The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.


Head judges


I started SEO for real in 2004 by ranking 3rd in a SEO contest, but I come from a marketing and public relations background. After discovering how to spam Google, I lived the life of super affiliate and clic whore until 2008 when I switched to the consulting side of the business. Since then, I also started a speaker’s career and got more involved in the SEO community in France. I am still running a few personal projects on the side, but my main focus is to rank high on Google for my clients. Of course, I also embraced on other fields of search, especially SEA, Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing.


Co-founder of the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference, Forbes contributor, host of Amazon Prime’s hit show Marketing Jam, marketing professor, author and practitioner - Darian brings his wealth of experience and educational and interactive teaching style to conferences and workshops all over North America. Darian spends most of his time with Jelly Digital Marketing & PR - a firm that specializes in working with brands of all shapes and sizes. Darian's weekly show has had guests from LEGO, Starbucks, Twitter, Google, PepsiCo and Buzzfeed. Darian also contributes to The Lawyers Daily, Adweek and Entrepreneur magazine and loves spending time with his four kids and wife in Historic Fort Langley.

LinkedIn profile

Judith Lewis | Founder & CEO | Decabbit Consulting |

Judith is a renowned international speaker, writer, trainer, blogger and digital media consultant specialising in applying strategic understanding of digital technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment. She is a regular speaker around the world on SEO, content strategy, link building, paid media, and digital strategy, and has been recognised by her peers as one of the most influential people in the UK digital industry. Judith judges the industry leading Search Awards around the world, and has every year since their inception. She has worked with market-leading global businesses including Google, NatWest/RBS, National Gallery, Fidelity, GalaCoral, NBC Universal, Readers Digest, Bayer, Family Search, Amadeus, AMD, AmEx , Virgin.com, Virgin Startup & more. She has over 23 years of experience, predating Google in her entry into the market, and now runs her own consultancy. She has worked both in-house and agency-side. Judith also blogs about chocolate, has contributed to the book “Pimp My Site” and the Econsultancy guide to Paid Search and rewrote the large foundational Econsultancy Best Practice Guide to SEO.

LinkedIn profile

Matt McGowan | Director & General Manager | Snap Inc |

A born and bred New Yorker turned Torontonian who has lived on 3 continents, Matt has worked alongside executives and founders representing some of the world's best known and thousands of relatively unknown brands, agencies, and technology companies. Matt most recently served as President and a member of the Board of Directors at the SaaS juggernaut Adestra, an enterprise martech Email Service Provider and Marketing Automation Platform.

LinkedIn profile


Elana Chan | Head of B2B Marketing | Google Canada

As the Head of B2B Marketing at Google Canada, Elana leads a team whose mission is to help Canadian businesses succeed online. With over a decade of marketing experience, Elana has a deep understanding of what it takes to grow all types of business, as she built iconic brands at Apple and Unilever, and also helped scale the startup, Jetsetter, and sold it to TripAdvisor. Elana is passionate about innovation and likes to challenge people to chase big ideas (think 10X!) - she regularly speaks on panels and advises students on all things tech and marketing. Elana holds an HBA from Ivey, an MBA from INSEAD, and is also a Global Advisor for G(irls)20...because ceilings don’t shatter themselves.

Shannon Cross | eCommerce Marketing Manager | Nestlé Purina PetCare

Shannon is a proven leader in eCommerce Marketing, specializing in retail and brand search. She currently works in the CPG industry leading search and omni-channel marketing strategies for Nestle Purina Petcare in Canada, and consults for many of Nestle’s other brands at a global level. Throughout her 6+ years of experience, Shannon has managed digital marketing strategies for organizations of all sizes and in a variety of industries including law, healthcare, pet food, and real estate to name a few. She is a Lead Instructor at Brain Station in Toronto, educating the industry’s up and coming professionals in digital marketing, and has guest lectured at Fanshawe College and Western University. Shannon has previously been a judge for the Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition, and was a finalist in the Global AdWords Business Awards in 2015.

LinkedIn profile

David Forde | Founder | PR in Canada

Jean-Baptiste Garnier | Head of Online Sales & Marketing | Foyer Global Health

Jean-Baptiste is heading Online Sales and Marketing for the International Health Insurance division of Foyer Assurances, Luxembourg’s leading insurance company. Foyer Global Health is operating all over the World and provides Health coverage for expats, digital nomads and globetrotters. Previously to this role, Jean-Baptiste acted as Deputy General Manager for GroupM Connect, and developed the Digital practice for international clients such as Europcar, Disneyland Paris, Intuit, etc. With over 15 years of expertise in Online acquisition, and long lasting interest in Search Marketing, Jean-Baptiste’s strong appetite for innovation, technology and data is still very vivid.

LinkedIn profile

Kevin Gibbons | CEO | RE:SIGNAL |

Kevin is CEO at Re:signal - an award-winning SEO and content marketing agency for brands anticipating the future. Kevin has presented at a large number of conferences around the world, writes frequently online and has worked with well-known brands including Expedia, Deloitte, Pottery Barn and more and was named 2018 search personality at UK Search Awards. Website: https://resignal.com.

LinkedIn profile

Danai Giwa | Online marketing professional

Danai Giwa is an online marketing professional with eight years of expertise in brand development, pay-per-click advertising, and marketing automation. Based out of Toronto, Canada, he has worked at all levels of Canadian business. Danai thrives in hybrid roles, successfully blending consumer-oriented thinking with sound analytical skills. Passionate about online marketing, he helps businesses that are looking to initiate or improve their digital strategy. He spends his personal time as an eCommerce adviser, where he is responsible for managing digital advertising, optimizing landing pages, and coordinating email campaigns. Feel free to contact him on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn profile

Richard Gregory | NED |

Richard is chairman of tech companies Ruler Analytics and Ash.tv, non-exec director of Fluid Digital and co-founder of SAScon - a digital marketing conference. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and Manchester Digital council member. With 20 years of digital expertise, Richard now advises agencies and start-ups on marketing and growth strategies.

LinkedIn profile

Adam Guerguis | Digital Marketing Manager | Airbnb |

Based in Montreal and currently leads organic growth marketing for airbnb LUX, Adam has more than 10 years in search marketing experience and has been working with very exciting brands in several industries, languages, and sizes like Yahoo!, MSN, Groupon, UNHCR, Skrill, and others. Adam is also a digital marketing trainer, guest speaker, digital marketing blogger since 2010, and a MSc. Marketing Candidate.

LinkedIn profile

David Harry | Owner | SEO Training Dojo

David Harry is the lead SEO at Verve Developments and specializes in SEO audits and forensic analysis. He's been in the SEO game since 1998 and is also the head geek over at the SEO Training Dojo, a community for SEOs since 2010.

Bill Hartzer | SEO Consultant

Bill Hartzer is an independent SEO Consultant. He relies on his 20 years of direct SEO experience to provide technical SEO audits of websites, as well as technical link audits and link cleanups of websites. Mr. Hartzer is known worldwide for his research on the topic of search engine optimization and the New gTLD domain names, as well as Dot Brand domain names. He provides research and marketing of white papers and case studies related to the New gTLDs, as well as consulting related to domain migrations.

LinkedIn profile

Jim Hedger | Digital Always Media Inc.

Jim Hedger is a writer, SEO, broadcaster, and an activist. Based in Toronto, Jim has worked as a SEO for the last two decades. In that time he has spoken at most major conferences, written for many of the major SEO trade journals, worked with countless clients, and tried to help other SEOs with their careers. Jim is cohost of the popular Webcology podcast featured at WebmasterRadio.FM, on iTunes, at iHeartRadio, and available at all fine podcasting distribution outlets near you.

Cheryl Hill | Digital Marketing Director | SkipTheDishes

Cheryl Hill is the Director of Digital Marketing at SkipTheDishes, Canada's leading and largest food delivery network. Cheryl leads Skip's media buying and digital strategy across CRM, Paid Media, SEO, and Social Media via data-driven insights that connect with Canadians. Prior to Skip, Cheryl served at Metric Marketing as Director of Digital Marketing, where she established teams and led the creation of all digital products. For more than a decade, Hill also led her own successful digital marketing consultancy and honed her trade in the UK finance industry, where she pioneered a digital marketing team within the largest mortgage, insurance, and loans brokerage in Scotland.

LinkedIn profile

Jackie Hole

Jackie Hole is an Award Winning independent Search Marketing consultant, and has been working in Digital Media and Internet Marketing for over 20 years. Starting out as an Interactive Media and interface designer/project manager for blue chip companies, Jackie moved into SEO & Affiliate marketing when becoming interested in 'this new Google thing' in 1999 and subsequently Adwords/PPC in 2004. Jackie is a well rounded SEM Strategist and trainer with a unique set of creative marketing and analytical skills with a proven track record for thinking differently and significantly improving ROI. Jackie works both with direct clients and as a white label outsource for agencies in the UK, Europe, North America and Canada and is often thought of as an invaluable and knowledgeable member of any team. Highly visible and active within the SEM community, Jackie is an editor and blogger for www.StateofDigital.com and www.SEOChicks.com and more recently, a trainer, speaker and judge at various industry events.

Jean-François Hung | SEO Specialist | Air Transat

Based in Montreal, Jean-Francois has more than 8 years of experience in digital marketing. He has worked for several international agencies such as Razorfish, Valtech, YPG and Media Experts. He has had the chance to collaborate with various brands including TD Trust and Virgin Mobile. Passionate about Ecommerce, UX design and digital technologies, he is now working in the tourism industry and oversees the organic search for both brands Transat and Air Transat.

Motoko Hunt | President, Search Marketing Consultant |

Since Motoko established AJPR in 1998, she has been providing the online marketing services targeting Japan, Asia and other markets to companies from around the world. Her search marketing consulting services with her extensive knowledge of Asia and Japanese market have been highly valued and made big impact on some of the world’s popular multi-national brands’ search marketing campaigns. A number of her articles have been published on industry websites and printed media including Multilingual Computing and International Journal of Localization. She also writes about the Japanese online market on her blog, and other websites including ClickZ, The SEM Post, Search Engine Watch, and SEJ. She is a frequent speaker at the search marketing conferences globally, and gives seminars and training about International search marketing, In-House SEO, and Enterprise SEO.

LinkedIn profile

Alan K'necht | Public Speaker & Principle | K'nechtology Inc |

Alan K'necht started his involvement with the digital world back in 1996 building websites and participating in the precursors to what would evolve into Social Media. Over 20 plus years he’s provided consulting services ranging from web development, analytics, search markeing/SEO and social media marketing to fortune 500 companies, government departments, military and small & medium size businesses. Through analytics, Alan has always helped clients measure and maximize their Return on Investment (ROI) for their digital marketing initiatives. At present he operates his consulting company K'nechtology Inc.

LinkedIn profile

George Konidis | SEO Consultant

George has worked on some of the largest online brands in the world with an overall contribution of over 15 billion monthly impressions. George works with clients to help scale their search efforts, develop content marketing ideas, and contribute to their overall growth strategies.

LinkedIn profile

Francisco Leon de Vivero | Global SEO Framework Lead | Shopify |

Francisco Leon de Vivero, became passionate about Search Engine Optimization in 2007. Francisco has an extensive knowledge of SEO and SEM, working with renowned brands many of which are among the world’s top 50 most visited websites. Francisco is specialized in helping multinational companies expand into foreign markets and capture additional organic growth. Currently he is responsible as Global SEO Framework Lead at Shopify.

LinkedIn profile

Carla Marshall | Head of Content Marketing | Vidiq |

Carla Marshall is the Head of Content Marketing at YouTube analytics platform vidIQ. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, and SEO. She was previously Editor in Chief at ReelSEO.com and TubularInsights.com, and the Community Manager for the ReelSEO YouTube Channel. She is YouTube Certified and a judge for the UK, US, and EU Search Awards.

LinkedIn profile

Xavier Naudeau | SEO Consultant | Philip Morris

Xavier is an SEO digital data-driven consultant who thrives on understanding consumer's behavior to optimize their Search Journey through SEO, Paid, and other channels. After eight years of combined experience between SEO, Web Analytics and Data, he now works within Business Intelligence at Philip Morris International to provide critical insights on digital performance for the smoke-free future campaigns.

Audrey Ooi | Marketing Consultant |

Audrey is a marketing expert with over 10 years of experience in traditional and digital marketing. Her specialty is in digital marketing, including SEO, paid search, organic and paid social, web analytics, and web design and development. She has worked in multiple industries for organizations of all sizes, including sectors as diverse as telecommunications, non-profit and tourism. A versatile professional, she has also worked in product management, business strategy, branding and user experience as well as co-founded a technology start-up that successfully raised investor capital. She currently runs her own digital marketing consultancy and is also the founder and CEO (Chief Eating Officer) of Tasty Tours, an award-winning Toronto food tour and chocolate tour company.

LinkedIn profile

Bob Rains | SEO Executive & Growth Marketing Strategist |

At this point, to keep this bio brief, it would make more sense to list the companies Bob hasn’t worked for and dramatically impacted. A trusted and experienced voice in SEO, Internet Marketing and Google advertising, Bob’s inane curiosity and switch flipping leads him to constantly seek new ways of doing the same old work, but in ways that satisfy both him and the client. After amassing enough airline points to get to the Moon and back (with a sweet bucket of conference lanyards,) Bob is currently running a successful consulting business from a log home on an island off the coast of Vancouver His Greatest Hits are handily located on LinkedIn

LinkedIn profile

Dominique Seppelt | Peak Ace AG |

Dominique Seppelt is the Head of Content Marketing at Peak Ace AG. Together with her 25-strong team, she develops internationally scalable, innovative content marketing concepts and strategies. Her campaigns are both target audience and search-oriented, with dynamic outreach strategies that ensure that the right recipients are reached. With this approach she increases customer brand awareness and website traffic, generates leads and improves conversions and customer retention. In Berlin she hosts the Performance Content Marketing & SEO Meetup and besides that speaks regularly at search conferences to share her knowledge. Founded in 2007, Peak Ace AG is an international performance marketing agency based in Berlin. With over 130 employees, it implements campaigns in more than 20 languages at native speaker level and is one of the fastest growing technology companies in Germany.

LinkedIn profile

Jen Slegg | Founder and Editor | The SEM Post

Aleyda Solis | International SEO Consultant | Orainti |

Aleyda Solis is an award winning International SEO Consultant -service that she provides with her company Orainti-, a blogger (Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Moz), author of the SEO book in Spanish “SEO. Las Claves Esenciales” and experienced speaker (with more than 100 conferences in 20 countries in English and Spanish). Awarded as the European Search Personality of the Year in 2018 at the European Search Awards, included in Forbes as one of the 10 Digital Marketing specialists to follow in 2015, in Entrepreneur as one of the 50 Online Marketing Influencers to follow in 2016 and in Hubspot as one of the 59 Female Marketing and Growth Experts You Should be Following, she has been also interviewed in publications such as The Huffington Post and in the Google Partners Podcast.

LinkedIn profile

Martha Van Berkel | CEO | Schema App |

Martha van Berkel is the CoFounder and CEO of Schema App. Martha spends her days with Digital Marketers discussing the value of schema markup and figuring out how they can use this advanced seo strategy on their content and websites. She is an expert in schema markup, and passionate about teaching others on how to create “connected” markup. Martha's other super power is in connecting the dots, and loves sharing her view of the "future" of search when she speaks with customers, at conferences, podcasts and webinars. Prior to Schema App, Martha was a Senior Manager at Cisco Systems for 14 years responsible for the global online support strategy. During her career at Cisco she was an intrapreneur, starting new organizations, or introducing new technology to Cisco's global customers and partners. Martha gets Enterprise, and startup/scale-ups. Martha has a degree in Applied Mathematics and Engineering, attended MIT for Innovation and Strategy, and is a rower and a Mom of two energetic kids.

LinkedIn profile

Lyndsay Walker | Web Publisher

Angela West | Professional copywriter & social media manager

Angela West is the owner and founder of Working Web Copy. She specializes in SEO-optimized copywriting and social media management, with over two decades of experience in digital copywriting and marketing. Angela has held various positions in the industry that have led to her develop a well-rounded skill set, including social media director, copywriter, and web designer. As the owner of Working Web Copy, Angela develops content marketing strategies that seamlessly translate industry concepts into easily digestible messages that attract search engines and engage readers. She has been repeatedly praised for her transparency and communications acumen, going the extra mile to deliver high quality sector-specific content for her clients. She has worked for some of Canada’s largest corporations, small local businesses, and global companies from Paris to London to Silicon Valley. She prides herself on doing the best job for everyone she commits to as a client, no matter their importance or size.


Nick has worked in digital marketing since 1998. Moving to Russia in 2003 he specialised in multilingual search and broadening his knowledge across digital channels, content and PR. During this time he contributed to the Russian digital startup community; working with Yandex, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the US State Department. Returning to the UK in 2011, Nick then built and led marketing teams at Arena Media, Havas Media Group and the Dentsu Aegis Network. As the technical SEO lead at Vodafone Group since 2014, he has improved online performance and customer experience across 22 international markets. As an advocate for raising standards in online marketing, Nick judges the UK Search Awards and EU Search Awards. He enjoys speaking at conferences on the topics of mobile/data-first marketing, cross-channel campaigns and technical SEO. Outside work, he enjoys cycling and taking part in Prince’s Trust cycling events.

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