Matt Cutts Confesses To Being GoogleGuy

In Monday Morning Roundup, Rand Fishkin writes:

Did anyone blog about Matt outing himself as GoogleGuy during SES? I believe his exact words were "I backed into that position."

Nope, Rand -- I was surprised about the lack of reaction and blogging to that myself. I'm still doing post-show catch-up, but it hardly seemed to catch any buzz. Perhaps one of the industry's oldest secrets -- Matt Cutts being GoogleGuy -- was no longer a secret to most any longer.

I moderated the panel, and the confession came out when a member of the audience flat out asked Matt if he was GoogleGuy. Matt hesitated just a moment, and I could swear I could almost hear the internal debate of "should I finally confess or not." And then he did, saying as Rand notes that he sort of backed into being the GoogleGuy who posts on forums and blogs. Matt then added that today, GoogleGuy might be one of many different people from Google commenting in public areas.

Matt's been blogging for just over a year now, and it's been great to have him out under his own name. Personally, while I love the Google Guy name, I sort of hope it gets retired. I'd rather have Googlers taking part in conversations under their own names than through anonymous handles. Plus, it would help avoid things where the named person might comment on something they've also posted under an anonymous handle. As I wrote last year:

Matt Cutts, posting over Threadwatch and sounding pretty in sync with GoogleGuy, explains that is a PR8 site and points to the Future PageRank checker at SEO Tools as a way to see this.

(At this point, you're asking "Isn't Matt Cutts GoogleGuy?" For the record, Matt's never publicly laid claim to being GoogleGuy. But since Matt's more active on commenting with things these days, I think it's well time that GoogleGuy step forward with a real name, so that if they are one and the same, there's isn't confusion that two different people are talking.

Honestly, at some point we'll have someone citing GoogleGuy, then someone citing Matt against GoogleGuy, which is absurd if they are the same. I and many others do know the real identity of GoogleGuy. I think it's well time everyone knows and hope GoogleGuy will step forward).

By the way, if you missed the panel, Blogging for the search engines from Melanie Colburn at Searchblog is a very nice summary of it. Matt also made many new friends at the last conference and today blogs on how to tell who the real ones are :)  That includes these two founding members of his fan club, complete with T-shirts. He also gets search god status on the new Men Of SEO blog.

Postscript: WebmasterWorld's Brett Tabke pinged me to say that Matt's been wearing a "Google Guy" name badge at PubCon for the past two years now, and Thomas Bindl notes this was the case last November at the show, as well. So I guess Matt's been out as GoogleGuy long before this. Then again, despite wearing that name badge in front of plenty of people, he still wasn't fessing up to it when I or others would ask him about going public. And over at Rand's blog in the comments, Matt's suggesting that he was answering a different question.