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.


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.

Barry Adams

Founder, Polemic Digital |

Despite the anglophonic name, Barry Adams is a native Dutchman living and working in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As the founder of specialised SEO consultancy Polemic Digital, Barry delivers SEO services to clients across Europe.

Barry’s been doing SEO in one form or another since 1998. As an associate lecturer at Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast he also teaches SEO for MSc programmes, and is a regular lecturer for the Digital Marketing Institute.

Barry is a frequent speaker at top international digital conferences such as SAScon, Pubcon, and BrightonSEO, and serves as the senior editor at award-winning European digital marketing blog State of Digital.

Jim Banks

Director of Paid Media, Groove |

Jim Banks is the Director of Paid Media at full service agency Groove, a premier creative digital agency, specializing in eCommerce, web design, paid media management, inbound marketing, and branding.  Jim is one of the pioneers of paid media, buying his first paid traffic back in 1999. 

Since then he has worked with over 1000 companies around the world and spent in excess of $175 million buying paid media generating in excess of $1 billion in ecommerce sales and more than 2 million leads for inbound marketing companies.

Lately he has been mastering the art of some of the newer paid media channels including remarketing, native advertising, programmatic display, mobile and video.

Jim is a returning judge for this years US Search Awards and looking forward to the innovation and creativity US entrants put on display.


Jonathan Beeston

Managing Director, UK, Croud |

Jonathan Beeston is UK managing director at Croud, a performance marketing agency. Jon is a veteran of online advertising and digital marketing. In previous roles at Adobe, Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe) and Mindshare (part of WPP), he's been at the vanguard of search, social and display advertising for over 15 years. Jon is also a frequent blogger, industry commentator and speaker. 

Michael Bonfils

President, SEM International |

Since 1996, Michael Bonfils has helped pioneer best practices in global search engine marketing and innovations in technology advertising. After selling his first agency in 2004, he launched SEM International as an agency service provider starting in China, which grew quickly and eventually expanded into Japan, Russia, Europe, and Latin America. By 2009, it turned into one of the largest global alliances of international search marketing service firms with over 20 global offices and over 300 digital marketing specialists. Today, SEM International provides services to agencies, enhancing their clients capabilities in multilingual paid, social and SEO as well as display, video and mobile on a global level. 

Nicola Carey

Campaigns Manager, Majestic |

Nicky joined the Search industry in 2013 as Campaigns Manager for Majestic, a UK based development-led business that offers link intelligence. Responsible for all international events, Ambassador liaison and various marketing campaigns, (especially those in Europe), she has worked on digital marketing projects, business start-ups, and in both the public and private sector to help clients, and businesses optimise their potential.

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.

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.

Richard Gregory

Managing Director, Latitude Group |

Bill Hartzer

Senior VP of Agency Services, Advice Interactive |

Bill Hartzer is the Senior VP of Agency Services, Advice Interactive. Bill is a frequent speaker and expert discussion panel participant at various search engine marketing and internet marketing conferences and events such as the Search Engine Strategies and the PubCon conferences. Bill writes frequently for Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Guide, and is regularly published in many online publications. He maintains a blog on his website,, and is one of the original founders of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association. He has over 18 years of search engine marketing, SEO, and social media marketing experience.

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.

Simon Heseltine

Global SEO Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise |

Simon Heseltine is the Global SEO Business Lead for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Previously, he ran Audience Development at AOL Inc. as the Senior Director, where he and his team were responsible for organic search and training across all AOL properties, including TechCrunch and Huffington Post.

Simon is the immediate past VP for Education for SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), and until recently taught Online Marketing at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as part of their Digital Media Management program. He's been a columnist for several industry leading sites, and photo blogs MLS soccer games for Huffington Post in his spare time.

Simon is a frequent speaker / trainer / moderator at conferences around the world on a variety of online marketing topics. Simon has a BA (Hons) from the University of Humberside, and a Masters in IT from Virginia Tech, and truly believes that it's not tea unless it's Yorkshire tea (not a paid endorsement).

Anders Hjorth


Anders Hjorth is a digital native, entrepreneur and a frequent speaker and writer on Digital Marketing. He is the Founder of 2 Digital Marketing agencies in Paris: AZNOS [Content Marketing] and BDBL MEDIA [Biddable Media]. Before this, Anders was one of the co-founders of Pan-European Search agency Relevant Traffic and later COO at GroupM Search across EMEA.

He has worked for a decade and a half across SEO, Paid Search, Affiliate, web development and hosting, domain names, consulting and more recently Social Media, Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing.

Kelsey Jones

Executive Editor, Search Engine Journal |

Kelsey Jones is the executive editor of Search Engine Journal and helps clients around the world grow their social media, content, and search marketing presence under her agency, MoxieDot. Based in Olathe, Kelsey has worked with brands and websites of all sizes, including Ford, Gazelle, Contour Living, the Online Marketing Institute, and more.

Anne Kennedy


International marketing pathfinder and branding fire-starter, Anne is President of Outlines Venture Group, which mentors scalable Internet startups, and presents women’s leadership events worldwide. Anne co-hosts the weekly “CEO Coach” on with Gillian Muessig. A marketing industry veteran, Anne led Beyond Ink from 1997 to 2013, aiding the budding search engine marketing industry, working with Hearst Newspapers, Philips Lifeline, Dunkin' Donuts, Gillette, and launching dot-coms Zillow and Avvo, among hundreds of other companies. She formed the largest worldwide online marketing network for multi-national marketing and co-authored the first book on international digital marketing, Global Search Engine Marketing (Pearson , 2012). A founding member of the board of directors for, acquired by RR Donnelly in 2012, she is on the advisory board of Synqy Corp and served for five years as advisor to the SES Conferences.

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).


Carla Marshall

Editor in Chief |

Carla Marshall is the Editor in Chief of (formerly, the world's leading resource for video marketing tips, tricks and strategies. She is YouTube Certified in Audience Development, and specialises in video optimization and organic video marketing. She has provided video marketing consultancy services to clients across the world, and is part of the marketing team at, the global leader in video intelligence for the cross-platform world. She divides her time between Manchester, UK, and Mountain View, California. 

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 pioneers. Matt is currently President and a member of the BOD at (a Business Growth Fund funded marketing automation platform) where he oversees the global business and it's almost 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 his time in sales and marketing at Charles Schwab, 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, Manyminds Digital |

Lexi Mills is a PR SEO specialist, with over eight years experience working with both small firms and big brands. She has designed and implemented integrated PR, SEO, content, and social campaigns in the UK, Europe, and USA for B2B and B2C clients.

Kate Morris

Director of client strategies, Outspoken Media |

Kate Morris is the Director of Client Strategies at Outspoken Media. She loves to teach through regular posting and speaking, and has been in the industry for over 12 years. 

Luis Navarrette-Gomez

Global head of search marketing, the Lego group |

 Luis Navarrete-Gomez is the Global Head of Search Marketing for The LEGO Group. Based in London he is responsible for all SEO and Paid Search activity for LEGO.

Luis has over 15 years’ Digital Marketing experience in helping corporations use the web to drive online visibility and generate leads that have resulted in new business online.

Jon Myers


Jon is an experienced senior leader with over 19 years’ experience within the Digital Marketplace working for large corporate organisations to start ups within the sector. Having worked for Agency, Publisher and more recently the Ad Technology space Jon has a strong understanding of all sides of the market and very strong business and people connections across EMEA.

Jon is recognised for his experience and thought leadership within the European online advertising industry. Having worked in Paid Search since its inception, many years SEO/Display/Social and as a regular speaker/moderator at conferences worldwide.

Samantha Noble

Client Services Director at Koozai & Co-Chief Editor at State of Digital |

Samantha is a Digital Marketing Expert with a focus on PPC who helps clients increase their revenues through Digital. She has been in the marketing industry for over ten years, eight of those years spent specialising in digital marketing. Her core role is as the Marketing Director at Koozai, a UK based digital marketing agency specialising in SEO, PPC and Content Marketing.

In addition, she works as the Co-Chief Editor for State of Digital, one of the leading industry websites when it comes to digital marketing. She works alongside Bas van den Beld, managing the site and the blogging team as well as assisting with the overall business strategy.

She also founded the Digital Females group which now has in excess of 750 members and has held 16 events to date. The group was designed to bring together likeminded females in the digital marketing industry to encourage a higher ratio of male vs. female at some of the leading conferences across the UK.

Diane Pease

Inbound marketing manager, cisco systems |

Diane is an Inbound Marketing Manager for Cisco, and has been in online and traditional marketing for over 25 years. She has expertise in SEO, social and traditional marketing, but her primary passion  is paid search and analytics.  In addition to online marketing, she has extensive experience in project management, process workflow, and business process engineering.

Diane has worked with many marquis clients including Lowes Home Improvement, Sirius, ULTA Cosmetics, Glaxo Smith-Kline and Accenture.  She focuses on providing clients with solid paid search strategies and seamless campaign execution. 

Diane is also a monthly writer for Search Engine Watch, SEMRush and ASPE-ROI.  She is a speaker at SES, ClickZLive, SMX, Internet Summit, Hero Conference and Digital Marketing for Business (DMFB).

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 seventeen 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 in podcasts and webinars. Her industry conference speaking engagements include Pubcon, ClickZ Live, SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX, as well as training events. Lisa shares her expertise as a columnist for several industry publications. She recently received the 2015 Microsoft MVP Award for outstanding contributions in Bing Ads technical communities.

Mark Robertson

Founder of ReelSEO and Head of Video Growth Marketing at Tubular Labs |

Mark Robertson is the Founder of ReelSEO and Head of Video Growth Marketing at Tubular Labs. 

He is a world-renowned video marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, and 10 years in the online video industry. (formerly ReelSEO) is a must-read resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing.

Mark is Certified by YouTube in Audience Development and works with major brands, video publishers, and platforms to provide digital video consulting and training. Mark specializes in multi-platform video publishing strategies and has proven, unique expertise in organic optimization and audience growth. 


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.

Carolyn Shelby

Director of SEO, tronc Inc. |

Carolyn Shelby is the Director of SEO at tronc, Inc. and is responsible for ensuring the optimization of 9 daily newspapers around the US, including the Chicago Tribune, as well as optimizing the company’s other e-commerce and digital marketing revenue channels.


Carolyn started working with Internet related technologies in 1994 when she co-founded an Internet Service Provider and web hosting company. She is an internationally recognized speaker and trainer, and frequently can be found at conferences like SEJ Summit, PubCon, ClickZ Live, and SMX. Carolyn also contributes to a variety of digital and print publications, writing about search, digital marketing, and social media use by large corporations.

Shari Thurow

Founder, Omni Marketing Interactive |

Lisa Williams


Lisa Williams is the Associate Director of Digital Engagement for Oregon Health & Science University and author of When Everybody Clicks: Sustainable Digital Marketing. She is a 19-year veteran of online marketing and has been featured in Kiplinger Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Boston Globe and The Oregonian. Lisa is on the SEMpdx (Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland Oregon) Advisory Board and member of SEMPO. She speaks at regional, national and international conferences including SMX, SMX Advanced, SES/ClickZ, SearchFest, Online Marketing Summit, SEMPO and BrightEdge Share. 

Pete Young

Head of Digital, Mediacom |

As Head of Digital, Peter currently heads up the Digital Marketing division for MediaCom across our PPC, SEO, Programmatic Display, Performance Marketing and Content Marketing teams. Somewhat an industry veteran with over 15 years experience in Digital, Peter has headed up digital teams across some of the UK’s largest digital organisations including MediaVest Manchester (now part of Aegis Dentsu)  , Brilliant Media and Amaze.