By now, you probably heard about the April Fool’s prank that I came up with this year–and with the help of Jeff and Amanda on our Globe Runner team, I think we pulled it off. So much so that we had trouble keeping the website up and running that weekend. And on April 1st, we followed up with another post, welcoming the other team members who recently joined Globe Runner, Darth Vader and Elvis Presley. By the way, if you haven’t seen the post, it’s titled “Globe Runner Welcomes Matt Cutts as Director of Search“.
On the April 8, 2015 “This Week at Google” Twit.tv show with Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis, Matt Cutts commented my our April Fool’s prank. I’ve edited the video to pull out Matt Cutts’ comments so you don’t to have to listen to the whole entire hour-long show.
Here are Matt Cutts’ comments:
Leo Laporte: I was really disheartened that a couple of weeks ago that you left Google. You are still on hiatus, right?
Matt Cutts: I am, I am still on leave, yes.
Leo Laporte: So this is why it was a little credible, it was a few days before April Fool’s, an SEO company announced that they had hired you.
Matt Cutts: Yes, and they also had a picture of me from some search conference a few years back, so it looked relevant…
Leo Laporte: It was very credible… except for one thing: I knew… i just thought, that can’t be… No!!!!! That would be like the most massive sellout ever.
Matt Cutts: Ha, Ha…(laughing) well and uh for the first five minutes I thought it was REALLY funny and I was going to let it ride for a few days. And even though they didn’t talk to me or ask me, I was like “hey, that’s pretty well done”. But then I got an email from someone pretty high up at Google who’s like, “this is April Fool’s, right?” And so I am like, let me go ahead and clarify it just so people don’t get stressed out and go crazy or something like that.
Leo Laporte: It just didn’t seem possible. We should explain that your job at Google is fighting web spam and search results and spam. And you speak, as this company mentioned, a lot at SEO conferences and so forth. But the idea of you going to work at an SEO….”
So, it sounds as if Matt Cutts did think it was pretty funny, and was going to let it ride for a few days… but then he had to come out and make it clear that it was an April Fool’s prank (he linked to the post on his Twitter account which, again, subsequently took down the site) after he got the email from someone at Google.
What’s interesting to note that since we had all of this traffic, social shares, buzz, and, of course, tons of natural links, the site’s traffic has gone down, but still remains at a pretty good level. Rankings and overall traffic/page views are way up since before this “content marketing” piece was posted. Can I call it “content marketing”?