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Introducing the 2020 jury of the Friends of Search Awards

28 November 2019

Next year we are introducing the first edition of Friends Of Search in Belgium. But that’s not the only thing new: we will also be awarding the first ever Friends Of Search Awards in 2020.

Every year the most prominent Search experts from all over the world present their most innovative cases. And you can now be one of them, because the winners of Best SEO and Best PPC case both win a speaker slot at Friends Of Search 2020!

The jury consists of an independent jury of international experts and (former) speakers of Friends Of Search. This jury assesses entries based on strategy, innovation, effectiveness and results, but also on responsible and privacy-minded data use.

Let us introduce the jury.

SEO Judges

Areej AbuAli, SEO Manager at Zoopla and Founder at Women in Tech SEO
Areej is SEO Manager at Zoopla where she focuses on all things technical and on-site SEO. She is the founder of the Women in Tech SEO community which is a support network aimed for women in the Technical SEO field. She has been in the industry for the past 6 years, has spoken at BrightonSEO and MozCon and is a member of the UK Search Awards judge.

Barry Adams, Founder & SEO Consultant at Polemic Digital
Barry has building and ranking websites since 1998. Over the years he’s honed his skills in a wide range of businesses, from small agencies to Fortune 500 multinationals. In 2014 Barry founded SEO consultancy Polemic Digital, delivering specialised SEO services. In addition to his consulting work, Barry lectures on SEO and digital marketing for several universities and travels the world to speak at digital conferences, and is on the judging panel for the annual European and US Search Awards.

Linda Hogenes, Owner (Technical) SEO at Coolblue
Linda is the head of SEO at Coolblue, one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the Netherlands and Belgium. Her two biggest projects in the past 5 years at Coolblue were migrating 360 separate domains (such as into and and adding a French and English version to the website. In total, she has been working in SEO & digital marketing since 2010.

Marcus Tober, Chief Innovation Officer at Searchmetrics
In 2005, Marcus founded his first SEO company, which became Searchmetrics in 2007. A self-described Big Data and stats geek, Marcus is frequently asked to comment on trends in the industry. Every time Google makes a significant change to its algorithm—think Panda—or upsets the apple cart with ideas like secure search, Marcus is in demand. And he doesn’t mind ruffling some feathers with his opinions.

SEA(PPC) Judges

Brad Geddes, Co-founder at AdAlysis
Brad has been involved in PPC since 1998. He is a co-founder of AdAlysis, a PPC recommendation engine. He is the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the most advanced book ever written about Google’s advertising program. One of his trademarks has been demystifying the complicated aspects of SEM. Not one to hold secrets, Brad prefers to educate marketers on the various aspects of crafting successful marketing campaigns to ensure the success for all parties involved.

Denise Scheel, Sr. EMEA Partner Marketing Lead at Microsoft
Denise started her online advertising career in 2007 working with Display Advertising and has since moved on to Search Advertising. From the beginning she has been a passionate Bing fan. With more than 12 years of marketing experience in different roles across Communications, PR, Product Marketing and SMB Audience Marketing, she now leads the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program for the European region. Denise holds a Master in Applied Media Science and loves to coach and help others to find their full potential.

Frederick Vallaeys, Co-founding CEO at Optmyzr
Frederick (Fred) is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, author and leading influencer in PPC search marketing. One of Google’s first 500 employees, he helped pioneer PPC marketing as the company’s first AdWords Evangelist. Today he serves as Co-Founding CEO of Optmyzr, a leading and award-winning PPC management software system. A sought-after industry thought leader, he contributes to leading marketing publications and conferences.

Kate Adams, Head of Media & Measurement Specialists NL at Google
Kate started her career at Google 11 years ago as a Search Specialist, consulting advertisers and agencies on the best Google Search set-up and features to maximise campaign performance. Later Kate joined the Google NL Management Team and founded the Product Specialist team, helping shape the strategy of the Google NL business and leading this team containing the most specialised experts in Google’s Measurement, Search, Display & Video products. Even though Kate’s scope has widened across the full suite of advertising products, she remains a Search girl at heart.

Submit your best SEO or best SEA(PPC) case before December 20, 2019 at

Entering the FOS Awards is free. Just keep in mind ownership of an entry must be with brand/advertiser side. Check our FAQ for more info.

Unfortunately, we have decided not to organize a Belgian edition of Friends of Search in 2024. The 11th edition of Friends of Search we are organising in the Netherlands. Belgian visitors are of course more than welcome. Join us on March 21, 2024, in de Kromhouthal in Amsterdam.

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