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

Head judges

Laura Crimmons | Senior Digital Manager | Ringier

Laura is the Founder of Silverthorn, Digital PR agency that that fuses data with creativity to deliver campaigns that give you measurable results. She won PR Moment’s Young Professional of the Year 2017, was named in The Drum’s 2018 and 2017 50 Women in Digital Under 30 and was shortlisted for the CIPR’s Outstanding Young Communicator 2017. Laura has led campaigns that have gained coverage by top international publishers such as BBC, Mashable, Daily Mail and many more. Laura is a regular trainer and speaker at industry events such as PRmoment, INBOUND2017, Learn Inbound, UnGagged Vegas, Yoastcon, SMX München and BrightonSEO, where she has delivered the link building/Digital PR training since 2013.

Jennifer Hoffman | VP of Marketing | Banked |

Jennifer is an enthusiastic and passionate Marketing Director with over 15 years of experience in brand building and strategic marketing, with an impressive track record of developing key partner relationships and driving business growth. Fascinated by all things impacting the customer journey; brand experience, user experience and customer experience. Hyper curious about new tech, innovation and startup culture!

Paul Morris | Marketing Specialist

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.

Helena Pearce | Senior Territory Web Producer | Playstation

Helena is a global content marketer with 10 years' experience creating content for major brands. She works in the void between content and data, and specialises in crafting data-centric content strategies, building content SEO methodology, and identifying out-of-the-box content solutions for the AI age. Helena is a senior web producer at PlayStation.com, with former roles heading up content for Samsung (Europe HQ) and Amazon (UK & US). Career highlights include presenting in Samsung City in Seoul, shooting promo videos in the Prime box at The O2 Arena, and interviewing Sir Michael Gambon at a West End after party.

Judges

Andre Alpar | Investor & enterpreneur

Andre Alpar‘s entrepreneurial activity in online marketing began in 1998 during his studies in economics, computer science and psychology. After building several companies, he served as a strategic online marketing consultant for Rocket Internet for over three years. Parallel to his professional career, he acts as a business angel at more than 40 internet start-ups. Andre created three successful online marketing conferences series in Germany. Also, he is a renowned author with three books and dozens of published magazine articles. 2012 he founded search and content marketing agency AKM3 that got acquired by the publicly listed agency network Publicis. The agency is now part of the performance marketing agency Performics with over 250 employees which he led as CEO in Berlin until mid-2017. Since then he has been active as an investor and keynote speaker on digital marketing topics

Luke Bigwood | Head of Content & Communications | Good Energy

Good Energy was set up to fight climate change by providing 100% renewable electricity to homes and businesses, and also owns the UK’s first ever windfarm. Previously Luke was Head of Content for the UK’s biggest organic brand, Yeo Valley, overseeing all earned, owned and bought media. Luke has 20 years’ experience in marketing, media and sales in the private and public sector. He holds a BA in Cultural Media Studies from the University of the West of England and began his career as a nightclub promoter. His experience spans the fmcg, energy, transport, health, financial services and environment sectors.

Joanna Bodley | Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing | Manchester Metropolitan University

With over ten years’ experience, Joanna Bodley has seen every side of the industry from creative to comms and large to small agencies, as well as in-house teams. She has developed, implemented and overseen social and digital strategies and provided guidance for a wide range of clients like The Co-operative Bank, Gumtree and Chewits. She has a keen understanding of the complexities involved in making digital, social media, content and advertising efforts a success. She harnesses this as a speaker and professional educator, having delivered training for numerous organisations, including Econsultancy. Jo is now a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and course director for their MSc Digital Marketing programme. She also runs her own consultancy, Jo & Co.

Carlotta Bonafini | SEO product owner | Vodafone

Carlotta is leading the SEO team at Vodafone UK, where she is overseeing the development of their new digital strategy. She started her professional career in the marketing field working for Expedia in the search department. She directed many regional projects before moving into a global position where her initiatives created outstanding results whilst pioneering new processes. She supervised both creative campaigns and technical projects, and launched many impactful ideas. Carlotta graduated from London Metropolitan University and Milan Catholic University and has been living in London for over 9 years. Passionate about high-tech, she is working on improving her coding skills and is always eager to expand her technical knowledge.

Michael Bonfils | GLOBAL MANAGING DIRECTOR | INTL MEDIA MANAGEMENT CORP (SEM INTERNATIONAL)

Michael Bonfils is the CEO and Founder of Int’t Media Management with the trade name of SEM International specializing in International SEO/SEM, multilingual content marketing and digital marketing solutions. With over 30 network offices around the world, Michael has been critical to the global digital marketing successes of many of the world’s largest corporations. Michael often speaks and writes on the latest trends in global search marketing and has contributed his time to many major national publications and events. In addition to being the founder of his award winning global advertising agency, he is currently a board member of a number of organizations in technology and advertising as well as a former and current judge for the US and Global Search Awards.

Laurent Bourrelly | SEO Consultant

In 1994, Laurent started working in marketing and branding. Laurent discovered the wonders of SEO in 2004, by entering a SEO contest. After three months of 24/7 SERP battling in this international competition, he got it. He knew exactly how and what to feed Google in order to help any web page rank at the top of Google SERP. It’s no miracle. If you put in the time and education over thousands of hours, you’ll eventually figure it out just as Laurent has. Like many others, Laurent cut his teeth mastering both black and white hat SEO techniques, adapting and evolving during each google algorithm update to keep himself at the bleeding edge of best practices right up to this very day. Bringing back his knowledge about branding and marketing into the SEO mix became obvious around 2010. Today, Laurent is one of the very few who can go from high-class Content Marketing to Black Hat SEO while building a strong Semantic SEO main pillar. He took out of the equation all the question marks, leaving only one single question « do you have the means to reach your goals ?  Some other notable achievements include his dozens of industry speeches including TEDx and SMX as well as his positions on as a Head Judge of the European Search Awards, and regular judged for many others. His thought leadership within the SEO community is well renowned from co-forming the notorious 'DarkSEOTeam' back in his black hat days, to being awarded third place for ‘All Time Best SEO in France’. The latest adventure is called SEO Conspiracy, which you can find on all the good places Online. It’s all about debunking SEO myths and Google Propaganda, but also helping out by sharing the right strategies to deliver results in SEO and Digital Marketing. Laurent now focuses his time mainly on consulting and has trained numerous SEO professionals, amongst the best in their fields.

Lucie Brand | Group Brand Content Manager | Legal and General

With 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications, Lucie’s most recent role is Group Brand Content Manager at Legal and General (L&G). Lucie cut her teeth working in the communications team in an acute NHS Trust for 8 years and went on to hold senior roles in further education and an NHS community trust where she was Head of Communications and Engagement. Throughout her career Lucie has specialised in strategic communications and digital project management and is more recently enjoying working on social media and brand content for L&G to support their inclusive capitalism ethos.

Martin Bryant | Media and Tech Consultant

Martin Bryant is a consultant, speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media. He works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

DAVID CRAWFORD | FOUNDER | THE DIGITAL STRATEGY UNIT

David Crawford has worked for the last 25 years in marketing and digital agencies of all shapes and sizes. He was most recently Managing Director of Branded3, one of the UK’s leading search agencies, and has also held senior positions at McCann, BJL and twenty-six. He has worked directly with clients such as American Airlines, UPS and Bentley as well as help a couple of tech start-ups develop and deliver their digital & marketing strategies. He now works with creative, digital and tech agencies as a Non-Exec Director, Board Advisor and Coach.

Brent Csutoras | Managing Partner | Search Engine Journal

Managing Partner at Search Engine Journal, one of the top Digital Marketing publications online. Speaker at many of the top marketing conferences, such as Pubcon, Affiliate Summit, SMX, SMX Advanced, State of Search, SES, and more. Over 14 years experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and an avid Futurist, focusing on the implications of future technology on society and societal growth.

Adrian Cutler | Director | Microsoft Search Advertising

Adrian is a regular keynote speaker, award judge and panellist at industry events such as Cannes, Adweek, SMX and DMexco. As a Futurist, Adrian is deliberate in demystifying cutting edge tech such as Quantum and AI to show how not only how tech can save the greatest and most precious commodity to humanity, time, but also how its place in the world can empower us all to truly amplify what we are naturally capable of through our own human ingenuity. Adrian was granted a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Art, Commence and Manufacturing, as he takes the greatest pride in seeing humanity collaborate with each other and how tech can advance this collaboration. A mantra he lives by is "You only think differently if you HIRE different thinkers!"

Lyndsey Evans | Founder | Collaborative Folks

Lyndsey founded Collaborative Folks, a PR & content marketing collective, after 20+ years working both agency side and in-house across public relations, content marketing and brand strategy. Previously she headed up European brand comms and content marketing at AO.com and PR and social media at Iceland Foods. Lyndsey has worked at some of the north west’s biggest agencies and her experience spans 70+ brands across 20 sectors and includes Bentley Motors, Gumtree, Very, Specsavers, Marks & Spencer, CarFinance 247, Findel Education and Shepherd Group. At AO.com, Lyndsey transformed the brand's reputation from a little-known online white goods specialist to a hot media property. She also introduced the company’s first content marketing strategy bringing its search rankings back to page 1 from page 100 following a Google algorithmic penalty. Lyndsey has won many industry awards and in 2017 was named a top 50 in-house communicator in the north by Prolific North.

Gianluca Fiorelli | SEO & Web Marketing Specialist

Gianluca Fiorelli started working as an SEO in 2004, after previously having worked in the Italian TV and Audiovisual industry. Amongst the best known International and Strategic SEO consultants, Gianluca helps and helped brands like Iberostar.com, Glassdoor, Outsystems, ActivTrades, Magoosh, Go Overseas and many others to reach the sought success in organic search. Gianluca, who is also the founder of The Inbounder digital marketing conference, spoke at international events like Mozcon, BrightonSEO, SMX, and PubCon. You can find Gianluca on Twitter as gfiorelli1 (https://twitter.com/gfiorelli1) or contacting him at https://www.iloveseo.net.

Keith Goode | Sr. SEO Strategist | IBM

Keith Goode is a Sr. SEO Strategist at IBM and brings over 20 years of experience in the online sphere and over 10 years of experience in In-House and Enterprise SEO. He has worked for small and large enterprises including HomeAway, BDX, Dell, and IBM, and he has presented at dozens of conferences worldwide, including Pubcon, SMX, Advanced Search Summit, State of Search, Cross Forum, and Clarity. He has been recognized by Search Engine Journal as one of 140 SEO's to follow and regularly appears on industry podcasts.

Adam Guerguis | Digital Marketing Manager | Airbnb

Based in Montreal, Adam has more than 10 years in search marketing and growth hacking experience. His latest job was Head of Operations for airbnb organic growth. He also has been working with very exciting brands in several industries, languages, and sizes like Yahoo!, MSN, Groupon, UNHCR, Skrill, Paysafe card, and others. Adam is also a digital marketing trainer, guest speaker, mentor, digital marketing blogger since 2010, and a MSc. Marketing Candidate. In his free time, Adam likes coding and reading about marketing, LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamguerguis/

SImon Heseltine | VP of Audience Growth | Trader Interactive

Simon Heseltine is the VP of Audience Growth at Trader Interactive in Norfolk, VA. His team is responsible for all traffic channels for industry leading sites such as Cycle Trader, RV Trader, Equipment Trader and Commercial Truck Trader. Simon 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. Simon taught digital marketing for 5 years at Georgetown University, and was on the board of SEMPO for 4 years, 2 as VP of Education. Simon is a frequent speaker / trainer / moderator at conferences around the world on a variety of online marketing topics. He has a BA (Hons) from the University of Humberside, and a Masters in IT from Virginia Tech.

Dr Brendan Keegan | Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing | School of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University

Brendan has taught ​a broad range of digital marketing topics in Manchester Metropolitan for over a decade, after a few years in agency-land. His research examines the role of analytics in marketing strategy​ decision-making, as well as the utilisation of digital technology in shaping spaces and places.

Richard Keenan-Heard | Head of SEO | Trainline

Richard leads Trainline’s in-house SEO and engineering team, focusing on scaling growth through product and UX improvements at scale in markets across the world. With a growth mindset and a passion for trains matched only by his determination to help customers find the best options for sustainable travel, Richard has assembled the team from the ground up. Before joining Trainline, Richard spent five years working at Wavemaker (formerly MEC) delivering scaled, enterprise level SEO for global brands including GE, Tiffany, Michelin, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. As a result of his agency and in-house experience, Richard has a diverse background in SEO and Product bringing a wealth of experience to the judges’ panel.

Lucie Kerley | Digital Strategist & Influencer Marketing Consultant

After graduating in 2008 from Birmingham City University, with a degree in Visual Communication (Photography), Lucie specialised in delivering non-profit community outreach programmes. First as part of a small team on the Heritage Lottery Fund funded Full Circle Project, at the Media Archive for Central England, and more recently for the Big Lottery Fund funded programme Grow Wild, at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Lucie’s career in social media started organically when she began writing her lifestyle blog 'Lucie Loves' [lucieloves.co.uk] back in 2009. After being approached by the award-winning creative agency, Rees Bradley Hepburn via Twitter, Lucie became resident blogger for the Highcross shopping centre in Leicester, which eventually led to her moving to London and taking her blog with her. After 10+ years working in Social Media & Digital Strategy and writing her Lifestyle Blog 'Lucie Loves' - Lucie was named as one of The Drum's 50 under 30 Women in digital and awarded YDLA Social Media Consultant of the Year. Lucie credits her experience of working both sides of the Influencer Marketing fence, as both a Blogger and an Influencer Marketing Consultant, as instrumental in the way she enjoys helping teams to bring creative ideas and concepts to fruition. Following her work as part of Ogilvy UK's dedicated Influence team, Lucie has returned to freelance consulting and offers specialist knowledge and strategic expertise to a range of B2C /B2B clients around Social Media, Influencer Marketing & Employee Advocacy strategies. Her experience as a Judge for The Drum's Social Buzz Awards has given her a taste of what best practice content marketing should look like, when done to the highest standard. She is an ambassador for Young British Designers (https://www.youngbritishdesigners.com/ and an active supporter of Women in Tech through groups such as [email protected] (https://www.campus.co/london) Girls in Tech (http://girlsintechuk.com/), 50inTech (https://www.50intech.com/about-us/) and Circle (https://www.circlecommunity.co/ - who all promote strong female role models in the digital & tech world. "Having now experienced both client, agency, and influencer-side of the digital world. I’m keen to see how the industry is continuing to evolve, in order to fill the cracks that the gradual dissolution of traditional advertising has seen of late. I’m looking for authenticity of ideas and integrity of partnerships, that leave a lasting impression."

Umar Khan | Senior Digital Strategist | Nakheel Malls

Umar is a passionate digital marketer with over 8 years of experience in managing high budget digital marketing campaigns. With experience and expertise on all the verticals of Digital Channels including SEO, Google Ads, Social Media, Content Marketing, CRO UX and others. Umar is currently linked with Nakheel as the Senior. Digital Strategist. He also conducts digital marketing workshops & regular classes for well-known educational institutes in Dubai.

Edgar Liñayo | D2D Brand Manager | Nestle

"Strategic-design thinker and curious by nature" - I am truly passionate about design, innovation as well as brand building. I have over 15 years of experience focused on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). As a brand builder, I have been blessed to be part of paramount projects for acclaimed top global brands such as Ariel®, Bold®, Pampers®, Always®, Tampax®, Tess®, Naturella®, Vicks®, Ruffles®, Twistos®, Lay's®, Maggi®, Purina®, among many others. Furthermore, I have worked with praised local and regional brands. I took part of the global team at Bacardi Limited, the largest private family-owned company full of passionate employees and iconic brands as Bacardi® Rums, Grey Goose® Vodka, Bombay Sapphire® Gin, Martini®, and shaped by their rich history of spirited entrepreneurship. Nowadays, I am working at Nestlé as part of the central team overseeing EMENA projects.

Trond Lyngbo | Senior SEO Consultant

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.

Krzysztof Marzec | MANAGING DIRECTOR, DEVA GROUP AND CERTIFIED TRAINER GOOGLE ADWORDS | Deva Group

Head of 200+ clients agency with 14+ years of SEM experience. One of the top Google Ads & Analytics Trainers in Poland. Selected by Google for Google Partners Academy project and Big6 project. Certified in both Google Ads and Google Analytics as an individual professional. 7+ years of expertience in one of the larges sites in Poland - Interia.pl (Head of SEO). Additional experience in FacebookAds, Content Marketing and Link Building as a trainer, auditor and manager. Speaker at ShopCamp, Fair-E Trade Mobile Trends (multiple times), Mobile IT, E-business festival, the Festival of SEO (2014 and 2016), Welcome to the Real, Marketing Revolutions, Internet Revolutions (4x, for Google), VIII European Economic Congress and Congress of E-commerce with top speaker award.

Debra Mastaler | President | Pitch Hawk

Debra Mastaler is President of Pitch Hawk, a technology public relations firm specializing in building relationships between brands and their audience by using focused link building, content and social media marketing campaigns.

Gustavo Miller | Content Marketing Lead | Shopify

Digital marketing professional and journalist with more than 10 years of experience in global brands, startups and media groups in Brazil, Portugal and Germany. Former Red Bull Digital Media Manager, currently Shopify's Content Marketing Lead.

Orit Mutznik | Head of SEO | Silkfred

Orit has been working as an in-house SEO since 2008, previously Head of SEO for eToro and 888ladies. She specialises in eCommerce SEO, Technical SEO & Content Strategy. She’s a tri-lingual with a Degree in Linguistics, she's a BrightonSEO speaker and is one of the co-authors in Amazon's best-selling SEO book “Mastering In-House SEO” by Simon Schneiders. When she's not driving organic growth in the glamorous world of women's fashion, she enjoys baking & memes. Give @oritsimu a follow.

Polly Pospelova | Digital Marketing Manager | Delete

Polly is the Delete agency’s digital marketing director. She works with SEO consultants, PPC managers, content & PR consultants, and technical developers. Polly works on digital strategies and solutions for major brands in sectors including higher education, sport, property, travel and more. She is also a search marketing conference speaker on SEO, page speed and performance and digital marketing.

Robert Shaw | CEO | Creative Race

Rob Shaw is the CEO of CreativeRace one of the longest running independent marketing agencies in the North of England working with household names including ASDA, Greggs and Pets at Home. Previously he was CEO of Jaywing PLC, a data science-led agency and consulting business. With over 30 year’s experience in marketing and technology Rob has managed services for some of the UK's largest brands including Lloyds Bank, Tesco and O2.

Grant Simmons | VP Performance Marketing | Homes.com

Grant leads the Performance Marketing team at Homes.com, helping drive brand awareness, search traffic, affiliate traffic, and lead optimization for one of America’s top real estate sites. Grant has over 27 years of agency & brand experience serving industry-leading organizations such as; Paramount Studios, Red Bull, M&M/Mars, Disney, Napster, Warner Bros., UPS, Move.com, YPO, GE, Amgen & Fox Sports. Grant is a popular speaker at search & real estate industry events worldwide, including; SMX, SES, SIS, Pubcon, Brighton SEO, Chiang Mai SEO, UCLA Anderson School of Business, eMarCom, C3, Social Shakeup, Multifamily Brainstorming, R3, Digital Elite, DMA, LRTCon, and has written for or been quoted in Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine News, Forbes, Fox Business, MSN, Media Post, Yahoo & other national & international publications. Described as an online marketing strategist, motivator, ideator, entrepreneur, asker-of-tough-questions, and “proud American with a funny accent”, he prefers; father, sailor, search marketer & expat Brit – though not necessarily in that order when there’s a fair wind.

Bianca Spada | Social Media Consultant | Apple

Bianca is a global digital strategy expert with 10 years experience of delivering successful digital strategies and global campaigns in some of the world’s leading and cutting edge companies. She is an expert in consolidating and creating brand new social strategies to significantly increase the visibility of brands online. Bianca has a proven record of radically turning around performance and generating 3-figure growth within 12 months of working in a company.

Alexandra Tachalova | Founder | Digital Olympus

Alex is a frequent speaker and the founder of Digital Olympus. She also helps clients with PR, content marketing, link building, and email outreach.

Alison Traboulsi | Head of Social Media | Direct Line Group

With over 12 years in social media marketing, Alison started at Direct Line Group (DLG) in August 2017 as Social Media Editor working across DLG’s brands including Green Flag, Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. Before DLG, Alison spent six years at lastminute.com running its European social media platforms delivering audience-first content to maintain brand awareness, increase hotel, theatre and holiday sales and drive traffic to their blogs. During her tenure she was directly responsible for numerous award wins, including The Drum Social Buzz awards for a partnership with The X Factor. A Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned social media expert and regular industry commentator, Alison has a BA (Hons) in Information and Media, a certificate in Digital Marketing run by the Institute of Direct Marketing and brand experience spanning Eurostar, Hed Kandi, Intercontinental Hotels, Barclays and Disney.

Loes van Dokkum | CREATIVE & STRATEGY DIRECTOR | ZB COMMUNICATIE & CONTENT

Loes Van Dokkum is a senior content marketing director with an extensive track record in building loyal audiences for international A brand clients using high-performing lifestyle content. Her award-winning strategies, content ecosystems and creative concepts take brands a step further towards their vision, while delivering on marketing communication and brand positioning KPIs.

Anita Veszeli | Global Head of Social Engagement & Advocacy | Ericsson

Anita is the Global Head of Social Engagement & Advocacy at Ericsson, where she has been championing social-first thinking since 2013. Having amassed more than 15 years’ experience in B2B marketing and communication, and a decade in social media across various roles, she currently enjoys a unique position with oversight of all social media, employee advocacy and influencer marketing across Ericsson’s global business.

Murat Yatagan | VP of Growth | Brainly

Murat Yatağan is a Growth Marketing Consultant with 11 years of experience in building organic customer base growth engines, driving global expansions, and building monetization channels. During his consultancy career, he built expertise on empowering the digital maturity of 115+ clients globally from various business verticals like Education, Health, iGaming, e-commerce, and music. Since 2018, he works at Brainly as VP of Growth in Poland, leading the SEO and ASO strategies of 350M+ global users. Before this role, he worked at Google Ireland for 5 years and Global Savings Group in Germany for 2 years. He is a member of the Advisory Board at a San Francisco based startup digital marketing tool and Stockholm based Media Development company. Additionally, he's been the brand ambassador of OnCrawl since 2018. Lastly, he has been a Judge for UK Search Awards since 2016 and Head Judge for MENA, European, and US Search Awards.

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