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 to give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

The 2017 judging panel will be announced shortly.

Barry Adams

Founder & CEO, Polemic Digital |

Barry Adams has been building and ranking websites since 1998. He was named the Digital Industries Person of the Year at the 2014 DANI Awards and in the same year he founded specialised consultancy Polemic Digital to deliver world-class SEO and digital strategy services to clients worldwide. In 2016 his work was recognised with two UK Search Awards, including Best Small SEO Agency.

Barry is passionate about educating the next generation of marketers, and lectures on SEO and digital marketing for Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and the Digital Marketing Institute. He travels the world to speak at digital conferences such as Learn Inbound, BrightonSEO, Pubcon, and Digital DNA, and serves as Co-Chief Editor at award-winning European digital marketing blog State of Digital.

Dawn Anderson


Past roles at Carat and Latitude, working on search marketing campaigns for major brands. 

International Search Marketing Conference speaker on SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy.

International SEO Consultant to brands in-house teams covering ecommerce, sports, travel, food and nutrition, legal, finance and insurance.

A decade in SEO.  Researcher into search engine crawling and crawl efficiency.

Jim Banks

CEO, Spades Media |

Jim has over 17 years of digital advertising experience, establishing one of the first digital marketing agencies focused on paid advertising in 2000.

Since then he's spent in excess of £190 million buying traffic for over 1000 companies, from small one person businesses to household High Street names.

Jim is a keynote speaker invited to speak at industry events around the world, including Pubcon, Retail Global, Marketing Festival, Friends Of Search, Hitpath Masters Conference, a4uexpo, SES, SMX and Affiliate Summit. 

Spades Media, the company that Jim set up in 2012 manage large scale pay per click campaigns for advertisers and paid social media campaigns as well.

Spades Media is a HubSpot Partner helping businesses generate inbound traffic, leads and sales.

Jim has been a regular fixture on the judging panel at the UK and US Search awards for the past three years and is a returning judge for this years European Search Awards.

Never one to shy away from giving an opinion or pulling punches Jim enjoys critiquing entries at the Awards and seeing what the search community thinks is worthy of winning.

Chris Boggs

Founder, |

Chris has been a digital marketer since 2000, starting in-house in the insurance space and subsequently assuming growing leadership roles across large agencies and SEM firms. In 2014 he founded in upstate New York. Chris consults with and coaches business and agency teams ranging from senior executives to technical, brand, content and legal groups; helping to improve validation, efficiency, internal acumen and implementation. Chris has diverse experience across major ecommerce platforms, pharma, retail, and other industries.

Since 2004 Chris has been a highly rated speaker, moderator, and content advisor at conferences and partner events all over the world, covering search engine marketing, social media, analytics and evolving tactics including the promotion of better SEO integration across marketing channels. He has served on the Global Board of Directors of since 2006, co-hosts the weekly podcast SEO Rockstars, and is a two-time judge for the US Search Awards. Chris also blogs for various industry publications but most of his writing involves analysis and recommendations for clients, while fostering integrated online marketing and branding to a qualified target audience.

Alan Coleman

CEO, Wolfgang Digital |

After failing to land his dream job in Google in 2007 Alan decided to set up search marketing agency Wolfgang Digital on his kitchen table.

From these humble beginnings, Wolfgang Digital won the coveted "Grand Prix" Prize in the 2015 European Search Awards as well as the "Best Third Sector" category. Wolfgang are highly decorated in Ireland's Digital Media Awards having won the Best Search title 3 times in the last 4 years as well as Best Agency, Best Company, Grand Prix among others during this time.

Alan blogs for Moz and is a regular speaker on the international PPC circuit having spoken at SES, HeroConf, OMCAP, AdWorld Experience, The Conversion Conference and SXSW Interactive.

Wolfgang Digital shot to international notoriety in 2014 when they "came out of the closet" as the owners of one of an online sex toy shop. The shop was opened as a 'be your own customer" project back in 2012 and led to many hilarious stories which simply had to be told.

Alan is excited to contribute to the search marketing community via judging the UK/US Search Awards.

Sean Dolan

President & COO at PushFire |

Sean Dolan is the President & COO of PushFire. A keynote speaker and leader in the digital marketing industry, Sean was an early adopter of remarketing and specializes in helping businesses maximize profitability of their digital spend. When he's not managing operations or speaking at marketing conferences, he can be found traveling the world with his family of five, and competing in triathlons. 

Jindrich Faborsky

Founder of Marketing Festival |

Czech entrepreneur and digital marketer, listed in the Czech Forbes '30 under 30' in 2016 and founder of Marketing Festival and Digisemestr. For the last five years he has been on a mission to improve marketing conferences and education. His Marketing Festival is one of the biggest European digital marketing conferences and is hopelessly sold out each year with over 1.700 marketing experts attending. Jindrich also runs Digisemestr, an educational project where he and other experts teach 250 aspiring young marketers the basics of digital marketing. 

Kevin Gibbons

Managing Director of BlueGlass UK |

Kevin Gibbons is Managing Director of BlueGlass UK, a digital marketing agency specialising in SEO and content marketing. 

With offices in London, Zurich and Tallinn, BlueGlass helps clients such as Expedia, Totaljobs and the Financial Times by acting as an extension to their teams.  Kevin has been involved in digital marketing since 2003 often speaking at industry leading conferences and writing for high profile marketing and digital publishers.

Greg Gifford

Director of Search and Social, DealerOn |

Greg Gifford is the Director of Search and Social at DealerOn, a software company that provides websites and online marketing to new car dealers all over the country. He's got over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and he speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings.


Greg also spends his time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.


Danny Goodwin

Executive Editor, Search Engine Journal |

Danny Goodwin is Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal. In addition to overseeing SEJ's editorial strategy and managing contributions from a team of 60+ industry experts, he also writes news and articles about SEO, PPC, social media marketing, content marketing. Danny has been a professional editor, writer, and ghostwriter in the marketing industry for 10 years, creating content for SMBs to global brands, spanning all things search and digital. He formerly was managing editor of Momentology and editor of Search Engine Watch.


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.

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.

Mark Knowles

CEO, Pixelsilk, Inc |

With decades of experience and hundreds of software and web marketing and development projects under his belt, Mark Knowles has an in-depth understanding of web marketing, design, development, and search engine optimization (SEO). 

His professional background includes developing technology solutions for companies such as JELD-WEN, Intel, adidas Golf, PacifiCorp and many others. And as an entrepreneur, Mark has built several technology companies into multimillion-dollar organizations. 

During the past several years, Mark's focus has been founding and developing the first-ever SEO-friendly content management system (CMS), Pixelsilk. At Pixelsilk, Mark leads a team that combines the Web CMS with SEO best practices for client websites across the globe. Industry luminaries like Adam Audette, Bruce Clay, Eric Enge, Laura Lippay, and others have publicly endorsed the value Pixelsilk in their writings and on stage.

In addition, Mark is also a speaker at leading search marketing conferences including Search Engine Strategies™ (SES), Search Marketing Expo™ (SMX), PubCon™ and others. He also serves as an advisory board member at SEMpdx in Portland, Oregon, and is co-chair of the annual web marketing conference, Swivel in Bend, Oregon.

On a personal note, Mark Knowles is known for having a relentless energy and a passion for craft beer.



Yiğit Konur's professional career began in 2005 when he created his first profitable website. During his second year he involved with the site, he continued researching articles explaining how to increase the search visibiltiy of site on Turkish. Then, he noticed that there were no Turkish articles about SEO. For this reason, he founded the first Turkish SEO blog at 2006. He used the blog to share his knowledge of SEO with visitors. Also, the site acquired a lot of subscribers in a short time which inspired Yiğit to start sharing his SEO expertise professionally.

In 2010, he finally dropped out of school. He then started his first startup, turkish leading SEO agency, Zeo.Eventually, this company became the host of the first and only international SEO event in Turkey which is called Digitalzone. In 2016, they had such great names in SEO like Rand Fishkin, Wil Reynolds, Mike King, Gary Illyes in Istanbul. These events hosted more than 600 people. SEOzeo is providing only SEO & inbound marketing consultancy with its 21 people team for leading brands in Turkey and some global brands like Pepsi & Momondo to succeed better in Turkish market. Zeo  is also creating some new web projects which is related to digital marketing ecosystem at two offices located in Istanbul and Ankara. Currently, Yiğit is working as Head of Holacracy at Zeo.

Judith Lewis

Founder and CEO of Decabbit Consultancy |

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 & EU 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).


Brian McDowell

Principal Digital Strategist at BloomReach |

Brian McDowell in an industry leader for enterprise level digital marketing and is the Principal Digital Strategist at BloomReach, Inc. Brian works with the worlds largest E-commerce brands on their strategies, forensics, process and team structures.  He has been building and promoting websites since 1997.

Brian has a true passion for technical application and has established primary revenue streams for multiple startups including LendingTree,, Red Ventures and Conductor. He has designed and built multiple in-house proprietary technologies and platforms for natural search and established large in-house teams consisting of developers and junior level SEO practitioners. Brian often speaks to large enterprise level decision makers as well as advertising agencies about how to build, recruit and sustain natural search focus within their organizations. Brian holds a BS in Computer Science from UNC Charlotte.

Matt McGowan

Head of strategy for America's advertising, Google |

Matt has worked in digital marketing for over 20 years, working alongside many of the world's leading brands, agencies, and technology companies. Matt is President and a member of the BOD at Adestra (a Business Growth Fund funded ESP and marketing automation platform) where he oversees the global business and it's 150+ employees. 

Prior to Adestra, at Google and YouTube, Matt was Head of Strategy for the America's Ad Agency business where he worked with Google leadership and the executive teams at the Big 6 advertising holding companies. Before that Matt served as Managing Director at Incisive Media, a recognized global media, marketing services, and data company. Matt has also served in leadership roles at Charles Schwab, Headland Digital Media (sold to Pearson PLC), and 

With a strong background in corporate strategy and deep C-level relationships Matt is also an active adviser and board member at various adtech and martech companies. Two of which have been sold: was acquired by Rentrak, Nasdaq: RENT, in Sept 2015, and the Online Marketing Institute was acquired by in March 2015.

In June of 2013, Matt was named a DMA & Marketing Edge Rising Star.

Matt has an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BA from Lafayette College and spends most of his time in NYC and Toronto.

Lexi Mills

Managing Director at Marquis Communications |

Lexi Mills is a multi-award winning digital marketing expert,
specialising in integrating PR and SEO at both a strategic and
tactical level.   Her research work focuses on the opportunities,
ethics and risks of machine learning and AI within the sector of
internet search.

Lexi combines technical search algorithm knowledge and psychology to
create data-driven measurable communications strategies that maximise
influence on human behaviour.  She applies this to external and
internal communications strategies.

She has been part of core teams responsible for the communications,
marketing and investment strategies of clients and agencies for over
eight years. She focuses on e-commerce, music and technology sectors.
Working with start-ups, SMEs and big brands across the US, UK, Europe
and African markets in both the B2B and B2C environment.

Lisa Raehsler

Founder, SEM Strategy Consultant |

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. As the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., she helps companies and agencies of all sizes to integrate PPC advertising into online media programs for brand promotion, demand generation, and customer acquisition. Lisa has led hundreds of paid advertising accounts for search engines (Google AdWords and Bing Ads), mobile, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Her experience spans twenty years and includes working with national brands at agencies and at the enterprise level at Thomson Reuters. Lisa has spoken about PPC, mobile, retargeting and other online marketing topics at industry conferences, training events, podcasts, and webinars. She was a recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award for Bing Ads PPC.

Antony Robinson

Founder, Pure Optimisation |

Ant is the founder of digital growth agency Pure Optimisation and the former Head of Search and Social at FTSE 250 listed AutoTrader UK. As a previous UK Search Awards winner Ant has extensive technical and hands on expertise delivering integrated campaigns across SEO, Social Media, PPC & Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Ant is a keen advocate of data lead decision making and the integration of the silos that often exist between the primary digital channels.

Eli Schwartz

Director of marketing, APAC |

Eli Schwartz is the Director of Marketing, APAC for SurveyMonkey, the world’s largest online survey platform. He oversees SurveyMonkey’s marketing efforts in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, he leads the company’s global SEO efforts and strategies across 17 languages. SurveyMonkey serves over 25 million customers worldwide, including 99% of the Fortune 500, and collects over 3 million online survey responses daily.

Grant Simmons

VP of Search Marketing, |

Grant Simmons leads the Consumer Marketing team at, helping drive brand awareness and traffic to one of the nation’s top real estate sites.Grant has over 24 years of agency & brand experience serving industry-leading organizations such as; Paramount Studios, Red Bull, M&M/Mars, Disney, Napster, Warner Bros., UPS,, YPO, GE, Amgen & Fox Sports.

Grant is a popular speaker at search & real estate industry events worldwide, including; SMX, SES, SIS, UCLA Anderson School of Business, eMarCom, C3, Multifamily Brainstorming, DMA, and has been quoted in Forbes, Fox Business, Media Post & other national publications.Described as an online marketing strategist, motivator, ideator, entrepreneur, & ‘proud American with a funny accent’, he prefers; father, sailor & expat Brit - though not necessarily in that order when there's a fair wind.


Aleyda Solis

International SEO Consultant & Founder |

Aleyda Solis is an International SEO Consultant -service that she provides with her boutique consultancy, Orainti-, a blogger (Search Engine Land, State of Digital and Moz), speaker (with more than 70 conferences in 18 countries in English and Spanish) & author (of "SEO, Las Claves Esenciales"). Included in Forbes as one of the 10 Digital Marketing specialists to follow in 2015 and in Entrepreneur as one of the 50 Online Marketing Influencers to follow in 2016, she has more than 10 years of experience doing Search Engine Optimization for European, American and Latin-American companies. 

After working in different SEO roles at European and American companies, both from the agency as well as in the in-house side, she founded her own consultancy to help from startups in competitive industries to multinational companies with complex Web environments to grow their search visibility & achieve their SEO goals with strategic, technical & in-depth SEO consulting. 

Shari Thurow

Founder, Omni Marketing Interactive |

Pinar Ünsal

Founder, Kubix Digital |

Pinar Kılıç Ünsal has spent more than 12 years within the Search Engine Marketing Industry. Her agency Kubix Digital, is a search-focused Digital Marketing Agency based in Istanbul & Berlin. She has participated as a guest speaker & opinion leader at various universities, conferences & roundtables internationally.

Pınar started her career at bwin in Gibraltar managing a team of 18 international Client Account Managers. In early 2005 she joined Google’s European HQ Dublin/ Ireland as Account Manager & Strategist for the German & Turkish Market. Before founding her own agency in 2007 Pınar was part of the ‘landing crew’ for setting up the Google Turkey office in Istanbul back in 2006.

Today, Kubix Digital is one of Turkey‘s leading and award-winning search-focused digital marketing agency.

Pinar Kilic Ünsal studied Business Administration und International Business at the University of Trier (Germany) and at MSSU (USA).

Her hobbies are running, mountain biking, travelling and her 3-year old daughter Mira. 

Rebecca Weichmann

Head of Operations, Vizion Interactive, Inc. |

As Head of Operations, Rebecca ensures smooth transitions from the initial sales prospect contact to the client project kick-off,  is responsible for all projects running smoothly (on-time and on-budget) and keeps a close eye on P&L for the company. Rebecca has created an employee training program to ensure that all staff are up-to-date on the latest Industry trends and best practices, established internal Accounting controls, and implemented human resource policies and procedures to ensure a smooth and simple employee experience throughout all stages of employment.

Rebecca has more than 15 years’ experience in Accounting, Treasury Management, process creation and implementation. Rebecca attended UOP with her main focus in Accounting. Her previous experience in large corporate environments providers her with a solid understanding of where Vizion is headed and how to help ensure profitable/responsible growth. In her free time, she enjoys volunteer work, reading, writing and spending time with her family.