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.

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

Lukas Adamec | Performance Marketing Manager | Zendesk

Lukas Adamec has been working within Paid Digital for 11+ years, during which he transitioned from an employee to a freelancer & CEO of Abadam Marketing. In the last 5 years Lukas has focused on Consultancy - working with established agencies to deliver client growth. His focus is particularly on international paid opportunities, from Google to Yandex, from Naver to Baidu, from Yahoo JP to Seznam. Lukas is a firm believer in knowledge sharing and enjoys discussing experiences with established online marketers as well as providing training to new colleagues. During his time off, Lukas recharges his energy by being disconnected from online influences and instead spends his time on wildlife photography.

Hessam Amiri | Paid Media and SEO Manager | The Royal Mint

Hessam began his digital career in 2014 for maternity cover as digital marketing executive, his passion for digital has allowed him to become the leading SEO/PPC for one of the oldest companies in the world The Royal Mint! Hessam has been managing, developing the main channels for the past 4 years which was part of the winning team in 2017 for two separate search awards. Outside the world of digital, Hessam is also a Governor for University Hospitals Bristol & Weston but also an ambassador of Daring to Dream charity. Hessam has always been pushing the boundaries in digital but also in life by having his family story made into Play on the big screens but also (soon to be announced) virtual reality experience for digital world!

Dawn Anderson | Founder | BERTEY

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

Seb Atkinson | UK Head of SEO | NerdWallet

Seb Atkinson has been working in marketing for over a decade, transitioning into SEO in 2012. Seb has spent much of his career working agency-side, specialising in link building and technical SEO projects for UK and international businesses. In 2019, Seb was appointed Head of SEO at KnowYourMoney.co.uk, which became part of NerdWallet in 2020. NerdWallet provides consumers and businesses with useful tools and insights so they can make smart money moves.

Jim Banks | CEO | Spades Media |

Jim has over 18 years of digital advertising experience. Since then he’s spent in excess of £220 million buying traffic for over 1000 companies. 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. Jim has been a regular fixture on the judging panel at the UK, European, MENA and US Search awards for the past four years and is a returning judge for this years UK 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.

Montserrat Cano | Digital Marketing, Product and Project Management Consultant

Montserrat Cano is a seasoned, all-round digital marketer and project manager who specialises in integrating the digital marketing areas to maximise marketing and business results. Having started in SEO and content almost back in the dark ages of digital, her core skill is SEO, as well as PPC,CRM/ email and social media strategy and execution. Her focus and passion is on solving issues and building internal processes to handle and prevent them using data. Being bilingual English-Spanish, she has worked with brands operating in the UK and internationally in a range of niches, such as ecommerce, legal, membership, public sector, technology or publishing. She has also spoken at the eCommerce Expo and Measurecamp. In her spare time, she mentors other SEO/ digital professionals to help make the industry stronger.

Ellie England | Sales Director | Microsoft

Passionate about digital, women in technology and making a lasting impact, Ellie began her career in sales working in an inner city secondary school 'selling' the importance of modern languages to disaffected teenagers. She got in to the world of digital advertising working for Google for 6 years, before eventually relocating to Manchester and joining Microsoft. As a Sales Director for Microsoft Advertising, for the past 5 years. Ellie has been spearheading the continued investment in the North of the UK and beyond, leading a growing team of Account Managers and Directors and juggling life as a proud mother of two pre-schoolers.

Neil Hardy | Digital Director | Mid Counties Coop

Neil has been involved in the digital industry since 1994 when he launched his first website for travel brand Page & Moy. He has worked for several blue-chip companies including TUI, The Co-op, Icelolly, Midcounties Co-op and more recently Shearing’s Holidays. With a strong commercial background, digital results and ROI are key focus points in any award judging. Follow Neil on Twitter @hardyneil

Lada Kalashnikova | Head of SEO | CopyBet EU Ltd

Lada has worked in digital marketing since 2003. She specializes in all aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), with a focus on technical SEO, multilingual search and mobile optimization. Her clients have included Starco, Action-MCFR, and Artec 3D. Lada worked as a Global Head of SEO in Acronis, then she was a Head of SEO at SEMRush. Lada now works as the Head of SEO/ASO in CopyBet EU Ltd, the first social betting platform founded in 2015. CopyBet is a fast-growing tech company, focused on providing the best experience for their customers while following the principles of Transparency and Fair Trade. Lada enjoys lifetime studying; most recently on topics around data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. Her favorite tools are Excel, GWT, GA, Yandex Metrica and brains. Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, yoga, and Japanese Art. Definitely a cat person.

Trond Lyngbo | Senior SEO Consultant | Search Planet AS

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO Consultant. He has over two decades of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and major Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing initiatives.

Paul Morris | Acquisition Marketing Director | Visualsoft Ltd

Paul has 22 years’ experience leading Marketing, Digital & Ecommerce both Agency & Brand side. Paul was previously Director of Digital/ Ecommerce at Marshalls PLC, Head of Marketing at Tesco Bank, global Digital/ Ecommerce Director at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital marketing at the Co-op Group (Food > Funeralcare) and have through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach & Silverstone.

Dudi Nakdimon | Advisor – Marketing & Growth | Freelance

Dudi Nakdimon is an SEO Consultant with 10+ years of expertise on online marketing and digital experience. In the past 6 years he was the Head of SEO at Ladbrokes Coral. As part of his job at LCG, Dudi was responsible for building an in-house team of SEO - SEO managers, content writers and technical specialists, while collaborating with SEO agencies. His experience working for a large corporation with various departments has taught Dudi that the best to achieve SEO results is by educating colleagues throughout organizations on the importance of SEO, working close mainly with Product, Dev, Creative, Legal and Compliance departments. “SEO is more than just work. It’s my hobby and a passion!”

Luis Navarrete Gomez | Senior Director | Liberty Group

Neal Patel | Managing Director | Bruce Clay MENA

Neal is the Managing Director for Bruce Clay MENA, the MENA regions leading independent search and social agency. Current agency clients include multiple government entities such as Digital Dubai, Dubai Future Foundation along with global names such as Johnson and Johnson, McDonald’s and LG. Prior to this Neal has been involved in various marketing related startups and has a passion for turning low performing businesses into viable high growth businesses. Neal has a deep, technical understanding of search marketing and social media and is a regular speaker at local marketing conferences.

Plamen Popov | Head of Global SEO | 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 fintech brands inside the holding. Plamen has a genuine interest in marketing and technology and that drives his experience throughout 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.

Ric Rodriguez | Director Of Strategic Projects | Vashi

Ric Rodriguez is an experienced digital marketer, with a background that stretches across agency, brand and vendor-side. Ric is the Director Of Strategic Projects at Vashi, the bespoke fine jewellery brand, where he leads a cross-department function. . He joined from NYSE-listed technology company Yext, where he was the European search marketing expert. Prior to this, Ric led teams at well-known agencies, most notably within iProspect, where he grew online market share for two high street finance brands - and at Croud, where he oversaw all SEO activity for a well-known B2B business across over 100 markets. He was also a part of iCrossing’s, multi-award winning L'Oreal team. Ric is co-author of the Amazon bestselling book "Mastering In-House SEO" and often speaks at marketing conferences.

Kristine Schachinger | SEO & Online Marketing Consultant

Kristine Schachinger is a leading technical SEO with over two decades experience working with digital media. Kristine began her career as a front-end developer and website designer. She has helped a wide range of clients from small and medium sized businesses to Reba McEntire, AOL, Superpages.com, and USA.gov. As her digital media experience expanded Kristine incorporated accessibility, marketing, and user experience into her work which naturally drew her to learn and practice search engine optimization in order to help her clients gain greater website visibility. She is now a well known and respected in her field as a regular speaker at industry conferences in the US and around the world. She is also a Subject Matter Expert with columns in Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, the SEM Post, Search Engine Watch, and State of Digital. Kristine is the CEO and founder of Nevada based Sites Without Walls. Her current SEO work includes (but is not limited to): · News Publishers and eCommerce sites · Site Recovery Plans · Monthly SEO support · Site Health Audits · SEO Algorithm / Penalty Audits · Conversion optimization · Site usability and testing · Accessibility (WCAG) · and other manner of Technical SEO. She has worked with many SMBs and enterprise clients such as Vice News, Vice Media, Salon.com, Top Ten Reviews, Patch Media, Discover, and Zappos.com.

Marty Weintraub | Founder | Aimclear Marketing Agency

Credits include Uber, eBay, Airbnb, Dell, LInkedIn, Etsy, Eurail, Firestone, Amazon, Quest, Martha Stewart Omni, Intel, Travelocity, Macy’s, GoDaddy, 3M, InfusionSoft, Siemens, SeagullOutfitters and many more. A fixture on the international conference circuit, Marty has appeared in front of hundreds of international search & social marketing conference audiences, from Jerusalem to Sydney. Entrepreneur Magazine wrote the reason for Marty’s success is a “Unique persona that is instantly recognizable.” He has been described as “not your typical agency type,” a “social media maverick,” “Foodie-Yelp addict” and “more innovator than follower." Having helped Aimclear to Inc. 500/5000 status 6X (2012-2017: fastest growing privately held US Firms), Marty guides Aimclear agency content, vision, services & creative-hands-on. Aimclear is a 4X top 100 workplace by Minnesota Business Magazine. Marty won 4 "Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts" awards, Top 100 Twin Cities People To Know & claimed the coveted "US Search Personality Of The Year” tiara. Marty is a perennial judge and presenter at The European & UK Search Awards. His Wiley/Sybex books, "Killer Facebook Ads'' and "The Complete Social Media Community Manager’s Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success" are critically respected. Marty has been cited & quoted in flagship publications including WSJ, NPR, Inc., Forbes, MediaPost & Adage. Aimclear Blog is well read, having been cited as a Top 10 Small Business Blogs, Top Ten Social Media Blogs and PRWeb’s 25 Essential Public Relations Blogs You Should Be Reading.

Adam Whittles | Head of SEO | AutoTrader

Adam has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing and is currently the Head of SEO at AutoTrader, the UK’s largest automotive marketplace. He has previously held roles at a number of GroupM/WPP media agencies, including Head of SEO & Content Marketing at Mindshare. Before joining AutoTrader, he was managing the SEO program at Apple across EMEIA and Emerging Markets. Most recently, Adam co-authored an Amazon best-selling book titled “Mastering In-House SEO” where he shares his experiences from working at both Apple and AutoTrader. The second edition of the book is currently available to purchase on Amazon.

Michelle Wilding-Baker | HEAD OF DIGITAL & CONTENT | FREESAT

Michelle is a globally award-winning digital marketer who specialises in data-first customer acquisition (owned/paid/earned), SEO and content strategy. She graduated with First Class Honours in Communication Studies (Journalism) and is armed with more than a decade of marketing and editorial experience across international, SME and start-up brands in highly competitive FinTech, Insurance, Travel, Beauty, eCommerce and publishing industries. Now leading the digital marketing, eCommerce, editorial, content and social strategy remit at Freesat and consulting on a project-basis for Oh Mishy, she previously completed 2.5 years as Head of SEO & Content at The Telegraph Media Group where she hired and led the ‘Best Brand SEO Team’ of 2019. Michelle regularly judges industry marketing and eCommerce awards, guest speaks at events and co-organises the ‘Take It Offline' Digital Marketing Roundtable in London and Europe.

Nick Wilsdon | Search Product Owner | VODAFONE |

Nick started his online career in 1998, giving his first SEO seminar two years later in Brighton. After moving to Moscow, he became an expert on Russian search, working with gaming clients across CIS markets. During this time he was involved in the Russian start-up community, working with Yandex, RF parliament members and the US State Department. Since his return to the UK, Nick has held head of department roles at Arena Media, part of the Havas Media Group and within the Dentsu Aegis network. As the Search Product Owner at Vodafone Group, he is standardising SEO best-practice and strategy across 22 international markets to deliver revenue growth in a challenging and competitive sector. He is particularly interested in data analysis, cross-channel/device opportunities and strategic planning.

Would you like to join one of our Search Awards judging panels? Get in touch with us to discuss the role in more detail, awards@dontpanicprojects.com