Puppet Masters of the Internet

Nearly everyone on the Internet knows about Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos. Savvy geeks might even recognize Internet pioneers like Vint Cerf and Marc Andreessen.
But among the most powerful people on the Net are individuals whose names are unknown to the teeming masses on the InterWebs.

 Some of them control vital pieces of Internet infrastructure. Others decide which companies get funded, which websites get the lion's share of the traffic, or whether sites will live to see another day.
Who really rules the Net? Read on. Just don't get on the bad side of any of these ten power gurus.

Matt Cutts

Matt CuttsMatt CuttsOfficial title: Principal engineer at Google
Secret identity: Search ninja
As head of Google's Search Quality (anti-Web-spam) team, Cutts is the guy who decides whether your website gets chucked down into the basement of Google page rankings for being too "spammy." Over the past two years, Google has changed its search algorithms several times to lower the position of content farms, scrapers, ad-heavy pages, and other less worthy sites in Google's search results.
Why you shouldn't mess with him: One day you're king of the Google hill; the next day your site's holding a one-way ticket to Palookaville--and all it takes is a tweak of an algorithm.

Lawrence E. Strickling

Lawrence E. StricklingLawrence E. Strickling--Photo: Courtesy of the NTIAOfficial title: Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information
Secret identity: The root master
Strickling may look like a typical federal bureaucrat, but as chief of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) he wields ultimate authority over the 13 DNS Root Servers that direct all of the Internet's traffic. Type www.pcworld.com into your browser, and these machines translate it into an Internet protocol address ( that Web servers can understand.


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