Last week, we expressed admiration for 21-year-old software developer Matt Mullenweg’s ability to be Google’s first result when you type in “Matt.” We noted he was way ahead of widely recognized folks like Matt Damon (page 2) and Matt Groening (page 8).

We implied that he’d somehow manipulated things, but it turns out there are legitimate reasons why he’s there. As he explains it, his ascent in Google has mirrored the success of WordPress, his open source blogging software. About a quarter of new WordPress blogs leave a link to Mullenweg in their blogroll and “that has certainly not hurt my search engine ranking,” he says. He also happens to be affiliated with all kinds of tech organizations, and has multiple links on his site to them (and probably links coming in). The moral of the story: At Google, the most famous people are software geeks — not actors, or graphic artists, or anyone else. True, his ranking didn’t exactly take him surprise. Indeed, his heroic effort at getting there is chronicled by his various blog observations along the way, which he forwarded to us voluntarily:

(1) First mention of ranking.

(2) Watching Yahoo

(3) When he hits #8

(4) When he hits #3

(5) #1, at last (earlier, he’d promised readers he would take his site down when he hit #1, which he tells us he did — for a couple of days.

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