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.

Judges’ Top Tips Become a Judge Previous Judges


Lukas Adamec

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.

Abdul Alhadithi | General Manager | THG Ingenuity

Abdu has 14+ years of experience in eCommerce Marketing & Digital Transformation, helping brands build and grow their global DTC & e-Tail propositions across FMCG, Beauty, Consumer Electronics & Travel. Abdu is passionate about people and supporting great causes, and led a charity initiative, raising £350k for orphans worldwide.

Jim Banks | CEO | Spades Media |

Jim is one of the original paid media experts, 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 £250 million on traffic, generating in excess of £1 billion in ecommerce sales and more than 2 million leads for inbound marketing companies. Jim is a well-travelled and sought after keynote speaker.

Celeste Beatty | CBO | Harlem Brewing

By following her truth - she calls it Brewing it Forward, Celeste has tapped into her passion for creating beers that infuse flavor, passion and pride. She has used her influence to help open doors for a new generation of brewers and indy beer distributors She launched Harlem Brewing Company in 2000, inspired by her love of the craft and the Harlem community. She became the first African American woman brewer to launch a commercially distributed beer, and later went on to sell her beers in Walmart, the largest food and beverage company in the world. She introduced her Harlem “Sugar Hill” Golden Ale, a nod to its famous neighborhood namesake, in 2001 and has since launched several Neighborhood Original recipes including her award winning Harlem Renaissance Wit, Harlem 125th Street IPA, and a hard cider - Harlem Strawberry Hill. In 2018, she launched Harlem Brew South in Rocky Mount, NC. Today, her beers have been widely distributed throughout NYC, along the east coast as well as Japan and the UK. Celeste and her beers have received many awards including Entrepreneur of the Year from the Harlem Business Alliance, Best Brew NYC, Best Amber Ale - Beer and Bacon Fest, Emerging Entrepreneur Award - Clinton Foundation and the Local Hero Award from the Association of Resident Theaters. Celeste has garnered international media coverage with features on TripAdvisor, Reuters, The Root, NBC, Fox News, MSNBC, Forbes and People Mag. When she’s not testing out new home brew recipes, you might find her in a garden training up hops or sharing a tasty Harlem brew!

Gabriele Bertucci | Founder | What's In The Glass?

Gabriele is an award-winning contemporary communicator and a drink industry professional. He has worked in various multicultural environments, with ten years of experience in the FMCG and hospitality industries. He is an Accredited Sommelier by The Beer & Cider Academy, a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. In 2020 he became the founder of What's In The Glass? a drinks-led marketing & communication agency. He is currently a Brand Activator at BrewDog, the world-leading craft brewery.


Carlotta is the global SEO product manager at Edreams Odigeo, where she is overseeing all the landing pages and the organic customers acquisition. She started her professional career in the marketing field working for Expedia in the search department. She directed various regional projects before moving into a global position in Vodafone, 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. Passionate about high-tech, she is working on improving her coding skills and is always eager to expand her technical knowledge.

Helen Christopher

As marketing leader, Helen is responsible for the formulation and execution of companies marketing strategy as fractional Chief Marketing Officer and Non-Executive Director roles. With a strong focus on launching disruptive technology to the market with profitable growth. As a member of the board, Helen is an executive with exceptional marketing, management, cross-functional and operational skills. Experienced in building brands and portfolio management. A high performing marketer recognised for being a change agent, leading brand and innovation strategy and delivering strong in-market results. Prior to taking over Orchard Nurseries, Helen served as a strategic partner of senior executives in sales, product development, and other roles to rapidly accelerate international growth in B2B global companies. A pragmatic, innovative problem solver with a passion for identifying and developing high performing teams, leveraging exceptional interpersonal & communication skills, and championing the marketing as a driver of business. Helen holds professional and post-graduate diplomas in marketing, both from the University of Gloucestershire, and has completed the Harvard Business School Leadership Program. Helen is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Liveryman of the City of London, where she regularly contributes to the marketing community with a strong focus on pro-bono work and mentoring.

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.

Richard Dawson | Digital Marketing Coach | Cheshire Digital Marketing

Richard has over 20 years of experience and has helped more than 30 SME Business Owners successfully grow their business to the NEXT LEVEL using the latest digital marketing best practice. His clients tell him, that as well as helping them to successfully grow their business, he give them lots of great advice, helped them focus, help them keep an eye on the bigger picture and not get distracted! He also works with Digital Marketing Agencies and Service providers to enhance their offering to clients and add value to what they do. He also writes about Politics and Digital Campaigning.

LinkedIn profile

Sara de Velasco | Head of UK Marketing | FREENOW

Sara is a senior marketer with experience both in B2C and B2B. She's spent time both in-house and agency side and is as comfortable creating a strategy as talking tactics. Her continuous commitment to find value for customers takes her to constantly ask questions to unearth valuable consumer behaviours.

Carmen Domínguez Rodríguez | Head of International SEO & Content | THG

A Spanish expat living in Leeds for 8 years, I have been working in the Digital industry for the past 6 years. While I like all Digital aspects, I am an SEO girl and I can talk about eCommerce SEO & Google’s Natural Language processing for hours - so much that I talked about it in a few conferences. I believe in empathy and trust when managing teams and continuous learning for success. A love a good joke and a good espresso!

David Edmundson-Bird | Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Enterprise | Manchester Metropolitan University

David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he leads a team of specialist digital marketing academics and runs a number of digital communications programmes. He is co-author of 7th edition of Digital Business & E-commerce Management with Dave Chaffey and Tanya Hemphill. David is Chair of Global Judging Standards for Don’t Panic. His role is to ensure objectivity, transparency and consistency across the judging panels for all Don’t Panic assets, and to provide a quality assurance process in the judging process. He set up Manchester Met’s first part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, their first full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communications in 2016 and Manchester Met’s Global E-Learning MSc in Digital Marketing. David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme in 2012 to enable students to experience live work skills in the workplace very early in their course. He has enjoyed several spells in academia as well as senior management roles in the digital sector, helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995, He sits on the Board FutureEverything and is a trustee of The Education Trust.

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.

David Gerrard | Associate Director  | Wayfair

With over 10 years in SEO and a background of delivering big for renowned clients, David has a breadth of experience having worked in-house, agency side and even for an e-commerce platform. A specialist in refining strategic approach and scaling execution, he is currently based in Berlin and leading the SEO efforts of Wayfair in Europe.

Dr Michelle Gledhill | Senior Lecturer | Manchester Met University

Dr Michelle Gledhill is a specialist in in advertising, branding and media. Her position as Programme Leader for MSc Creative Advertising Strategy at Manchester Metropolitan University combines her expertise in strategic thinking when working in consultation on live briefs with brands such as Manchester City, the Happy Linen Company and Manchester Gin, with her passion for developing and nurturing student talent in the Manchester and across the UK. Her fascination for branding led her to complete a unique doctoral thesis on how brands are processed whilst playing videogames. She is a highly experienced marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), CIM Senior Examiner and HE Examiner.

Richard Gregory | Founder | AgencyNXD

Richard is chairman of tech companies Ruler Analytics and Ash.tv, non-exec director of Fluid Digital and co-founder of SAScon - a digital marketing conference. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and Manchester Digital council member. With 20 years of digital expertise, Richard now advises agencies and start-ups on marketing and growth strategies.

Samuel Hall | Senior Director, Corporate, Employee and Brand Communications | Samsara

Samuel 'Sam' Hall has 20 years+ of experience in leadership roles across the Corporate, Brand and Employee communications world, spanning brands such as Google, Vodafone, Oracle, ServiceNow. He is currently leading integrated communications at Samsara that has made its mission to digitally transform the world of physical operations.

Rebekah Hindocha | Digital Marketing Manager | Michael Kors

Rebekah has over 9 years experience in digital marketing. Over the course of her career she has worked for 3 of the worlds largest marketing agencies across brands including adidas, Calvin Klien and American Airlines. For the first time Rebekah is now in-house leading digital performance marketing for Michael Kors, using her breadth of cross-channel and ecommerce experience to accelerate the strategy for EMEA and ROW sites. With a specialism in Paid Search Rebekah now manages SEO, Affiliate, Paid Social and Display channels. She has a passion for attribution, testing and data visualisation to understand what is truly contributing towards business success.

Veronika Höller | Global SEO Manager

Veronika is a Global Senior SEO-Manager and has worked in SEO and PPC marketing for over 14 years. She started as a copywriter and PPC Manager in a little Ads Agency. She has continuously developed herself further into the direction of SEO. Over the years, she has worked as a digital marketing manager in agencies and international companies, including CompuGroup where she is now. International SEO and PPC Strategies are Top of her priority list. She views SEO as a whole puzzle and not just individual sub-areas, hence why she trained herself in all areas – content, technology, PPC, SMM and UX. Today she spreads her knowledge as a speaker on the stages of international digital marketing conferences such as BrightonSEO, SMX advanced, International Search Summit etc. For her all digital marketing channels have to be united to get the best of your website.

LinkedIn profile

Charlotte Howell | Digital Marketing & eCommerce Manager | Grafton International

Charlotte Howell is a creative digital marketing professional with proven success at implementing cross-channel digital strategies to increase traffic acquisition and positively impact sales growth. She began her journey in organic search and has since crafted a diverse skill set covering ecommerce, paid media and influencer marketing. She currently heads up the Digital & eCommerce team at Grafton International, known for creating and distributing beauty brands such as CARMEX, ORLY and Eyelash Emporium. Charlotte is a strong advocate for continual learning in digital and adapting to industry trends. Her 12 year experience working both in-house and agency side, has been rewarding, providing her with a deep understanding of the ever-evolving marketing landscape.

Liam Howley | Chief Marketing Officer | Music Magpie

As Chief Marketing Officer at musicMagpie, Liam is tasked with the development and direction of the business's strategic marketing plans to maximize brand growth, customer acquisition, conversion and retention through online and offline channels. This includes control and management of internal digital, marketing and design teams & external agencies, with responsibility for planning, analysing and optimising a multi-million pound marketing budget in the UK for musicMagpie.co.uk and in the US for Decluttr.com.

Chris Ioannou | SEO Consultant 

Chris Ioannou is a seasoned SEO professional with over a decade of experience in the industry. He currently runs a small consultancy that helps businesses of all sizes improve their online visibility through technical SEO, content marketing, outreach, and reputation management. Chris is passionate about helping businesses succeed online, and he has a proven track record of delivering results. He has worked with a wide range of clients, including small businesses, startups, and large enterprises. Helping clients achieve significant increases in organic search traffic, improve their website rankings, and generate more leads and sales. As well as being proficient in content marketing strategies, Chris is highly technical and is a specialist technical SEO utlising R and RStudio to implement automations that improve his client delivery. In his spare time, Chris enjoys spending time with his family and following the financial markets using technical analysis as a hobbyist speculator.

Dr Sophie Iredale | Digital Marketing Lecturer | Manchester Metropolitan University

Sophie has been a Digital Marketer since 2009, becoming a Head of Organic Search for a south Manchester Agency in 2012. In 2015, Sophie then became a Lecturer in Digital Marketing, securing her PhD in 2020. She is now Programme Leader for the Manchester Metropolitan Universities MSc Digital Marketing Communications and an active researcher in the field. ​

Andy Jones | Group Marketing Director  | UltraLEDs

Andy Jones has been working in marketing for over 20 years across a mix of B2C and B2B businesses including Halifax, Very, Creative England, Cloud Technology Solutions (CTS) and most recently Online4baby where he implemented the marketing strategy which grew the business from £14m - £40m in 3 years. He now heads up the marketing at UltraLEDs & Tagra Lighting (Part of TRV Group) the UK's leading LED component brand, manufacturer and retailer. No stranger to awards, he's picked up the second-best parent in his household 11 years in a row.

Jude Liemburg | Marketing Director | GOARC

Bringing over 15 years of experience as a marketing professional in the high-tech industry, working with companies to create and strengthen their market position internationally. Extensive global marketing experience in the B2B industry, development, establishment and on-going marketing activities of both start-up companies and large corporations. Highly experienced at marketing strategies and initiatives that are aimed to facilitate the company's business goals, while contributing to the company product's distribution, sales, revenue and the perception of its brand.

Trond Lyngbø | Senior SEO Consultant & Founder | Search Planet

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.

Jonathan Moran | Senior Global Social Media Manager | Skyscanner

“If anyone knows about The Social Medias, it’s Johnny” – Johnny’s Mum “He’s my second favourite Social Media Manager, the rest of them are a tie” – Johnny’s Ex “Who?” – Steven Bartlett. Great praise, I think we can all agree. I also took on John Lewis with “It’s a Lidl bit funny”, mugged off Aldi for trying to appropriate the square sausage and have been the main social media creative for Skyscanner since Jan 2020 (yeah even during THAT time when travel was totally off the cards).

Mazen Mroueh | Director/Advisor | Techcombank

Mazen has been in many leaderships and Senior roles, currently he is the head of Digital & Partnerships at Digicrowns and Advisor at Techcombank, based between the Netherlands and Vietnam. Leading a Big team of experts based in Europe and his responsibilities cover MKT/Media, Martech, CRM, Affiliate, Website/SEO, Digital transformation, and innovation. Mazen overseed Global Digital media strategies, media pitches, digital transformation, and design of the technology ecosystem following the JBP with key suppliers such as Facebook, Google, & Tik-Tok. Next to that, Mazen is an Ambassador and Advisor for many Web 3.0 projects (Fitness, gaming, and others) Before moving to the Netherlands, Mazen worked at the agency side for 6+ years based in Dubai, Singapore, and Beirut. His diverse portfolio covers prominent multinationals such as BlackBerry, Samsung, Emirates, Etihad airlines, and all the Richemont Luxury brands. Mazen won many prestigious digital awards targeting the MENA region and is looking to score more worldwide. Mazen is a big believer in training both the body and the mind to be strong. So next to his professional achievements, he is a world marathoner and Guinness World Record holder, with more than 77 full marathons completed and many ultras.

Xavier Naudeau | Consultant

Xavier is a digital data-driven consultant who thrives on understanding consumers' behaviour to optimize their Search Journey through Digital. After ten years of combined experience between SEO, Web Analytics and Data, he now works within Business Intelligence at Philip Morris International to provide critical insights on consumer performance for smoke-free future campaigns.

Andor Palau | International SEO Consultant

Andor is an independent international SEO consultant based in Berlin, Germany, and has started his online career back in 2009. Having worked both in-house, as well as on the agency side, he is currently advising online shops, classifiers, marketplaces, and other companies regarding international organic growth strategies as well as technical SEO issues as an independent SEO consultant. He is former Head of SEO at Peak Ace, where he was responsible for SEO and managed a 20+ people team of SEO consultants and editors. Before joining the agency side, Andor was In-house SEO for a top-3 comparison portal in highly competitive verticals such as insurance, power, and telco. Andor’s core expertise is strategic SEO as well as technical SEO, covering topics such as crawlability, indexing management, migrations, and site structure optimization. He is a lecturer at the afs Akademie in Germany, which has made it its mission to offer quality education and training in the field of SEO.

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 fin-tech brands inside the holding. Plamen has a genuine interest in marketing and technology and that drives his experience through out 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.

Steph Rosevear | Marketing Consultant

Steph has worked in marketing across the publishing, education and not-for-profit sectors for 10+ years, and has a passion for inclusivity and accessibility in marketing campaigns. She began her career as a radio host and producer, before pivoting to marketing roles with philanthropy at their heart. Having worked for large national charity programmes, as well as global education institutions and healthcare organisations, her expertise lies in audience engagement and bringing a human story to campaigns.

Lea Scudamore

Lea is the SEO Lead at Aimclear®, a leading digital marketing agency and 22x U.S. Search Award Winner dominant in B2C & B2B search, social-psychographic display targeting, organic social media, customer acquisition, & classic creative values. She is a skilled digital marketer focused largely on search engine optimization (SEO), user experience (UX), digital accessibility, and organic content strategies. Her primary responsibilities include forming deep strategies for accounts, technical website optimization, reporting, and troubleshooting. Additionally, Lea is leading the charge in web accessibility and ADA website compliance for Aimclear’s clients. Lea’s career path includes more than two decades of hands-on management experience in SEO, website design, and content development. She’s well equipped to help lead Aimclear’s clients, which have included Dell Enterprise Software/Quest Software, Airbnb, Walk-In Lab, Seagull Outfitters, and numerous others. Lea has been described as fanatically detail-oriented, fully immersed in whatever she takes on, driven to achieve, motivated to do the right thing for others, and highly creative.

Polly Walton | Digital Marketing Director | UNRVLD

Polly 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.

Gellan Watt | Global Brand + Creative Consultant | Gellan Watt - Brand + Agency Transformation

Nick Wildson | Founder | Torque

Nick has worked in digital marketing since 1998. Moving to Russia in 2003 he specialised in multilingual search and broadening his knowledge across digital channels, content and PR. During this time he contributed to the Russian digital startup community; working with Yandex, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the US State Department. Returning to the UK in 2011, Nick then built and led marketing teams at Arena Media, Havas Media Group and the Dentsu Aegis Network. As the technical SEO lead at Vodafone Group since 2014, he has improved online performance and customer experience across 22 international markets. As an advocate for raising standards in online marketing, Nick judges the UK Search Awards and EU Search Awards. He enjoys speaking at conferences on the topics of mobile/data-first marketing, cross-channel campaigns and technical SEO. Outside work, he enjoys cycling and taking part in Prince’s Trust cycling events.

Lukasz Zelezny | SEO Consultant | https://seo.london/ |

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. To get in touch with Lukasz simply search “Lukasz Zelezny” or visit https://Zelezny.uk

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