Judges


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.

Judges’ Top Tips Become a Judge Previous Judges


 

We Are Search Awards Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors are; Michael Bonfils, Roberto Croci, Motoko Hunt, Judith Lewis and Lukasz Zelezny. Find out more about our ambassadors below:

Michael Bonfils

Global Managing Director
Intl Media Management Corp (SEM International)

Twitter | LinkedIn

Michael Bonfils is the Founder and CEO of SEM International, an award-winning global agency with 32 network offices worldwide. Specializing in multilingual digital marketing, they support global advertising agencies and multinational corporations with their international Digital marketing needs from PPC, SEO, Social Media, eCommerce, Content and localization services.

Michael became involved in the search industry in 1997 and since then, has been a regular industry contributor and speaker at conferences worldwide. Over his career, he has worked in-house, at a search engine and has sold his first agency in 2004. Since then, he and his agency has worked with and consulted for over 100 global brands such as Intel, HP, Activision/Blizzard, Medtronic, Mastercard, Sony and many others.

Michael has volunteered his time as a board member for a number of digital marketing organizations and has been a judge on multiple awards worldwide since 2015. He is honored to be a Search Award Ambassador and is committed to increasing its value as a premium, highly recognized award amongst the search industry.


Roberto Croci

Managing Director
Microsoft for Startups MEA

Twitter | LinkedIn

Roberto Croci joined Microsoft for Startups team with a wide range of knowledge, having previously worked as the Google Regional head for (EMEA) Emerging Markets (Middle East, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Africa) where he helped businesses by building & mentoring teams that could successfully penetrate new markets and ensure sustainable revenue growth.

As a natural born leader, he is passionate about business, people and their growth and has more than 15 years’ experience in various industries – ranging from digital marketing, ad-tech to sales.

He will be integral as the Regional Managing director at Microsoft for startups Middle East, in helping startups achieve their goals and build successful businesses by promoting their tech solutions through digital and social campaigns, opening up the right opportunities for growth, customizing a market plan to maximize joint marketing with Microsoft and providing a targeted industry co-marketing and account planning.

He has specialized in leadership development as a Harvard Business School graduate
and has a proven track-record of creating successful teams and growing businesses in unpredictable environments.

He is passionate about Entrepreneurship and is one of the Partners at Strowlers Ventures, a micro VC-fund which invests in international startups mainly founded by top-tier MBAs.


Motoko Hunt

President, Int’l Search Marketing Consultant
AJPR

Twitter | LinkedIn

Motoko has been providing the online marketing services targeting Japan, Asia, and other markets to companies from around the world for since the mid ’90s. Her search marketing consulting services with her extensive knowledge of Asia and Japanese market have been highly valued and made a 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. She also writes about the Search Marketing and SEO on her blog and other websites. 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. In 2014, she received the Best Consulting Awards from the US Search Awards.


Judith Lewis

Founder & CEO
deCabbit

Twitter | LinkedIn

Judith Lewis is the founder of the deCabbit Consultancy specialising in integrated digital marketing consultancy and execution. She is a specialist integrated online marketer with skills in SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing as well as other digital marketing techniques. She has been doing SEO since before it had a name and has worked both in-house and agency-side. She has judged both UK & European Search Awards, is a founding everywoman Modern Muse and is the coordinator for London Girl Geek Dinners.

Having both an in-house and agency background, her clients have included Google, Virgin, NSPCC, Zopa, Slendertone, the Guggenheim, SAP, Amadeus, Blue Cross, & ShareThis. She works from planning through to execution, integrating her digital expertise through research & analysis, design & build through to deployment. Judith writes for the SEO Chicks and Mostly About Chocolate as well as the Huffington Post. She speaks at various conferences around the world and is passionate about teaching and helping businesses large and small (as well as chocolate).


Lukasz Zelezny

SEO Consultant
Website

Twitter | LinkedIn

Lukasz Zelezny, UK Search Awards judge, Top10 UK Social Media influencer and former director of organic performance at uSwitch / Zoopla. Currently is working as an independent SEO Consultant helping in organic traffic acquisition, technical SEO and content marketing.

Lukasz started his career in 2005 and has since been responsible for the organic performance of a number of companies including HomeAway, Thomson Reuters, The Digital Property Group, Fleetway Travel, uSwitch, Zoopla.

Each year Lukasz is speaking at many SEO and social media conferences. He was a speaker at ClickZ Shanghai China, ClickZ Jakarta Indonesia, SiMGA Malta, SES London as well as Marketing Festival in Brno, Brighton SEO in Brighton and UnGagged in London. Every year he is actively participating in 10 to 20 events as an SEO/Social Media keynote speaker. Additionally, he organizes workshops and meetups where he is sharing tips around SEO, Social Media and Analytics.

 


Judges

Jenny Abouobaia | Co-Founder | Niche Website Builders

Jenny's specialty within search falls in affiliate SEO, with years of expertise in both building and managing six-figure affiliate niche sites for clients worldwide, with a focus in the APAC region. Jenny is the current Director of Sales and Marketing for Niche Website Builders, a leading UK-based agency specializing in the production of niche affiliate conversion content and done-for-you affiliate sites. She is also an award-winning SEO Consultant, winning the MENA SEO Consultant of The Year 2021. Jenny is a strong advocate for women in SEO. She is an active member of multiple female-positive SEO communities including Women in Tech SEO and Sisters in SEO. Jenny is also a judge and accomplished speaker within the SEO community.

Dawn Anderson | Founder | Berty |

Dawn Anderson lectures on search and digital marketing strategy at Manchester Metropolitan University, is an international conference speaker (UK, US, AUS, IT), a trainer, and runs a digital marketing and international SEO consultancy agency, Bertey based in Manchester, UK. Dawn has spoken at some of the leading UK and global search marketing conferences, including Pubcon (Las Vegas and Florida), SASCON (Manchester, UK), European Search Conference (Liverpool, UK), Search Leeds (Leeds, UK), Brighton SEO (Brighton, UK), SMX London (London, UK), SMX East (San Jose, US), Ungagged London (London, UK), Ungagged Las Vegas (Las Vegas, US), MozCon (Seattle, US) and State of Search (Dallas, US). Dawn has also spoken at conference across Europe and as far afield as Australia. Dawn has been in digital marketing and SEO for 12+ years and works with leading brands providing digital marketing and SEO strategy and consultancy across a number of sectors. She is a Northern Digital, UK, EU and US Search Awards Judge. Dawn also contributes to leading search marketing industry publications such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, The SEMPost, State of Digital and Smart Insights. Dawn also supervises Masters dissertation students undertaking their MSc in digital marketing strategy at Manchester Metropolitan University and also lectures and undertakes workshops on search and marketing analytics teaching International Fashion Promotion students at Manchester Fashion Institute

LinkedIn profile

Matt Beswick | Co-Founder | Aira |

Matt is the co-founder of Aira, one of the UK's leading agencies, has worked in Search Marketing for over a decade, and is a regular speaker at some of the industry's most renowned conferences. A technical marketer at heart, his expertise lies in SEO and Paid Media, and can be regularly heard asking Aira's PR team stupid questions that he should really know the answer to by now. He also likes bourbon

LinkedIn profile

Hannah Butcher | Managing Director | Re:signal

Hannah is the Managing Director at Re:signal. She has been working in SEO since 2009 across technical, content and digital PR, and recently moved into a leadership position. Hannah is passionate about topics surrounding mental health, wellness and hidden disabilities.

Shannon Cross | Senior Manager, eCommerce | 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

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

Carrie Haggerty | Global SEO Director | Manulife

Carrie Haggerty is currently the Global SEO Director at Manulife. She started working in search engine optimization in 2004 with a small startup and her passion grew from there. Over the years she has had the opportunity to work in both agency and client side projects and is proficient in all aspects of SEO including, technical, content and link building. Her current role has challenged her in becoming a global leader and allowed her to share her knowledge with teams across the globe.

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 | Creative Partner | 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.

Scott Hendison | President | SEARCH COMMANDER INC |

Scott Hendison is the founder of Search Commander, Inc., an internet consultancy with multiple services and brands. He began selling software online in 1999, attended his first Pubcon in 2004, and is a founding board member of SEMpdx, hosting monthly events and an annual conference in Portland Oregon since 2007.

Rachel Heseltine | VP of Audience Growth | Trader Interactive

Rachel Heseltine is the VP of Consumer Growth at Trader Interactive in Norfolk, VA. Her award winning team is responsible for all traffic channels for industry leading sites such as Cycle Trader, RV Trader, Equipment Trader and Commercial Truck Trader. Rachel has led US Search Award winning teams at ForRent (2017) and AOL (2014), also working in-house at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and for several years on the agency side. Rachel taught digital marketing for 5 years at Georgetown University, and was on the board of SEMPO for 4 years, 2 as VP of Education. Rachel was a frequent speaker / trainer / moderator at conferences around the world on a variety of online marketing topics in the "before times", and is hoping to get back to that when the world returns to a semblance of normality.

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

Rob May | V.P Search & Digital Marketing | Creative TRND 

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

Xavier Naudeau | SEO Consultant | Philip Morris

Xavier is an SEO digital data-driven consultant who thrives on understanding consumer's behaviour to optimize their Search Journey through Digital. After 10 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.

Dan Petrovic | Managing Director | Dejan

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

Plamen Popov | Senior SEO Lead Manager | Acronis Global |

Plamen Popov is an experienced digital marketer & SEO Expert with history of working for internationally renowned brands. He currently is working as Senior SEO Lead in Acronis, world leader in cyber protection & data security company. Plamen joined last year from the marketing team of Management Financial Group, where he lead global marketing strategies for various fin-tech brands inside the holding. Plamen has a genuine interest in marketing and technology and that drives his experience through out consulting start up companies and leading teams in enterprise brands exploring various aspects of marketing activities including PPC, Social Media, Display, Programmatic, App Marketing and SEO. His passion for Search Marketing & SEO always drives him to learn and explore new possibilities of creating better user experiences and results.

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

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

Alexandra Tachalova | Digital Marketing Consultant

Alexandra is a frequent speaker and founder of the digital marketing conference, DigitalOlympus.net. She also helps clients with digital PR, content marketing, and link building. Besides that, she regularly contributes to leading digital marketing blogs, including Moz, SEJ, Salesforce, SMExaminer, and many others

Melissa Tirey | Chief Operations Officer | Shift6

Melissa Tirey is Melissa is COO of Shift6 and Vice President of The Future of Search Foundation. She has over 15 years experience in digital marketing and specializes in seamlessly integrating the precision and expertise of her technical SEO skills to enhance PR, content strategy and social media performance. She has worked extensively in B2C and B2B marketing across the USA, Europe and Canada. Her background in neuroscience supports the team and consulting specialists in ensuring the scientific accuracy of media materials. Melissa is also the Vice President of the Future of Search Foundation, which is focused on how humans and machines change the search landscape with the goal of building best practices for a logical, sustainable and healthy search environment. She has extensive experience in the USA, UK and Canada working in the medical sector alongside technology, business and more recently with consumer focused brands. She understands the nuances of marketing silos and geographies from both a data and human resource perspective and as such has an exceptional ability to design and build strategies that get these teams working together in a synergistic manner. Leveraging the tools and data from these different industries enables her to build and repair online reputations for clients and individuals. This skill also supports her ability to build data driven reporting, strategy and optimization alongside market viability analysis for new products and services.

Rob Woods | Senior Director | ESSILOR DIGITAL

Rob is an SEO with over 20 years of experience. He spent 13 years in-house in both e-commerce and publishing, has been an SEO consultant for 8 years, and is currently Senior Director, SEO for Essilor Digital. Rob has spoken at numerous marketing events including State of Search, Pubcon, SMX Advanced, SEMPO Canada / Bing Search Summit, BlueGlassX, IIMA Fusion Conference, DMA Retail, numerous marketing and SEO Meetup events, and served on the Advisory Board for SMX Toronto. He is also the Technical Editor of 2 SEO/E-commerce books from O'Reilly "Social eCommerce" and "The Art of SEO"

Would you like to join one of our Search Awards judging panels? Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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