Google has always stated that there are over 200 different ranking factors that they look at when determining where a webpage ranks. Even though Google has never officially announced what these factors are, there are studies and lists that provide us with an educated guess. As Google’s search algorithm has evolved, it has become clear that the importance of some of the ranking factors has changed. Below are five of the most important ranking factors that we have seen for 2015.

Quality Content

While there is some debate as to how long your content should be, there has never been a debate about quality. Time and time again you will see a site lose or gain traffic after a panda update or refresh. There is simply no way to get away with creating thin or unoriginal content in 2015.

Backlink Profile

A clean backlink profile remains one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking a website. This has been at the core of Google’s algorithm since its inception. You can read stories almost daily of high profile websites that have been hit by manual penalties for trying to unnaturally inflate their backlink totals. Even though Google has implemented other ranking factors, backlinks will be a vital part of rankings for the foreseeable future.

Mobile Friendly Website

In April, Google made it quite clear that your website needs to be mobile friendly or it would not rank well. The so-called ‘mobilegeddon’ update had the SEO industry on edge, with recent studies showing that around 17% of webpages were effected. It seems that this is just the first step in more widespread mobile quality guidelines. As mobile search evolves, there will surely be more mobile factors that will need to be considered when optimizing websites.

Page Speed

Page speed should be a no-brainer when it comes to building a website. What most people miss about this factor is that it will help with user experience and your bounce rate. While sometimes it is easier said than done, the speed of your website should be one of your top priorities.

Social Signals

When it was announced that Google would once again index tweets it became clear that this would soon become a ranking factor. While tweets may not be looked at in the same light as backlinks, they are a very important part of how you are seen in search results. Twitter profiles are also a great way to validate what people think of your content and website as a whole