Is This Another Panda Refresh or is it the Pony?

Google Pony by IllumediaBREAKING NEWS:

There are double-digit traffic decreases to high-traffic sites such as as reported on Searchmetrics blog. The significant drops have been first observed last Sat. Nov. 17, 2012 by Searchmetrics founder, Marcus Tober. At first glance from the comments on the influential blog, the high-traffic sites affected by this Panda Refresh or a whole new animal named Pony, have been low-hanging fruit for comment spammers and SEO pros looking for easy link juice.

My take:

Consistent with Google’s mission (and standard comment to tech journos and bloggers) We make over 500 improvements to Google Search each year so we can surface high-quality information for our users.”, this may be another refresh that will definitely terrify smaller outfits, SEO agencies and their clients. In this climate of fear and uncertainty, expect SEO ‘snake oil’ salesmen to tweak or hawk whole new crapware and dubious quality ‘strategies’ to beat the Pony (have you seen your spam inbox lately?).

But before we all curse to the high heavens the google “gods” for their fickleness, let us all take stock of all the updates that caused us short-term pain, namely Panda, Penguin and others before like Florida. Remember, Google’s bread-and-butter is in search, it has been disparaged by some stock market pundits as a “one-trick pony” (get it?), but its revenues in search account for billions in profit. Google is synonymous to online search millions of web users all over the world for the relatively high of its search results. So expect more updates to prune those ‘gamed’ results on its page one. And as all can  see with all these updates to the search engine that they are getting better at it.

If you subscribe to deceptive and scammy or straight-out unethical strategies and tactics, expect your site/blog or even business be hammered in future Google search refreshes or updates. Stick with the basics: great content (text, images, and videos), know what your target market wants and creating an online presence that converts (creates SALES!)

Will you keep guessing at more than 200 ranking factors that Google has up its sleeve? Will you even try to beat its equally famed and derided algorithm? If you have the deep pockets and money to burn like the big dogs, sure you can but that’s until the next ‘terrifying’ update.

Google Rabbit, Seal, or Walrus anyone?!



By: Mike Sasuman (

Illumedia Synergized!

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The Philippines absolutely loves Christmas time.  We love it so much that the Christmas breeze doesn’t start on December.  It starts during the “-Ber Months” –September, October, November and December.

Last September, Illumedians were not only pumped up with the start of the Christmas frenzy but with the 3rd Team Building event of the Illumedia family.  The team building had the theme “Illumedia Synergized” and was held a couple of hours away from the busy city at Seagull Mountain Resort.

When we arrived at our destination, we couldn’t help but appreciate the wonderful scenery, the fresh air and the cool weather.  The event started off with a motivational talk from Eliza followed by a whole lot of games and activities promoting synergy, camaraderie and creativity from each and every one.

Everybody was game!  From teamwork games that needed us to get our faces dirty and our bodies all oiled up, to activities that required small groups to function as a mini-web team, everybody stepped up to the challenge and created a bond far more stronger than ever before.

As temperatures dropped when the first day came to an end, you could very well appreciate the effort of everyone to pitch in and come out of their comfort zones to get to know each other more and more beyond the boundaries of work.

After all the conversations, wonderful meals, laughter, awarding of prizes, freezing cold water…
…we can’t help but feel the warmth created by the hearts that came together for the whole experience.

Something tells us that Christmas is going to be greater this year, and the Christmas party?

It’s going to rock!

The Passion & Advocacy of a Young IT Executive – SunStar Davao Article on Eliza Magno

Thursday, May 31, 2012


BEING inclined to web and graphics designing pushed her to pursue building her very own Information and Technology (IT) company.

But, this was not just about a passion. It was also an advocacy.

Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos.

Eliza Kirsten Magno, Illumedia president and creative director, said she previously had a desk job in Makati City but she eventually gave up after failing to find fulfillment in the job she thought she was best fit in.

“It was not as exciting as I thought it would be,” says Magno.

Not long after, the 28-year-old executive was fortunate to land a job online as a freelance website designer for two to three years. By then, Magno got two clients initially who grew faster more than 10, until the time she could not do it on her own.

“Biglang dumami (Eventually I had many clients). What am I gonna do? Uwi nalang ako sa Davao (I’ll go back to Davao instead),” Magno said.

Magno went back to her hometown in 2009 where she trained a group of 10 people on website designing with her intensive experience and passion for the craft for a few years as a home-based employee. These 10 individuals became her arms working for the growing number of clients.

“I understand that some of them did not have a college degree. I’ve been a web designer for most of my life and I want to share that knowledge. It’s about time that somebody else also benefits, not just me. It should be for everybody,” Magno said, being compassionate for others to earn from descent jobs as well.

Even as some of them left the team, Magno remained thankful knowing that other local outsourcing companies hired them after the training she gave.

“I hired two best people of those ten,” she said.

The young executive said she never thought good opportunities would come her way, especially when there were invitations from the organizers of the Internet Marketing Summit in Thailand for two times that paved her way to bring home more clients.

“I met all the internet marketers there. Then, nagkaroon naman ng demand,” Magno said.

“When I got back home, it can’t be that my mom and I stayed just at home,” she added.

But this time, she was finalizing her plan of putting up her own business, the Illumedia.

Magno’s very first office was at her mother’s dining room. After getting more and more clients, she and her team decided to move in to a bigger office at Victoria Plaza Compound, Bajada, Davao City.

Illumedia’s workforce now reaches 16, but it is expected to grow as many as 40 by the end of the year as Magno is about to forge a partnership with new client Nobby Kleinman, an internet marketer from Australia.

In the Philippines, getting a freelance job online is the last recourse for undergraduates, or even fresh graduates, in order to earn a living. But this kind of employment does not provide them with benefits.

When Magno opened her business in April last year, it also marked the beginning of making home-based jobs a professional employment, with workers getting the same benefits just similar to others working at offices.

“I actually put up the business so that mabigay ko rin yung benefits for them,” she said.

“I understand how it feels to be a freelancer na wala kang benefits, wala kang social security, wala kang Philhealth, Pag-ibig (you have no social security, no PhilHealth, and Pag-ibig). I was working like that for two to three years,” Magno added.

Right now, Illumedia offers services such as video editing, 2D animation, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, systems development, and web and graphics designing, among others.

Also, Magno has resort and food establishment clients here who sought her acumen in web designing.

“In US and Australia, if the people can’t find you online, your business does not exist,” she said.

Magno never succumbed to greediness as she relays what she and her team learned from their global clients to local IT enthusiasts.

Just this week, she coordinated with the city’s local executives from the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC), Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to get further information about the business climate in the city.

“We agreed that we will help produce more jobs for everybody here in Davao, especially for the young people because they are ones who are computer literate,” Magno said.

Magno continuously provides training for young IT enthusiasts. In a few years time, these IT geeks can grow their business of their own.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 01, 2012.

Illumedia Workshops Batch 1 Experience

Illumedia Workshop‘s first ever public workshop has just ended and we are happy to share that it was eventful and successful!

It is Team Illumedia’s pleasure to be able to work with trainees who are eager to learn about Web Design and Basic WordPress Theme Creation.  We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has joined the workshop, & we are definitely looking forward to seeing you in future workshops by Illumedia.

If you would like to be notified of our future workshops, please sign up at

See more photos here.

Here are just some of the feedback from our unforgettable Batch #1 trainees:

Jay Isidor

SUPER COOL!…awesome

Dominic Saraum

The Workshop was great! Each part of the lessons were well executed. I learned a lot and can’t wait for the advanced lessons.

Peejay Capina

… the place is comfy, the staff was very accommodating and I’ve learned a lot from Ms. Eliza, thank you so much guys! Looking forward to the advance. ;-)

Watch out for our future workshops!

Public WordPress Workshop Hosted by Team Illumedia This April!

Once you’ve decided to stop learning, you will stop growing.

It is a fact. Learning is indeed essential for growth. That is why if you try and consider the pace we have today; new gadgets, discoveries, methods, techniques and technologies are being born every minute. Making our stored knowledge our foundation, we must learn to adjust and adapt to better innovations for our advancement.

Are you a web or graphic designer?

Do you aspire to be one?

Are you a student who wants to learn more of what is needed in the real career life of such?

Illumedia is hosting its first Basic WordPress Theme Creation Workshop this April!

WordPress is rapidly gaining popularity and one of the most preferred platforms of a website by most companies. This is due to the fact that it is very user-friendly for both the client and the designer. As a designer you would be able to easily execute the desires of your client with less hassle and you wouldn’t have a hard time making all the changes required on the site you’re working on. However, the sad part is that WordPress isn’t taught in schools. Most web and graphic designers who’ve mastered the WordPress platform learned on their own through years of experience.

Well let’s just say you’re in for a great opportunity.

Eliza Kirsten Magno is one of the very few who has learned WordPress by heart and she’s going to take the time to impart her knowledge to those who are interested! The workshop which has limit of 20 seats is open to students and even professional web and graphic designers. Eliza seeks to give back to the community through this little endeavor.

She aims to educate and pass on her passion to the participants in an unconventional way. If a wonderful thing such as this comes knocking on your door, would you just walk away?

For more details on the workshop you can visit


Illumedia Is Inviting You to Experience Life Now

Davao is now a bustling city, strewn with various commercial establishments, indicating that this city is a rapidly growing metropolis.  Amidst this progress, Davao has remained true to it’s roots, one that has built a strong foundation in the hearts of every Dabawenyo. The people of Davao, rather than just the place, successfully brought a mix of cultures together that poetically transformed Davao into what it represents today: a land that promises a yin and yang of the old and the new.

Myriads of generations of Dabawenyos have long been enjoying a quality of life that pays homage to the past and at the same time offering the future a warm welcome.

Experience depth of life here in Davao now! For there is a big difference between living and merely existing.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We consider it an honor to be given this opportunity to showcase Davao.  Win or lose, we feel that we’ve already won in showing how we have done this successfully as one solid team!

Kudos Team Illumedia!

We will be posting the hi resolution video here on our site after the competition is over. 🙂

To Vote for our video simply follow the following steps:

1. Go to
2. Watch Entry # 2 “Experience Life Now”
3. Click on Like if you like what you’ve just seen

Davao – Life is *definitely* Here.

Some screen caps: