VP, Industry Insights - Yext
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Duane Forrester is the Vice President of Industry Insights for Yext, leading industry outreach, evangelism and authorship for the company. Between Microsoft and Yext, he was the VP, Operations with Bruce Clay, Inc, where he lead the operations for organic and paid search, social, content and design.
Prior to moving to BCI, he was a Sr. Product Manager responsible for Bing’s Webmaster Program, focused on helping small, medium and enterprise businesses improve their digital marketing efforts. Previously, he was an inhouse SEM running the SEO program for MSN in the US & Americas. He’s also the founding co-chair of SEMPO’s In-House SEM Committee, was formerly on the Board of Directors for SEMPO and is the author of two books: How To Make Money With Your Blog & Turn Clicks Into Customers.
Duane has written for publications ranging from SearchEngineLand and DuctTape Marketing, to Entrepreneur Magazine, the New York Times and Inc. He actively advises startups and large corporations, and even spent time advising the staff who maintain the White House’s websites.
Duane Forrester was the US Search Personality of the Year 2015. UnGagged wanted to ask him 4 quick questions on his award.
Could you comment on what it meant to you?
This award was a big surprise. I was humbled. The previous year I had been a judge, and when I wasn’t invited back to judge I simply assumed it was because they had enough judges. Little did I know my name was in the running for the award, and you can’t be a judge and winner! On stage, I was close to tears, realizing that people actually thought about me for the award and voted for me. It was a really emotional experience, which quickly turned to laughter when Marty put a tiara on my head! After that, the party was ON!
Did you know who you were up against?
Nope – the info isn’t shared.
Have you ever met or what do you know about the European Search Personality of the Year – Bas van den Beld one of the other keynote speakers at UnGagged Vegas?
I do know Bas, in fact. We also have a number of friends in common and I can say he was, IMO, a great choice for the award! Going to be fantastic having both the US and European winners on stage in Vegas!
Lastly, why are you excited about opening UnGagged Vegas 2015?
I’m always excited when a few things fall into place: smart people, a safe environment and the ability for everyone to feel free being open. Ungagged looks to be just that combo. Plus I’m always excited to see old friends and meet new folks in the industry.
Why UnGagged loves them:
This is what UnGagged regular Jacob Hagberg had to say about Duane: “After listening to Duane speak, he tells you what you really need to hear as a digital marketer. If you think mobile is the next big thing? Wrong! You are already late to the party. If you think Schema is something you’ll get around to next year? Wrong! You better pencil it in for tomorrow. If you aren’t focused on website usability and predicting your visitor’s next question you are going to be left behind. Get ready for the future of search.”