We are coming to Dubai!

Join the MENA Agency & MENA Search Awards at Asia Asia in Dubai on September 22nd from 6pm - 8pm for an exclusive drinks, canapés and networking event!

RSVP by September 17th with dietary requirements to beth.sedgwick@dontpanicprojects.com

Previous Judges


The MENA Search Awards have been judged by digital marketing industry leaders and experts.
Current Judges
Previous Judges include:

Head judges

Olga Andrienko | HEAD OF GLOBAL MARKETING | SEMrush

Together with her team she has built one of the strongest international communities in the online marketing industry. Olga has expanded SEMrush brand visibility worldwide, bringing >90% YoY average revenue growth from top 10 new markets and growing SEMrush presence in the main markets such as USA, Europe and Australia. Olga is a sought-after speaker at leading marketing conferences such as SMX, Pubcon and BrightonSEO.

Kevin Gibbons | CEO | Re:signal

Kevin is CEO at Re:signal - an award-winning SEO and content marketing agency for brands anticipating the future. Kevin has presented at a large number of conferences around the world, writes frequently online and has worked with well-known brands including Expedia, Deloitte, Pottery Barn and more and was named 2018 search personality at UK Search Awards. Website: https://resignal.com.

Tarek Reda | Founder | Blue Pencil Digital Marketing

When he's not playing his guitar, Tarek is a well-versed digital marketer currently running his own digital marketing consultancy and training company - Blue Pencil Digital Marketing. Tarek has a Masters degree in digital marketing and has been working in the digital space for over a decade. He's always had a passion for Search Marketing, having ran search campaigns for companies across the Middle East, Africa and Europe with monthly marketing budgets ranging from $500 to $500,000. Tarek is also a digital marketing lecturer at academies across the Middle East training individuals and companies on various digital marketing topics including Search Marketing.

Gilad Sasson | CEO | nekuda Web Marketing Solutions

Gilad Sasson, aka algoholic (algoholic.com) is a digital marketing expert and the CEO of nekuda Web Marketing Solutions, a one-stop shop for all digital solutions, from search engine and social media marketing to creative, branding and everything in between. Gilad has been chasing search engine algorithms since the late 1990s, and is equally annoyed and intrigued every time Google gets smarter. Before founding nekuda Gilad was a copywriter, Photoshop editor, a content manager and an affiliate marketer. During his work with the Israeli yellow pages and at affiliate marketing phase he discovered search engine marketing, and when Google took over online search and the term SEO was coined, he was already hooked. In his 20 years' experience in the search marketing industry, Gilad has planned and built search engines for corporates, optimized and promoted websites for both local and global search engines; managed the internet arenas of Zap Group (the local version of Yellow Pages), was a VP manager at InterLogic, an international gaming company and founded a leading medical cannabis digital venture. In his position as a CEO of nekuda, Gilad is responsible for managing large-scale digital projects for various companies, startups, non-profits and government organizations. Gilad is also an online marketing consultant for companies and startups, a member of advisory boards in several organizations and a recurring speaker and presenter in industry events and summits including SMX, TNW, Israel Digital, Sphinconn, GoMobile, Amsterdam CAC, DMIExpo and more.

Nick Wilsdon | SEO Lead - Global Channel Optimisation | Vodafone Group

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

Judges

Adam Edwards | Global Head of SEO | Reprise Digital

Adam brings 20 years of experience in SEO across four agencies, one startup, and one software company. Most recently, he grew the Reprise US SEO team from two people in 2012 to win Best Large Agency at the 2019 US Search Awards. Now in Reprise’s first ever global organic search role, he leads over 250 practitioners in 40 markets around the world. He has spoken at multiple industry events including SMX Advanced, VOICE, and Yext Onward. Outside of work, he is passionate about social causes, just having been named to the NationSwell Council after previously serving as a board member for Upwardly Global and an executive producer of the 2018 film, Refugee, that premiered at DOC NYC.

Yasser El Sarw | Deputy General Manager of Digital Marketing | Nissan Motors Corporation

Bastian Grimm | CEO & Co-Founder | Peak Ace AG

Bastian Grimm is the CEO & Co-founder of Peak Ace and a renowned expert in large-scale, international SEO, managing sites of almost any size and in highly competitive industries. With more than 20 years’ experience in online marketing, technical and global SEO, Bastian was named “Search Personality of the Year” at the 2019 European Search Awards: a welcome acknowledgement of his contributions to a rapidly evolving industry. He currently oversees both Peak Ace’s search engine optimisation and content marketing initiatives. Bastian’s believes that understanding a target market means not only getting to grips with the language, but also the culture. This has given him a unique perspective on how to reach global audiences. Bastian leads a thriving team of expert native speakers, equipped to serve clients in 20+ languages, and the results speak for themselves. A full-service performance marketing agency with a focus on “all things search”, Peak Ace has a flair for over-achieving. Having been named a FOCUS growth champion for multiple years in a row, as well as scooping up trophies at both the European Search and Drum Search Awards, Bastian is proud to lead such an innovative, ever-expanding company. His secret? Dynamic, decisive processes, a phenomenal team and always going to bed with an empty inbox.

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!

Mark Knowles | CEO | Pixelsilk, Inc.

With over three decades of experience and hundreds of software, web marketing, and development projects under his belt, Mark Knowles has an in-depth understanding of web marketing, development, and search engine optimization (SEO). His professional background includes developing marketing technology solutions for companies such as JELD-WEN, Intel, adidasGolf, PacifiCorp, and many others. And as an entrepreneur, Mark has helped create and build several multimillion-dollar technology companies. Currently, Mark helps his team and clients prioritize and focus their marketing efforts. He also found and developed the first SEO-friendly content management system (CMS), Pixelsilk. At Smartz and Pixelsilk, Mark leads a team that combines innovative marketing application solutions with SEO best practices for client websites across the globe. In addition, Mark speaks at marketing conferences and universities, co-chairs the Swivel Digital MarketingConference in Bend, Oregon, and serves as an advisory board member at SEMpdx in Portland, Oregon. On a personal note, Mark is known for his relentless energy, an insatiable appetite for learning new things, and his ability to connect disparate trends and anticipate the future of marketing and technology.

Yaron Marcus | CEO | SellSide Media

Yaron is CEO at SellSide Media, a full service digital marketing agency based in Israel. He's been working in online marketing since 2006 and has personally managed many tens of millions of dollars in digital ad budgets. Having run large, successful campaigns across numerous industries and verticals, he possesses an abundance of practical knowledge and a unique, holistic perspective on digital marketing. Prior to Sellside Media, Yaron served as the Director of Marketing at MediaBoost, where he helped grow the company from a small startup to one of Israel’s leading performance marketing companies.The company’s Israel division was ultimately acquired by Los Angeles based Centerfield Media, which he joined as Vice President. When not working, Yaron enjoys hiking, storytelling and studying history.

Abdelaziz Mohammed | Marketing & eCommerce Consultant

Abdelaziz has been into the eCommerce space for 15 years now. He was working at Amazon as regional head of digital Marketing. Before Amazon he was heading central performance marketing team at Souq (acquired by Amazon). He was responsible for planning and budgeting marketing spend for MENA regions in Souq.com. Marketing, Ecommerce and Customer Experience professional with a proven track record of successfully improving digital performance for major brands within a variety of sectors in MENA region, including Dubizzle (OLX group), Souq (Amazon Middle East), Najm, H&M, Mother care, Victoria Secrets, Bath and Body Works and Emaar. Extensive experience of managing ecommerce websites (inc. +$1B turnover), leading large digital teams and driving cost effective marketing programmes.

Chris Nightingale | PPC Manager | AO.com

Chris is an experienced Digital Marketing Strategist with a passion to deliver through the ever evolving eCommerce landscape. His passion for digital led him to focus more on Online Retail and the exciting nuances of working for an exclusively online retailer. He is part of the vibrant AO.com Digital marketing and commerce team, on the forefront of the latest trends and technologies in order to bolster AO.com’s presence within a competitive market space.

Zbigniew Nowicki | Co-Managing Director | Bluerank

Zbigniew has been working in the digital industry for over 20 years, advising market leaders and innovators. Co-owner of Bluerank, awarded the "Best Large Integrated Search Agency" in the European Search Awards 2017 competition. Founder of CEE Digital Alliance and Digital Alliance Int. - international business partnerships of independent digital agencies from Europe. Pioneer of research on customer experience and user satisfaction, co-founder of the opiniac.com platform. Speaker at digital conferences in Poland and abroad. Privately - doubly happy dad, ultramarathon runner, lover of hard rock and Labrador Retriever dogs.

Mayer Reich | Co-Founder | RankAbove

Michelle Souster | Digital Analytics Manager | Emirates

Michelle is a passionate digital strategist with over 10 years’ experience helping business implement data-driven processes with world-class analytics techniques. Her current role involves leading the digital UX analytics function for Emirates Group committed to continuously improving online customer experiences; in which search is considered an integral part. Inspired by how technology and data intersect to bring companies and consumers closer, Michelle’s expertise focuses on how analytics can improve the quality of these relationships. Having worked in a variety of sectors including Finance, Automotive, Travel, Healthcare, FMCG… she believes there are few business challenges that cannot be best-solved with a data-driven mindset!

Tim Vickery | Group Head of SEO | Property Finder

Tim is the Group Head of SEO for the MENA region at Property Finder based in Dubai. Tim has a wide array of digital experience having worked in agency and in-house roles covering affiliate marketing, paid search, digital analytics, and SEO. Tim lived and worked for 10-years in Toronto, Canada where he worked on campaign for brands such as Amex, Chrysler, and Aviva. Previously Tim was the Head of SEO for Samsung, as well as holding senior positions with Performics and VCCP in the UK. Tim’s role at Property Finder is to work across the MENA region to increase organic search visibility for brands in The UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

Colin Woon | Head of SEO | CV Library