The awards will be judged by a 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 our winners were chosen.

The 2018 judging panel was as follows:

Benj Arriola

SEO Director, Myers Media Group |

Benj Arriola is the SEO Director at Myers Media Group, a US-based company offering Enterprise SEO software solutions. Benj initially started his career as a chemist before transitioning to the online web industry.  Benj has now worked in SEO for over 20 years and is considered a thought leader by many of his peers in the digital marketing field.  Benj authors articles for online SEO publications and also speaks at conferences in different countries. Since the transition into digital marketing, Benj has held several director and VP level positions in digital marketing agencies dealing with many Fortune 1000, multi-national brand companies.

Elmer Boutin

Director of Organic Search, GTB |

Elmer is Director, Organic Search (SEO) with GTB. Following a career in the U.S. Army, he has worked in digital marketing for over 20 years doing everything from coding web sites to managing online reputation management efforts as both an independent contractor and a corporate webmaster. Now with GTB, a global advertising agency and strategic marketing partner for Ford, he leads the team doing organic search optimization on websites for Ford and other clients.

Trish Carey

Marketing Director, SellerEngine |

Trish is digital and social media expert, who not only understands the technical aspects of today’s platforms but also how (and when) to use these tools and technologies to an organization or client’s best advantage. (She also rocks at content curation/management).

Kevin Gibbons

Managing Director, 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.

Shelley Fagin

Founder Highly Searched Community Manager, SEMrush |

Shelly first started working in web development over 15 years ago and shortly after her fascination with SEO began. After a brief stint as SEO Director for a large Agency, the past ten years she has worn many hats as an independent consultant as her passion is working with local businesses and helping them thrive through digital marketing. Shelly is a coder at heart, a data junkie and loves a good brainstorming/strategy session. One of her favorite things about this industry is it’s continuous evolution and keeps her on her toes. For years, Shelly’s primary focus was exclusively on Organic Search, but she recently discovered a new fascination in Paid Social, most specifically Facebook & Instagram Advertising, and it's ability help her local business clients dominate their markets. She loves finding clever ways to hyper-target the perfect customers and then capturing those leads by utilizing the power of a strategic sales funnels. 

Juntae DeLane

Digital Marketing Strategist | Consultant | Trainer |

Juntae is the founder of the Digital Branding Institute, Sr. Digital Brand Manager for the University of Southern California, and CEO of DIGITAL DELANE. Juntae has worked with many brands across various industries such as Coca-Cola, Sony, Verizon, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures and many others. He is noted as a Top Social Media Influencer in several publications and has spoken around the country advancing the practice of digital branding. Juntae has delivered talks for events and organizations including Social Media Week, Content Marketing World, Social Fresh, Hootsuite, Social Media Marketing World, Brand+Aid, and Digital Hollywood to name more than a few. 

Jindřich Fáborský

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. 

Keith Goode

SEO Manager, IBM Security |

Keith Goode is the SEO Manager for Security 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, Cross Forum, and Clarity. A big proponent of democratizing SEO, Keith helped build the Search Certification program at Dell University and regularly presented a Technical SEO class, and he currently is building a virtual courseware for SEO at IBM.

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 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.

Motoko Hunt

Search Marketing Consultant, AJPR |

Since Motoko established AJPR in 1998, she has been providing the online marketing services targeting Japan, Asia and other markets to companies from around the world. Her search marketing consulting services with her extensive knowledge of Asia and Japanese market have been highly valued and made 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 including Multilingual Computing and International Journal of Localization. She also writes about the Japanese online market on her blog, and other websites including ClickZ, The SEM Post, Search Engine Watch, and SEJ.

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.

Christopher Kohan

Senior Product Manager - SEO / Growth |

Peter Leshaw

Marketing Strategist |

One of South Florida’s most well-known Internet Marketing experts. As the past-president of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association, and a regular speaker at prominent marketing conferences for more than a decade. Peter is recognized for his strategic thinking, keen insight and a zest for helping professionals better navigate the complexities of Internet marketing.

When asked why he is so passionate about his work, without hesitation, Peter expressed his love for helping others succeed, and the fact that unlike any other form of advertising, Internet marketing results can be tracked, tested and continually improved. 

Peter has his Master’s Degree in Information Technology from American International University and his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University.

Matt McGowan

President, Adestra |

Matt has worked alongside executives representing some of the world's best known and thousands of relatively unknown brands, agencies, and technology companies. Matt is President and a member of the Board of Directors at Adestra, an enterprise Software And A Service® Email Service Provider and Marketing Automation Platform. 

Prior to Adestra, at Google, Matt headed up strategy for the team that manages the Big 6 and Named Independent Advertising Agency relationships. Before that Matt served as Managing Director at Incisive Media (sold to Infopro Digital and Blenheim Chalcot), a recognized global media, marketing services, and data company. Matt has also served in leadership roles at Charles Schwab, Headland Digital Media - Learning Network (sold to Pearson PLC), and (sold to J. F. Shea Company).

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 comScore, Nasdaq: SCOR, in Sept 2015, and the Online Marketing Institute was acquired by in March 2015.

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.

Roger Montti

Owner, |

Roger Montti is a search marketing consultant with over fifteen years of experience.  Hee has presented at major Internet marketing conferences including SES, SMX, PubCon and Affiliate Summit.

In addition to consulting, Roger also publishes an award winning social networking site,  is a moderator at and publishes a popular advanced link building newsletter available at


Rebecca Murtagh

CEO & Author Karner Blue & CROWD SUCCESS |

Rebecca is a futurist, entrepreneur, author, and strategist with decades of experience working with Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, Main Street, multi-national consumer and technology brands on ground-breaking projects.

Rebecca helps entrepreneurs and C-Level Executives connect what they instinctively know with the latest data, science to leverage emerging trends improve business profitability and valuation in preparation for investment, merger, acquisition, or exit strategy.

Founder of the award-winning digital consultancy Karner Blue Marketing, Rebecca has been blazing trails in the digital space since the 1990’s. Involved in early development of Ecommerce, streaming media, all aspects of digital marketing, and leading the creation and roll-out of the first long-distance transportation-based WIFI service in the world, Rebecca has built a career on being a passionate innovator.

A former columnist for Search Engine Watch, Rebecca has appeared on, Money Magazine, Entrepreneur, has been a guest writer for wide variety of industry publications on and offline, lecturer at undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities; and event speaker for the world’s most prestigious marketing conferences and industry conventions.

Her book “Million Dollar Websites: Build a Better Website Using Best Practices of the Web Elite”, has been called the “top shelf reference for marketing professionals of all levels that should be required reading”; with an “insider’s perspective on building a world-class website that will stand out in today’s crowded marketplace”.

Watch for her upcoming book and Podcast CROWD SUCCESSTM in 2018.

Kyle Olson

Director of Audience Development, Imagination |

Kyle Olson is the Director of Audience Development at Imagination, a leading content marketing agency based in Chicago. Kyle develops content strategies and amplifies high-quality content that has been featured on The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, USA Today, VentureBeat, Chicago Tribune, Yahoo, People Magazine, Billboard, and The Huffington Post among others. Kyle oversees the earned, paid and native programs for enterprise clients in the financial, retail, B2B and education industries.

Adam Proehl

Partner and Co-Founder at NordicClick Interactive |

Adam is a Partner and Co-Founder at NordicClick Interactive, a Digital Marketing Agency based in Minneapolis serving a variety of Mid to Enterprise level clients. He is a 20 year digital marketing veteran who has who cut his teeth working for a global e-commerce provider in the late 90's. He ultimately spent almost nine years there during the early days of E-Commerce and ran the team that delivered the first $100m a year client. 

His primary focus has always been helping his clients get customers and keep them.  Adam strongly believes in focusing on timeless marketing principles and applying them to modern methods and tools. He has spoken at several industry conferences over the last ten years including SMX, SES, Pubcon, OMS, BMA, eMetrics, and MDMA.

When not working, Adam loves doing home related projects so much that he often judges the success of his weekend based on how much he got done. It’s not all about work though, he also enjoys anything that gets him outside during the summer, whether that be simply picking up a good book or spending time on the water.

Anthony Robinson

Founder & Optimisation Director at 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 Organic Products, SurveyMonkey |

Eli Schwartz is the Director of Organic Product for SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading People Powered Data platform enabling curious individuals and companies – including 100% of the Fortune 500 – to have conversations at scale with the people who matter most. He oversees SurveyMonkey’s SEO and viral product strategies for the entire product portfolio. Prior to his current role, Eli was the Director of APAC Marketing for SurveyMonkey based out of Singapore. In this role, he oversaw a significant expansion of SurveyMonkey’s user penetration all across the Asia and Oceania regions. Eli is also a frequent speaker at marketing and growth conferences and a regular author for popular business and marketing publications HuffingtonPost, Business2Community, SearchEngineJournal, and 

Carolyn Shelby

Director, SEO tronc, Inc. |

Carolyn Shelby is the Director of SEO at tronc, Inc. and is responsible for ensuring the optimization of 10 daily newspapers around the US, including the LA Times, the NY Daily News, and 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, 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.

Grant Simmons

VP of Search Marketing, |

Grant leads the Search Marketing team at, helping drive brand awareness and traffic to one of the nation’s top real estate sites. Grant has over 22 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, 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.

Erik Stafford

President, Chief Strategist, Stafford Marketing |

Erik is a multiple AFF-ADDY and ARDA award-winning creative director, brand strategist, author, and social commentator. He's helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners, and companies around the globe to create more effective, more authentic messaging. His work is responsible for millions in sales.

Patrick Stox

Technical SEO, IBM. |

Patrick Stox is a Technical SEO for IBM. He writes for many search blogs and speaks at conferences. He's an organizer of the Raleigh SEO Meetup (the most successful in the US) and the Beer and SEO Meetup and was founder of the Technical SEO Slack group.

David Szetela

Owner and CEO at FMB Media |

David is Owner and CEO of digital advertising agency FMB Media, and one of the world's best-known experts in online advertising. A former Apple Computer executive and serial entrepreneur, David's career has been dedicated to helping companies of all sizes maximize revenue and profit.

His two books on PPC advertising have helped train a generation of marketers. His articles on PPC advertising have been published in The SEM Post, MediaPost, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Land. He hosts a weekly radio show called PPC Rockstars, produced by Webmaster Radio and distributed by iTunes and other major outlets.

David is a frequent speaker at Search and Advertising industry events like SMX, Ungagged and Pubcon. He has several times been judged one of the top 25 PPC experts by PPC Hero.

Pinar Ünsal

Founder, Kubix Digital |

Pinar Ünsal has spent more than 13 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.

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

Her hobbies are baking, cooking, running, mountain biking, travelling and her 4-year old daughter Mira.

She loves planning & organizing events. Making people happy makes her even more happy. She can pull out a scavenger hunt out of her sleeve just like this and make it an unforgettable day for everybody. You can hardly ever see her upset, she always has a smile on her face.

Marty Weintraub,

Founder, Aimclear |

Marty is an entrepreneur, author, speaker & wilderness guide. He founded Aimclear®, a driven marketing agency dominant in psychographic targeting, winner of 10 US Search Awards, including 2X Best Large Integrated Agency, Best Use Of Social In A Search Campaign. Aimclear's differentiator is the Tao of holistic brand creative-builds and integrated psychographic performance marketing.

Credits include Uber, eBay, Airbnb, Dell, LinkedIn, Etsy, Eurail, Firestone, Amazon, Quest, Martha Stewart Omni, Intel, Travelocity, Macy’s, GoDaddy, 3M, InfusionSoft, Siemens, Seagull Outfitters 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.

Taigh White

Director of Digital Marketing, Ultimate Software |

Taigh White is an expert in digital marketing with over 20 years of experience in all facets of marketing, with over 12 years purely digital. He has worked for such well-known brands as Ultimate Software, BankAtlantic, Stiles Corporation, and Walt Disney World Company, and is a past-President of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association (SFIMA). Taigh has an MBA from Mississippi State University.


Rob Woods

SEO and online marketer |

Rob is an SEO and online marketer with 18 years of experience. He spent 13 years in-house in both e-commerce and publishing, and has been an SEO consultant ( for 6 years. Rob currently consults with medium to large sites in e-commerce, travel, software, and publishing. He specializes in SEO technical site audits, strategy, and coaching. Rob has spoken at numerous marketing events including Pubcon, SMX Advanced, SEMPO Canada / Bing Search Summit, BlueGlassX, IIMA Fusion Conference, DMA Retail, ACCM (Annual Conference for Catalogs & Multi-Channel Merchants), Endeca Discover Conference, numerous marketing and SEO Meetup events, and served on the Advisory Board for SMX Toronto. He is also the Technical Editor of 2 SEO/E-commerce books from O'Reilly "Social eCommerce" and "The Art of SEO".

Rob is an SEO and online marketer with 18 years of experience. He spent 13 years in-house in both e-commerce and publishing, and has been an SEO consultant ( for 6 years. Rob currently consults with medium to large sites in e-commerce, travel, software, and publishing. He specializes in SEO technical site audits, strategy, and coaching. Rob has spoken at numerous marketing events including Pubcon, SMX Advanced, SEMPO Canada / Bing Search Summit, BlueGlassX, IIMA Fusion Conference, DMA Retail, ACCM (Annual Conference for Catalogs & Multi-Channel Merchants), Endeca Discover Conference, numerous marketing and SEO Meetup events, and served on the Advisory Board for SMX Toronto. He is also the Technical Editor of 2 SEO/E-commerce books from O'Reilly "Social eCommerce" and "The Art of SEO".