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Matt Cutts Convinces Some South Korean Govt. Websites To Stop Blocking Googlebot
Matt Cutts, international diplomat? That might be the more appropriate title for Google’s chief spam cop.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Cutts is in South Korea this week and, in a presentation Monday night for about 80 government officials, webmasters, lawyers and journalists, managed to singlehandedly convince some government reps to let Googlebot crawl and index their websites.
One of those in the audience was Kang Min-koo, a senior judge in the Seoul High Court. When he saw the court’s Web site was on Mr. Cutts’ list of government sites that couldn’t be indexed by Google – and thus couldn’t be found on a Google search – he sent a text message by phone to the court’s webmaster ordering it to be changed.
Since the change can be made by altering just a few lines of software code, the webmaster had it done in no time. When it came time for questions, Mr. Kang asked Mr. Cutts to check if the High Court’s site showed up on Google – and it did.
Cutts’ visit to South Korea comes on the heels of tension between the government and Google. Earlier this month, the Korean Fair Trade Commission accused Google of interfering with its Android antitrust investigation. The commission alleges that Google deleted documents pertinent to its investigation into whether Google is limiting access to local search engines on Android smartphones.
There’s also the matter that South Korea is one of only a handful of countries where Google isn’t the dominant search engine. And, as the WSJ points out, Google isn’t likely to gain market share in Korea if prominent websites aren’t in its index.
While Cutts may have the title of being Google’s chief spam cop, he’s long been one of the companies go-to public faces. A little more than a year ago, Google sent him to Washington, DC on an “educational tour” aimed at telling government officials that Google’s search results don’t need to be regulated.