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Marco Schuurman ( “If you don’t risk losing, you’ll never win”

30 August 2021

The registration for the Friends of Search Awards 2021 is nearly closed! Ambitious search specialists have until September 10 to enter (just one more week)! But how do you prepare yourself for participation? And what can a Friends of Search Award ultimately bring you? To give a glimpse of the experience of entering a prestigious search competition we talk with Marco Schuurman, founder of, and winner of the Friends of Search Awards in the category Best SEO.

How did you prepare yourself and your case for entering the Friends of Search Awards?

It definitely wasn’t easy to make a case about our high-end migration and scalable content strategy for Not because we had nothing to say, but because we had way too much to tell about this multi-year project. It was important for us to show our starting point, which challenges we faced and which solutions were implemented to make the migration a success. We decided to focus on the main pillars of our migration: smart technology, qualitative content, our creative thinking and a structured approach.

How did you experience presenting a case at Friends of Search, and eventually winning in the category Best SEO?

Receiving the award for our winning SEO case was amazing and so was getting the opportunity to present our case. It was even more special because it was the very first edition. I’m extremely proud of the whole team. We’re a very small company surrounded by a lot of big guys and it’s good to know that our hard work has paid off. Personally, I really needed to step out of my comfort zone to present our winning case. It was quite exciting to get up on that stage, but in the end, we got a lot of energy and exposure out of it.

What did winning the award ultimately bring you and your organisation?

Of course, it was an incredible feeling to win the Friends of Search Award, but to be honest: we won the award at a really weird time. I’m grateful that we got to celebrate the victory at Friends of Search with a big part of the team. Little did we know it would be the last big event we went to for a while.

We made some big plans after winning the award, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to realize them before everything closed down a few weeks later. But, as a result of winning the Friends of Search Award for Best SEO, we did get nominated for the European Search Awards 2020 for Most Innovative SEO campaign in cooperation with This nomination showed to us and the market that we’re also competing with the big guys on the international stage.

Do you have any tips and tricks for ambitious search specialists and companies who want to compete in this year’s edition of the Friends of Search Awards?

The most important advice I can give is: make time to learn new things and try out new ideas because that’s how you get ahead of everyone else. There has never been a shortage of new ideas at Slimster and we never stop learning from each other. This award is the result of that mentality. We never imagined winning the Friends of Search Awards as a small company between the big guys, but we tried anyway. If you don’t risk losing, you also will never win.

Interested in competing? Hand in your case now!

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