As one of the Google’s most prominent faces, Matt Cutts confirms his departure from Google at the close of 2016, after taking leave for two years.


Matt Cutts was until 31st December 2016, Google’s most visible director of search quality. He announced his official resignation from the world’s leading search engine after taking a long leave of absence, two years to be precise. He finally decided to bid them farewell and work on a more permanent basis with the United States Digital Service. This is after working for them on a temporary basis during his leave period. The USDS is a governmentaldepartment affiliated to other defense units at the Pentagon, and he has joined the team as the Director of Engineering.

The reasons behind Matt Cutts’ departure from Google for a career in public service aren’t clear. He began by requesting for a leave of absence which he kept extending. His position was left open until May 2015 when Google finally hired a replacement for him, although we still don’t know who that is. Around the same time, Mr. Cutts gave a statement saying that he had taken a leave of absence, but that he was still officially in Google’s employ.

Sometime in early 2016, he accepted an invitation to join the USDS crewin a temporary capacity. It seems that Mr. Cutts must have enjoyed the work in public service and its accompanying challenges and finally decided to make it more permanent and officially terminate his leave of absence from Google.

On being part of something bigger

Matt Cutts issued a statement sharing the details of his new appointment, as well as clarify why this new appointment was so important. He admitted that he was giving up quite a lucrative position in quitting the Silicon Valley tech giants and all the perks of that job. He added that the pay and perks ofhis new government postare nowhere close to what he was getting.

Instead, he saysthe work has many challenges and there are many difficult days to survive. Nonetheless, Matt crowned his statement by declaring that he was deeply inspired to be part of such an important job, and in a place where he will have the opportunity to participate in programs that will improve the lives of other Americans.

In the same interview, he mentioned a piece of advice that he’d been given by a close friend that had also shifted his career to public service from the private sector some years before him. This friend remarked that his work in the public service presented his five most rewarding and best years, and also the hardest and worst years of his career.

On his history and work at Google

Matt Cutts joined Google very early on; he was in fact among the first 100 people to join the search giants. He worked his way to the top and became one of the most renowned faces at searchengine marketing conferences, meetups and online forums, both as panelist and guest. He has certainly made an indelible mark in the field, and we laud his decision to adhere himself to the public’s cause.

Even though he isn’t very vocal about what his exact role working with Google was, he held an Interview facilitated by Anil Dash in which he opened up about some of the work he did. The interview was held during the period he temporarily worked at the Pentagon on Defense Digital Service programs and projects, and it was carried out through a mobile app where he read questions and typed his answers to Anil through the app.

The interview delved deep into his career, landing some never-shared details about his challenges in particular while on the job. For one, he stated the difficulty in bringing his engineering peers from the back rooms into the frontlines where he was. Used to working from the back as an engineer, it was a real test of strength to assume the forefront, and an even bigger feat to carry his team into conferences and other forums. He spearheaded the formation of Webmaster Trends, a team responsible for dealing with outreach videos and forums.

Speaking about his encounters with disgruntled SEO experts, usually following some Google update that hurt them, he admitted that he sometimes received threats, even though he wasn’t scared ofmost of them. There was one credible threat, he said, but certainly not credible enough for him to hire bodyguards.


In any case, working at the Pentagon now, we can be sure he won’t be receiving very many of these threats. All the best in your new life, Matt Cutts!

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