Just ahead of the holiday weekend, Google's head of webspam Matt Cutts announced that he is taking leave from Google through at least October, which means we shouldn't be hearing from him (at least about Google) for at least three months or so. That's a pretty significant amount of time when you consider how frequently Google makes announcements and changes things up. Is the SEO industry ready for three Matt Cutts-less months?
Cutts explains on his personal blog:
I wanted to let folks know that I’m about to take a few months of leave. When I joined Google, my wife and I agreed that I would work for 4-5 years, and then she’d get to see more of me. I talked about this as recently as last month and as early as 2006. And now, almost fifteen years later I’d like to be there for my wife more. I know she’d like me to be around more too, and not just physically present while my mind is still on work.
So we’re going to take some time off for a few months. My leave starts next week. Currently I’m scheduled to be gone through October. Thanks to a deep bench of smart engineers and spam fighters, the webspam team is in more-than-capable hands. Seriously, they’re much better at spam fighting than I am, so don’t worry on that score.
He says he wont' be checking his work email at all while he's on leave, but will have some of his outside email forwarded to "a small set of webspam folks," noting that they won't be replying.
Cutts is a frequent Twitter user, and didn't say whether or not he'll be staying off there, but either way, I wouldn't expect him to tweet much about search during his leave. If you need to reach Google on a matter that you would have typically tried to go to Matt Cutts about, he suggests webmaster forums, Office Hours Hangouts, the Webmaster Central Twitter account, the Google Webmasters Google+ account, or or trying other Googlers.
He did recently pin this tweet from 2010 to the top of his timeline:
When you've got 5 minutes to fill, Twitter is a great way to fill 35 minutes.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 11, 2010
So far, he hasn't stopped tweeting, but his latest - from six hours ago - is just about his leave:
I got my inbox down to zero for a shiny moment, then unpinned and closed the tab with work email: http://t.co/o7zBOvskBE
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) July 7, 2014
That would seem to suggest he doesn't plan to waste much of his time off on Twitter.
So what will Matt be doing while he's gone? Taking a ballroom dance class with his wife, trying a half-Iornman race, and going on a cruise. He says they might also do some additional traveling ahead of their fifteen-year wedding anniversary, and will spend more time with their parents.
Long story short, leave Cutts alone. He's busy.
Image via YouTube