Responsive web design is an approach to creating website graphics that takes into account the different types of devices that visitors use when browsing the web. The user's device adjusts how the content is displayed on the page according to the screen size.
Responsive design optimization ensures that the site is functional and clear when using a variety of devices, such as:
Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page's content when evaluating its relevance to a user's query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent.
"Starting July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search)"
At one point in history you had two options when designing a website:
These two approaches tended to result in a website that looked its best on the screen of the person designing the site! The liquid site resulted in a squashed design on smaller screens and illegibly long line lengths on larger ones.
The fixed-width site risked a horizontal scrollbar on screens smaller than the site width, and lots of white space at the edges of the design on larger screens.
Zoe Mickley Gillenwater was instrumental in her work to describe and formalize the different ways in which flexible sites could be created, attempting to find a happy medium between filling the screen or being completely fixed in size.
The term "responsive design" was coined by Ethan Marcotte in 2010 and described the use of three techniques in combination.
The Mobile-Friendly Test describes issues that can affect your page when accessed on a smartphone.
The Search Console mobile usability report describes issues that can affect your page when accessed on a smartphone.
The Chrome browser supports several smartphone layouts in the device mode and mobile emulator.
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