Research tools - laptops and handhelds for mobile usability testing

isham research

Website Services

Phil Payne is a Google Bionic Poster and Top Contributor based in Sheffield UK. The opinions here are not Google's

isham research does not design killer websites and does not offer web hosting services - though we work closely with good people who do. But if your problems are ranking in search results, traffic or conversion related, some of the following may help.

Google Penalty - Website Dropped, Banned or Demoted

Google penalties caused by bad SEO can wreck a web business. A PageRank drop or a drop in Google ranking can be sudden - the phones stop ringing. isham research offers a web site rescue service.

Website Performance

Web site performance is important - Google may soon add performance to its ranking algorithm. Users' patience is limited and a near-instant response is highly desirable. Most site owners choose their hosting either on the price of storage or on a mix of price and features such as security. Very few make server performance an important criterion - so most hosting companies load their servers to make as much money as possible for the least outlay. A warning sign is a hosting provider who disables tracert and ping. isham research includes server performance monitoring whenever offering services.

Handheld or Mobile Devices

The 2007 launch of the Apple iPhone - and its recent 3G relaunch - drew the media's attention to mobile web use, though mobile browsers have been around since 1992. Mobile users have different needs to desktop or laptop users - web sites must adapt to screen sizes down to 132 pixels - old-style web site designs using Flash, frames, tables, fixed pixel widths, etc., just don't work and such sites are unusable for an increasing number of users. isham research advises on many aspects of web site design for handheld devices.


Sitemaps are not just a way to tell search engine robots which pages are on the website. They are also a way of building trust between search engines and sites. Some sitemaps are useless - built by badly designed sitemap generators that set the date last changed to the current date, every priority to 1.0, and claim that every page is changed daily - in the belief that this may improve the site's performance. isham research has both a discussion of sitemaps and a sitemap generator.

Why Now?

It sometimes seems perverse that Google penalizes a site for things that have not changed for years. But it happens - every day.

404 'errors'

If you see loads of 404 errors in your server logs, don't worry about them. They're a natural result of how the web works.


The tools page is really for internal use - it's a useful list of the currently working website analysis tools.

Pictures of Sheffield

Well, isham research is no longer in Isham but in Sheffield, and a digital camera helps clients see possibilities without the initial expense of professional photography - that can come later. So what's more natural than a few pictures of Sheffield?

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