The search industry is getting a little more mainstream recognition every day, as tonight’s episode of The Colbert Report picked on Google’s handling of the Spreading Santorum situation.
This time the target was software engineer Matt Cutts, long known to search industry insiders as head of Google’s Web Spam and search quality team, he doesn’t often get the same national media spotlight as Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin or Larry Page.
But as the man responsible for weeding out poor quality content from Google results, Cutts made the late night news desk.
First notified of his Comedy Central debut on Twitter by @LornaHarris (Danny Sullivan’s better half, btw), Cutts apparently didn’t have any prior indication that Colbert’s team of writers would go so far into investigating the history of Rick Santorum’s “Google Problem”.
In his usual brand of snarky political commentary in “the Word” segment, Stephen Colbert mentioned Matt Cutts (at in the video below) as he cut into Google over this week’s anti-trust Senate hearings and raised potential free speech issues around changing search results.
Cutts is mentioned at 2:45 in the clip below:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – I Think, Therefore I Brand|
Colbert cited a blog comment made by Cutts back in December 2010, on John Battelle’s blog:
The quote reads:
“our web search results are protected speech in the First Amendment sense”
Of course, Colbert mocked the statement with a jab about how the founding fathers surely thought ahead to protect Web documents as free speech:
We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of hacked Scarlett Johansson nude pics.
(For those keeping score at home, Bing was also mentioned in the same segment.)
Postscript: There have been many updates to this story. See our Santorum’s Google Problem category for the latest articles.