Matt Cutts Convinces Some South Korean Govt. Websites To Stop Blocking Googlebot

matt-cutts-2012Matt 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.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Business Issues | Google: Critics | Google: Legal | Google: Outside US | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Alan

    Interesting that it took someone from the “Spam Team” to convince them. Isn’t this usually a job for Vp’s or heads of PR and the like?

  • Brendan Devine

    Its amazing how in our modern society a little face to face time can still make such an impact. Do you think Mr. Cutts might have some free time to reach out to resolve some of the tensions in the middle east? Great story Matt!

  • O.S.

    Google bot is nice sites and this type of step is not much use in future why blocking site users sign up and some content add that’s it. thank you for share this information.

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