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:

Birthday Girl

They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but to me a modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.
    ~Oliver Goldsmith~

November 16, 1983.

Illumedia is a team headed by a woman.  A strong woman I might add.  She has been through life’s blows just like everyone else but has remained standing.  Yesterday, we celebrated her 28th year of existence.(I think she might not post my blog now that I mentioned that.  Anyway, I’m a risk taker, LOL.)

Our beautiful celebrant received from her friends from the office as well as outside an early morning serenade and her favorite birthday cake.  Then for lunch the team went out and enjoyed our favorite past time : eating and talking gibberish.  What can I say?  We know how to enjoy the simple things of life.

Why am I writing this blog?  Well the truth is this is not for you primarily.  First and foremost this is to express a heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Eliza Kirsten B. Magno.

“Thank you for all your hard work and thank you for sharing your life and dreams with us.  We pray for you love, joy, peace and your life’s purpose.”

This blog is for the birthday girl but of course you get to read it because you have been part of us, of Illumedia.

Proverbs 31:30
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

Happy birthday!  You are so precious in GOD’s sight.

We love you Eliza!

Illumedia Supports GraphiCon 2011

Mr. Wilson!

A frantic voice echoes amidst a strong weather.

Mr. Wilson!!!!

Sobs and loud cries—these are what the character of Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away was left with after he lost his ball he conveniently named Mr. Wilson.  For those who haven’t watched the movie, no he wasn’t crazy.  The main character was washed up in an island all by himself after surviving a plane crash.  Tom Hanks kept himself sane by talking to a volleyball (I know that sounded weird).  Well the truth is men were not created to be solitary individuals.

Honestly, GOD did not create us to be left out on our own.  You can very much find in the movie that the character needed to communicate let alone express himself.  It is a NEED.

Illumedians who are comprised with a majority of artists can very well express themselves in their work but it is also pertinent that they also be given the chance to relate with the very people who share the same interests with them.  That is why the team is going to GraphiCon!

DUAAD or Davao United Association of Animators and Designers, Inc. will be holding an event on December 01, 2011 at the Abreeza Mall Activity Center called GraphiCon or Graphic Design Convention which is a grand convention for graphics and motion graphic enthusiasts in the Davao region.  At least 300 participants of graphic artists, graphic arts enthusiasts, marketing executives, technopreneurs, photographers and members of the academe will be uniting to promote the industry.

The team knows that it is not the only team who renders its services so we are for solidarity with people in this industry.  We view it as an opportunity to grow and learn from others and their craft.  We believe we can co-exist with others in a healthy and competitive way.  Eliza Magno and the team at Illumedia foster this kind of mentality from the very beginning which is why Davao Web Design (Online Community for Web/Graphic Designers) was founded in the first place.

As the cliché goes, “no man is an island” so we’re setting out to talk with our Mr. Wilsons and we greet them with a smile.  🙂

GraphiCon, here we come! 🙂

**UPDATE NOVEMBER 21, 2011** GraphiCon tickets now available at the Illumedia office. Call us at 082 271 8563 Email us at or Skype us at  You may also visit us at 2nd Floor La Core Bldg., Victoria Plaza Compound, Bajada, Davao City [Google Map]

A Work In Progress

As I left my house this morning a cocoon was tediously holding on to a minute portion of our gate. Come to think of it sometimes work does get a bit demanding. Good thing it’s not all work at Illumedia Outsourcing.

Over the weekend, the team had their hands full with work. Not all work and now the team worked over the weekend?

I know I may have you confused right now so let me clear your mind.

Last weekend the team was busy with work…team work for the team building activity. The destination?

Eden Nature Park.

This mountainous adventure fortunately revealed how much the team has grown into a family. As Illumedians played it “old school” using a Jeepney on the way there a few setbacks held everyone only but for a while.

Old school…the old Jeepney needed a little push with the radiator, brakes, etc and sure enough the gentlemen of the team came to the rescue. Because of this modern chivalry the day turned out great! As Illumedians arrived the first task was the Indiana Jones. At first some were hesitant as it was too terrifying for their very laid back nature but due to the unending encouragement the entire team had for them they were able to overcome their fears but of course there were a few “mommy cries” ;p

After which more activities that promoted trust and camaraderie filled the day making the bond that held each other intensify even more. And because we love food…of course that physiological need was more than satisfyingly given special attention. “Yum yum yum.”

The day ended with a superb weather making everyone filled with laughs and hungry for more.

Getting back with my cocoon illustration..LOL.

Sometimes with a lot going on things get demanding but knowing how the cocoon ends makes it all worth it. Looking forward to a lot of butterfly transformations over the next few months.  It will certainly be some of GOD’s most wonderful masterpiece.

Illumedia_blogger signing out. 🙂