ.

nevetS mentioned signing a contract, but even if Matt didn't sign a formal non-compete type of agreement, he could be limited in employment options for some time period just from signing various company ethics agreements.

For instance, my company limits us from working for certain types of competitors for a certain length of time after leaving the company. Even beyond this formal limit, I would consider it highly unethical of myself to do anything which would cause major harm to my company's stockholders, even beyond the length of my noncompete term. I might be willing to work for a competitor after the term has expired, but I would not divulge proprietary information.

So, just from the small amount of exposure I've had to Matt at conferences and reading his blog, I sense that he would similarly feel ongoing responsibility to safeguard the interests of innocent stockholders, so if he left Google he would likely be uninclined to provide any company an unfair advantage in the SEO realm, at least for a considerable timeperiod, if then. I'd conjecture that he'd be more inclined to work in research, application development, or teaching.

Not to mention -- Matt would likely remain a Google stockholder even after leaving the company. So, he'd have a vested interest beyond his fiduciary duty to safeguard company interests...

Hey silver.... what a load

Hey silver.... what a load that was.

The question of what you may or may not do after leaving a company is a question for YOUR lawyer, not an ethicist.

IMO anyone who inhibits their own potential out of respect for shareholders of a prior employer is... in need of some professional attention (clergy, shrink, lawyer, psychic, whatever).

Non compete clauses can often..

.. be broken with an action for restraint of trade.

Unlike the situation in

Unlike the situation in other states, non-compete agreements are illegal in California and against public policy. (California Business and Professions Code Section 16600

See Dr. Lee for example

Google is very familiar with non-competes - for example when a Washington state judge cleared the way for Google to hire a former Microsoft executive (Dr. Lee) to head its Chinese research and development center so long Dr. Lee didn't recruit from MS.

More here

Mike, that wasn't how I read

Mike, that wasn't how I read B&P Prof. Code 16600. What did I miss?

The Matt Conundrum

This one's pretty easy..

You have to look at what creates happiness for the individual. Without sounding like I'm sucking up too much, Matt appears to be a genuinely nice guy in an an incredibly stressful job. He's made his mark, time to listen to the wife and kids.

I gotta go with the same stuff as the other very successful engineers out there that graduated from MS and places like Paypal to go on to do human race advancement stuff .

The Matt Cutts' anti-gravity car! YeeHaa, can't wait!

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