Google’s Matt Cutts Hacked!

I’ve been reading and enjoying Matt Cutts’s blog for several months now. I have some interest in the topic of SEO, which Matt writes about. I like it because Matt seems like a good guy and he shares a lot of insights in to how things work at Google.

I noticed in my feed reader (Google Reader, of course!) that he had upgraded from WordPress 2.0.x to 2.1.2 last night, and then just now saw this:

Site acting weird

My site has been acting a little slow and weird today. I checked my logs, and I’m seeing a lot of GET requests causing strange errors. Most of the requests have escaped Unicode characters, but they don’t appear valid. Sorry that the site is kinda slow; I’m going to be away from the computer until around late Monday, so I don’t have time to check it now, but I’ll try to track it down when I get back.

So I clicked over there to see this:

Matt Cutts's Blog 'Hacked'

Oh, no! Except, hold on…

(April Fool’s!)

My first thought was that it was for real, and that somebody had jumped on some undisclosed vulnerability in WordPress 2.1.2. I’m sure there are plenty of “black hat” SEO guys who would love to tweak Matt. Not long ago when some script kiddie was vandalizing a few WordPress SEO sites, he had mentioned Matt’s blog as being on his hit list, so it seemed plausible.

But then my BS detector started buzzing. The timing is kind of fishy, don’t you think? This has to be a put on. I checked in Google Blog Search and noticed that Danny Sullivan was taken in, or at least is playing along.

Great joke — thanks, Matt. :-)

Update 1 April 2007: Also funny is a bogus (at least for now) Twitter account that Matt set up to corroborate the “hacking”:

Matt's Twitter Page

There are a couple of subtle references related to the Dark SEO Team web page. An open letter to Matt Cutts there talks about duplicate content and bacon polenta.

Aside from the set ups, some funny stuff: “telling people about my new twitter account. i don’t want to be alone out here”, “cats want attention. i’m going to play with them now.”, and so on.

And CuttsCon is probably a “con” as well!

Oh what a deliciously tangled web. Makes me wonder about the Dark SEO Team site. It’s been around for a few years now. Not a lot of posts. The open letter is from October 2005 and is still on the front page. Are even they for real? :-)

Well, that’s enough Matt Cutts fan posting. I’ve had a couple of posts in mind lately but haven’t taken the time to write them. Hopefully soon you’ll have some new freedom content. Thanks, everyone, for your patronage.

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