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Marianne Sweeny Marianne Sweeny

Search Strategist | Portent, Inc.


Passionate about the intersections between information architecture, content strategy, search engine visibility machine learning.



A deep passion for technology, accompanied by a complete ineptitude at programming, brought Marianne to search engine optimization while studying Information Science at the University of Washington. She considers herself a Search Information Architect with a focus on human factors as well as system functionality.

Marianne joined Portent Inc ( as SR Search Strategist in 2012 where she focused n the user experience factors of SEO for client sites. Prior to joining Portent, Marianne worked through Daedalus Information Systems (, her own search optimization, appliance configuration and information architecture practice.

As Director of Search Services at Ascentium, Marianne designed a search practice that brought a strategic approach to search optimization for Microsoft Windows, Oldcastle Precast, Nintendo and other agency clients. She was named 2008 Outstanding Contributor by the Microsoft Partners for her evangelization and education efforts around Microsoft SharePoint 2007.

Marianne learned a lot about front-end and back-end Web technology as Web producer on the Microsoft Enterprise Server websites for 7+ years where she applied her search optimization and information architecture skills to improving customer engagement. In 2004, she co-founded Microsoft Information Architects, a 300 member company-wide cross-discipline community that continues to evangelize the best practices of IA company-wide. Springtime finds her teaching Introduction to Information Retrieval at the University Of Washington Information School. She is a frequent presenter at conferences on search and information architecture.

Industry Expertise (3)

Information Technology and Services

Social Media


Areas of Expertise (3)


Information Architecture

User Experience

Accomplishments (2)

President, Information Architecture Institute (professional)


Professional, non-profit, board of trade representing information architects

Conference CoChair, Information Architecture Summit 2017 (professional)


Premier professional gathering for information architects.

Education (3)

University of Washington: Masters, Library and Information Science 2005

In 2002, I decided to extend my understanding of information architecture with a graduate degree in library and information science. I am fortunate to live near one of the finest programs in the nation. It was here that I became enraptured by search engines and decided to focus my professional attention on this dynamic field. After graduation and my departure from Microsoft, I was able to devote myself full time to both Enterprise and Web search engine optimization. Thanks to my degree and background as an information architect, I take a proactive, strategic approach to all optimization efforts. To compliment my expertise in information technology, I obtained certificates in Software Product Management (1996) and Content Management Systems (2005) from the University of Washington school for continuing education.

American Film Institute: Fellowship, Producing 1980

The American Film Insitute (AFI) was the curriculam section of the National Endowment of the Arts program devoted to training filmmakers. My production fellowship was an integrated approach to all facets of producing film projects. Seminar classes focused on production management and project development. As a conservatory, AFI also encouraged all fellows to attend classes and seminars in the other disciplines offered: Screenwriting, Production Design, Cinematography, and Direction. Finallly, established filmmakers were invited in for special seminars. These events ncluded a "festival" of the guest's work and an extensive question and answer period. The small class size [my entire class was 70 with 15 of those producing fellows], strong ties to the industry, and immediate hands-on experience gave me an invaluable start on what turned out to be a 16 year career in the entertainment industry.

Holy Names:

Affiliations (2)

  • Microsoft Alumni Association
  • Women in Digital Journalism

Event Appearances (5)

Advanced Keyword Research & Competitive Analysis Tactics

SMX Toronto 2013  Toronto, Ontario


Designing Search to Meet Customer Expectations

Enteprise Search Summit Spring 2012  New York City, NY


Successful Enterprise Search by Design

Search Solutions 2011  London, UK


SEO for a Bearish Search Landscape: Designing the User Experience for Google Panda

UXPA DC UserFocus 2011  Washington DC


Closing Plenary

EuroIA Summit  Copenhagen Denmark