What is a Responsive Web Design ?
The term responsive web design was coined by Ethan Marcotte in his article (http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/) in which he consolidated three existing techniques (flexible grid layout, flexible images, and media and media queries) into one unified approach and named it responsive web design. The term is often used to infer the same meaning as a number of other descriptions such as fluid design, elastic layout, rubber layout, liquid design, adaptive layout, cross-device design, and flexible design.
It is high time now
The official Google Blog Post states that they will be considering mobile friendliness of a website as a ranking feature with effect from April 21. Which clearly claims that now Google will surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.This change in Google search procedure aims to allow users to find relevant and high quality search results that are optimized for their devices quite easily.
Their are two major changes that Google has announced to be taking effect on April 21.
More mobile-friendly websites in search results
Google will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal making a significant impact in search results, in order to help users find relevant and high quality results. These results will be optimized as per user's device.
More relevant app content in search results
Google has started to use information from indexed apps taking it as a factor in ranking for signed-in users on app resulting in surfacing content from the apps more prominently in search.
Be Ready to loose on traffic if your links aren't mobile friendly
As more and more people have started to access information via mobile devices so it is very important for designer and developers to concentrate on providing equal ease of use for mobile device users as well. It is now very important to design a website that is sufficient enough to handle a variety of devices and screen resolutions.
How to check your website for responsiveness?
To test your own and others' responsive website designs fully would involve having separate systems set up for every device and screen size. Although nothing betters that practice, the majority of testing can be achieved simply by resizing the browser window. To further aid this method, there are various third-party plugins and browser extensions that display the current browser window or viewport size in pixels. Or in some cases, automatically switch the current window or viewport to a default screen size (1024 x 768 pixels, for example). This allows you to more easily test what happens as screen viewports change.