Matt Cutts, Google webmaster, was the keynote speaker at the Pubcon Show in Las Vegas in October. In his talk, he highlighted some current search engine optimization news. Here are some of the highlights:

The recent Hummingbird update that effects the core of how Google searches is not affecting results and ranking very much. Google is also looking into softening Panda, which caught some grey sites that are legit and affected their rankings. He also mentioned how authorship (such as authoring a blog post) will start impacting the “authority” that Google gives a site.

Google Mobile Search Results

The biggest impact he discussed was on the role of smartphones and their impact on search results. To sum it up, sites that are not mobile-friendly will see a negative impact on their rankings in the mobile search results.

He explained that sites that show Flash will be exempted from mobile search results. So, NO FLASH. Also, websites that route all mobile traffic to the homepages will be ranked lower. Finally, if you site is slow on mobile phones, then Google is less likely to rank it.

This means that responsive websites and those without a ton of slow-loading graphics are key to effective websites across all devices.

Cutts was pretty clear that with the significant increase in mobile traffic, not having a mobile-friendly site will seriously impact the amount of mobile traffic Google will send you.