The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and to give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

All judges are advanced SEMrush users, and SEMrush will be the primary software which will be used to define the success of the campaign.

In the judging process, SEMrush as a company remains neutral and no one from the team takes part in the judging.

Please take a look at the 2018 judging panel below. The panel consisted of industry leaders and experts from Australia, as well as those who have an international presence in the search industry.

Judith Lewis (Chair)

Founder & CEO, deCabbit |

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.

Dawn Anderson

MoveIT Marketing / Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University |

Dawn is researcher into search engine crawling and crawl efficiency. In her background were Carat and Latitude, where she was working on search marketing campaigns for major brands.

She speaks on the International Search Marketing Conference on SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy. Being international SEO Consultant to brands in-house teams covering ecommerce, sports, travel, food and nutrition, legal, finance and insurance, Dawn is in SEO for decade.


Jim Banks


Jim has over 17 years of digital advertising experience, establishing one of the first digital marketing agencies focused on paid advertising in 2000. Spades Media, the company that Jim set up in 2012 manage large scale pay per click campaigns for advertisers and paid social media campaigns as well.

On top of running Spades Media, Jim regularly keynotes top marketing conferences worldwide, and is an official judge of US, UK and European Search Awards.

Lyndon Barnett

SEO & Digital Content Manager, Vodafone Australia |

Lyndon currently manages digital content and search engine optimisation for Vodafone Australia. He devises content and search strategies that drive online, in-store and over the phone conversions. He’s previously worked for Flight Centre, Groupon and the ABC. So far he’s explored 76 countries around the world and he’s currently deciding which country will be his 77th.

Doyle Buehler

Best Selling Author, Global Entrepreneur & International Speaker |

MBA, is a best-selling author, global entrepreneur & international speaker, specialising in strategic digital branding and marketing. He has mentored, coached, trained & inspired many in the areas of startups, digital leadership, digital innovation, disruption, transformation, social media marketing, online marketing, and entrepreneurship, highlighting the strategies business need to be competitive and survive in today's hyper-competitive digital worlds He has built multiple award-winning innovative online, ecommerce startups and digital media businesses around the world. He runs a worldwide strategic digital marketing consultancy, Dept.Digital for companies who want to transform how they do business in the digital age. Doyle's second book #Breakthrough - Unleash Your Remarkable Brand Value, Influence & Authority, positions business innovators to think in a clearer, logical, more strategic manner.

Jeff Bullas

CEO, Pty Ltd |

An entrepreneur, blogger, author and a speaker, Jeff Bullas works with businesses to optimise their online presence with emerging technologies, content, social media and digital marketing activities. Jeff’s blog ( receives over 5 million visitors a year. He spent most of his business career in business of information technology and telecommunications.

Jeff is reaching heights with being listed as the 1st Content Marketing Influencer by Onalytica and ranking 1st as a Global Digital Marketing Influencer. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up”. His mission is to inspire and educate people to develop, grow and increase their sales on the social web.

Jeremy Cabral

COO, Finder |

Jeremy is part of the founding team and the COO of Finder. Having successfully grown into Australia's largest comparison website, Finder is now expanding globally with the goal of becoming the world's largest comparison platform. Together with his incredible team of talented digital marketing professionals Jeremy have helped improve financial literacy in Australia and assisted millions of people in Australia to make better informed decisions.


Nathan Chan

CEO, Foundr Magazine |

Nathan Chan, CEO of Foundr Magazine, entrepreneur & dreamer. With a passion for entrepreneurship and people Nathan created Foundr, a digital and print magazine available on the Apple Newsstand and Android “Google Play Store” in 2013.

Since then Nathan has been fortunate to interview and connect with some of the most interesting, innovative entrepreneurs and business leaders in the world today including: Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, and many more to share their insights and stories with millions of monthly readers of Foundr Magazine.

Kevin Indig

Technical SEO, Atlassian |

Kevin Indig has helped companies acquire +100M users over the last 10 years. He currently runs technical SEO @ Atlassian and mentors startups in and outside the German Accelerator in scaling growth. Companies Kevin worked with include brands like eBay, Bosch, Samsung, Dailymotion, Pinterest, Columbia, UBS and many others.

Shefali Joshi

SEO specialist, Monash University |

Shefali leads the search engine optimisation for Monash University (largest University in Australia - 70,000+ student enrolments across 6 locations in Australia, Malaysia, Italy, India and China). She provides strategic advice and insights to business areas across faculties and international markets in reviewing their web and content strategy, with a strong track record of delivering improved online presence.  She has 16 years of work experience specialising in the area of digital marketing, web development and optimisation. She has previously worked for companies like ANZ, Intelledox and BeyondBlue. Her interests range from web optimisation, data analysis and understanding the complexities of the mind.

Phil Leahy

Founder & Managing Director, Retail Global |

Phil has a deep passion for creating connections. That’s why he ended up founding two major annual conferences for digital retailers on opposite sides of the world—Australia’s Retail Global and the United States’ Retail Global conference. Hosting conferences allows him to bring creative minds from around the world together to share their stories.

As the Founder and Managing Director of Retail Global, he hears 100+ speakers each year and loves finding people who can convey critical information to our industry in powerful ways that inspire audiences. Phil also spends significant time working with leaders in the retail world—helping them identify the big and small trends that will make the biggest impact.

Irene Lee

SEM & Paid Social Lead, Canva |

Irene Lee is an award-winning digital marketer with over 13 years of industry experience. As the SEM lead at Canva – Australia’s fastest growing start-up – she works directly with the company’s leadership and growth teams to increase revenue and maximise performance across key metrics. She has overhauled the company’s SEM, optimising ads for an international audience and creating a new foundation for success. Irene’s diverse career has established her as a sought-after expert on growth marketing. She’s helped improve conversion rates for prominent organisations like Fitness First, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. Irene has been featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Smart Company. She is an in-demand speaker on the topics of gamification and leadership.

Peter Mead

Head of SEO, Bitcoin Australia |

Peter Mead is Head of SEO for Bitcoin Australia and a WordPress SEO Consultant at with a focus on Technical SEO and Content Marketing. He is a speaker and presenter for several groups and events. Peter is active in the SEO community including being a co-organiser of the Melbourne SEO Meetup. Peter is appreciated for his analytical and strategic experience combined with his strong work ethic and friendly demeanour. Peter is endeavouring toward a genuine, authentic, quality contribution to the broader SEO industry.

Dan Petrovic

Managing Director, DEJAN |

Dan Petrovic, the Managing Director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

Leonardo Saroni

SEO & Growth Marketing, |

Leonardo Saroni is an experienced digital marketer with 10 years’ background of heading up multiple digital marketing and product development teams for He has also been leading the global SEO team, which contributed to the success of the third biggest e-commerce worldwide.

Denise Shrivell

MediaScope |

Denise has been an active member of the Australian advertising, media and publishing community for decades. She is contributing to the community by creating and curating a range of resources, services and speaking about industry issues. In 2010, she launched MediaScope – a solo-run business, which helps the Australian media and advertising sector stay informed, up to date and connected with this fast evolving landscape. Denise is an official judge for the Mumbrella & ADMA Awards. 

Grant Simmons

VP of Search Marketing, |

Grant Simmons leads the Consumer Marketing team at, helping drive brand awareness and traffic to one of the nation’s top real estate sites.Grant has over 24 years of agency & brand experience serving industry-leading organizations such as; Paramount Studios, Red Bull, M&M/Mars, Disney, Napster, Warner Bros., UPS.


Aleyda Solis

International SEO Consultant & Founder of Orainti |

Aleyda Solis is an International SEO Consultant, service that she provides with her boutique consultancy, Orainti; a blogger (Search Engine Land, State of Digital and Moz), speaker (with more than 100 conferences in 20 countries in English and Spanish) & author (of "SEO, Las Claves Esenciales").

Awarded as the European Search Personality of the Year in 2018, included in Forbes top 10 online marketing experts to follow in 2015, in Entrepreneur as one of the 50 online marketing influencers to follow in 2016 and in Hubspot as one of the 59 Female Marketing and Growth Experts You Should be Following, Aleyda has also been interviewed in publications such as The Huffington Post.

Jim Stewart

CEO & Founder, StewArt Media |

As the CEO and founder of StewArt Media, Jim has built the company into one of Australia’s leading digital marketing firms. His two decades of industry experience has seen StewArt Media awarded with a coveted Google Premium Partner certificate for outstanding success in the industry. Jim has vast experience in all aspects of digital marketing, from SEO and Paid Advertising, to CRO and site migrations. He has helped thousands of businesses both locally and internationally achieve sustained business growth through the implementation of trusted SEO strategies. His blogs are ranked in ‘Australia’s Best Business Blogs’ by SmartCompany, and he is the SEO subject matter expert for ProBlogger.

Michelle Wilding


Michelle is an Australian award-winning journalist turned digital marketer who specialises in content strategy, natural search and media creation.

She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies (Journalism) and is armed with more than a decade of experience across marketing and publishing for both big and small brands and publications. Having moved to London from Sydney in 2016 for a new challenge, her current appointment is Head of SEO & Content at The Telegraph Media Group.

Lukasz Zelezny

Head of Organic Acquisition, |

Lukasz Zelezny is the Head of Organic Acquisition at, a UK based price comparison website with offices in London. Leading his team, he is responsible for the brand’s organic visibility, conversion rate, traffic and engagement. Lukasz is a hands-on person; he spends lots of his time keeping up to date with the changes in the technology of online marketing.

In 2015 he traveled 75,000 km speaking at many SEO and social media conferences including ClickZ Shanghai China, ClickZ Jakarta Indonesia, SiMGA Malta, SES London in United Kingdom as well as conferences held in Europe; Marketing Festival in Brno, Brighton SEO in Brighton, UnGagged in London. Every year he is actively participating in 10 to 20 events as a SEO/Social Media keynote speaker. Additionally, he organizes workshops where he is sharing tips around SEO, Social Media and Analytics.