Top SEO Women of the Year Award – 2013

Top SEO Women

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Well, we hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s! We’re looking at an amazing year ahead; 2013 will be spectacular in many ways – especially now that we know the world hasn’t ended. Now that all the celebrations are out of the way, it’s time to get back to work.

It’s also time to start looking for the Top SEO Women of the Year again. We’ve been “accused” of pushing the envelope with our Top SEO Women award, but we’re thrilled to see this wonderful campaign’s third year. For the sake of brevity and clarity, let’s get the “Why are you only focused on SEO women,” question out of the way by referring you back to our original article: 2010 Top SEO Women – Just the Tip of the Iceberg. Everything has grown from that point.

Of course, by “everything”, we have to include the number of people that have remarked on how one sided (or one sexed) the award is…

With this in mind, let’s be clear. Most of the women we’ve met in this industry aren’t seeking the limelight. They’re not looking for applause any more or less than anyone else. They’re busy kicking ass and taking names, doing what they were hired to do. – And, we know a number of equally intelligent, equally worthy men in the SEO community; we don’t have anything against them and have often voted for them when they’ve come up for one award or another. However, as a woman-run company, we want to give recognition to these amazing women.

Now, as some of you know, we’ve been doing this for a few years now (the list of previous years is below), but we’ve decided to do things a bit differently in 2013. We’ve asked a handful of our previous winners to pick their three top choices, along with their reasons for choosing these women. They’ve been gracious enough to take time out of their busy day and send in this year’s nomination, and for that, we thank them. As a company, we take pride in knowing we have such wonderful resources and would never abuse or take advantage of their generosity.

Unlike other years, no restrictions were placed on whether or not a nominee had been a contender for previous years. Of course, those doing the choosing weren’t allowed to nominate themselves, and the Level343 team is not eligible to vote. Some of our nominees were nominated by more than one person, and they’ll have multiple quotes under their names.

Now that we’ve compiled the list (our longest ever), we shall allow the masses (and of course our readers) to pick the top three. Without further ado, here’s a list of the women nominated for the Top Women of 2013 award, along with the reasons why each was chosen. To keep things fair and avoid any possibility of undo influence, we’re not sharing who nominated whom, or who said what about whom. Vague enough for you? Good!

The names of the nominees are listed in alphabetical order (by first name). The list of previous winners who nominated these spectacular women are listed below the nominees.

Ann Smarty


Google +


Ann writes spectacular, out-of-the-box articles about blogging – and I love her perspective!

Anna Lewis


Google +


Despite her infectious joy and enthusiasm for search analytics, Anna retains her rational and scientific love of data digging; and is a fantastic speaker to boot.

Anna Moss


Google +


Ops director at SEO agency 3Door Digital, Anna is fiercely organized and without doubt one of the best content writers in the biz.

Annabel Hodges


Google +


One of the most diligent and creative SEOs and also one of those lucky left-brain/right-brain types. Annabel has a solid technical bedrock of knowledge with an open mind to engaging marketing strategies.

Annie Cushing



Google +

She’s always willing to share and has done excellent presentations at MozCon and SearchLove.

Another super-smart woman who makes analytics sound fun and easy!

Aleyda Solis


Google +


She is one smart cookie! Some of the SEO blog posts she has written this year is truly amazing and shows us what a good SEO is all about: creativity, forward thinking and “let’s try it” attitude. If she ever moved to London, I would try to hire her in a heartbeat.

Bonnie Burns


Google +


Always thinking outside the box and coming up with interesting approaches.

Christine Churchill


Google +


Long-time SEO with on and offline experience.

Dana Lookadoo


Google +


She’s a delightful powerhouse with a passion for SEO and how human behavior fits in.

Bright outlook, not afraid to ask questions and try new things.

Daniela Trifone


She was my colleague at Sems; I know for sure she’s very qualified in SEO, SEM and Google Analytics too.

Debra Mastaler


Google +


She’s a link building genius.

Heather Lloyd Martin

TwitterHeather Lloyd-Martin

Google +


Tells it like it is and focuses on quality and big picture all the time. Attention to detail and big picture is important.

Jennifer Evans Cario


Google +


This woman has been editor of Search Engine Guide, has written a book on Pinterest and is one heckuva social media marketer.

Jennifer Sable Lopez

TwitterJennifer S.Lopez

Google +


A rare marriage of super-geek and people-person with unmatched organizational skills… and having told cancer to go fuck itself tells you more about her spirit than I ever could.

Jessica Bowman


Google +


Jessica’s corporate experience sets her above and beyond in the area of SEO audits. She understands what it takes to get SEO implemented throughout an organization’s culture and how to train team members to own and care about their participation in SEO processes.

Jill Whalen

TwitterJill whalen

Google +


The most fair-minded person I know. Always looks at both sides of an issue before making a decision.

Jo Turnbull

TwitterJo Turnbull

Google +


She’s great connecting; she organizes an SEO event in London.

Joanna Lord

TwitterJoanna Lord

Google +


Super intelligent. I pay attention when Joanna speaks about PPC or remarketing.

Julie Joyce


Google +


Amazing work ethics and determination. Not only does she run her own agency and have two kids but she writes for pretty much every big SEO blog out there. Her content is consistently brilliant. She is also a person I admire a lot for her attitude, she is never different with anyone, she treats everyone the same and is always open and willing to help people in the industry.

Kristi Hines


Google +


Extremely knowledgeable in all areas of online marketing which makes her see things from a holistic view when it comes to SEO, but she also knows the tools and steps to get there practically.

Laura Lippay


Google +


Laura’s approach to SEO is well rounded with a focus on search, social, and content strategy. She is a Dashboard Diva and leads the pack of women SEOs when it comes to her ability to present the right amount of actionable data to various levels within a corporation.

Lisa Guerrini


Google +

I met her two years ago during a convention. I follow her on Twitter especially for her tweets about Social; she has a very lovely way to communicate.

Marjory Meechan


Google +


Excellent at analyzing and improving SEO for a website.

Melissa Fach

TwitterMelissa Fach

Google +


Melissa is an overachiever powerhouse who includes usability in her work. Melissa is never afraid to ask questions and I like that. This tells me she is very interested in knowing everything.

Love her analytical approach. A true “techno-geek”

Monica Wright


Google +


Adaptable, eager & never backs down from a challenge… she’s also a black belt in Karate, which means she’ll kick the shit out of you if it comes right down to it.

Rhea Drysdale

TwitterRhea Drysdale

Google +


Rhea has worked overtime to keep her SEO Company in the game and competitive.

Wicked smart & insanely dedicated – a dangerous combination, I assume, for anyone whose life goals involve… well, having one [a life] (but I’ll bet her growing baby bump is bound to change all that).

Rhea’s insight and understanding about technical aspects of SEO as well as content strategy and link building set her apart from most SEOs (male and female) in the industry. She is one of the best Internet marketing strategists I know. “Rhea” and “respect” are synonymous!

Sam Noble




From Koozai, who is technically not an SEO but does writes for State of Search and organizes “digital females meetups” in London regularly. Sam is hard working, very intelligent and great with people. People can learn a few things about networking from her; to her, it’s a natural way of being.

Shari Thurow

TwitterShari Thurow


Shari is a super-smart, woman who helped set best practices for the industry. One of the few first-generation SEO women.

Now it’s time to vote!

The polls close mid-year on June 16th at noon (CST)

Top SEO Women in Previous Years

Top SEO women of 2010

Top SEO Women of 2011

Top SEO Women 2012

A few women requested that we delete them from consideration, so we have honored their requests.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Comments (53)

  • Avatar
    Truth Reply

    So if you have boobies and do SEO you get an award? You know half the women on your list don’t do SEO? they might write about it, but at the end of the day drop code infront of them and they won’t know wtf they are looking at.

    January 14, 2013 at 7:41 am
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      Donna Fontenot Reply

      SEO isn’t all about code, dude. I assume you are a dude, right? Some of these women kick butt in the strategy department, even if they can’t write:

      RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} *!^www* [NC]
      RewriteRule (.*)$1 [L,R=301]

      But give us time, and we may consider giving honorary male boobie awards as well.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:34 am
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        Laura Crest Reply

        Right on, Donna!! 🙂

        January 14, 2013 at 9:07 am
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          Gabriella Reply

          Indeed, don’t ya love her coding abilities 😉 LOL

          January 14, 2013 at 9:40 am
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            Laura Crest

            Yes, I do – Awesome coding 😉 Think the dude in question definitely qualifies for the male Boob award. (And yes, I deliberately eliminated the “ie” off “boobie”).

            January 14, 2013 at 9:55 am
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            I had my face in coding all day, what a jerk. Thanks for including me on this amazing list!

            January 15, 2013 at 10:26 am
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            You are most welcome bella, but you know haters will hate. Between you and I, 🙂 I’m psyched that I recognize 75% of the women nominated. Finally, it’s a pleasure and an honor sharing new names of amazing SEO women in our industry. Basically, this has always been the goal, not only to solidify and give praise to the women I personally know and love, but to bring in the new unsung SEO goddesses to light. My work is never done!

            January 15, 2013 at 11:38 am
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            Elaine Clay

            Right on girls! Why work with just code all day? That’s a developers job!

            Can a coder write search engine friendly web copy? Optimise that copy for keywords the target audience is actually searching for? Make that copy rank in the SERPs so that searchers finds it? Make that copy informative, relevant and engaging to the reader? Turn that reader into a customer? Turn that customer into a repeat buyer? Turn that repeat buyer into a brand evangelist? Manage the brand reputation to ensure more of the same? There’s more to SEO than just code.

            Sorry got distracted! Great list Gabriella and thanks for introducing me to a couple of new (to me!) faces.

            February 24, 2013 at 2:12 am
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    Boris Krumov Reply

    Women Powah 🙂
    So happy to see here many faces and names that I know.

    You girls, you rock !

    January 14, 2013 at 8:53 am
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    Dana Lookadoo Reply

    HONORED to be listed but not voting for self! There are some incredible women on this list and humbled to be in such company.

    Actually, I’m too busy laughing about Donna’s earlier reply to Mr. Truth! HURRAY for SEOs with boobies who code!

    January 14, 2013 at 10:56 am
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      Gabriella Reply

      Aww Dana, (I-♡-Lookadoo) see how you are!! That’s what I love about our community… there’s a wonderful sense of respect, camaraderie, and most of all our tolerance and laissez faire attitude towards the other SEO’s with boobies.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm
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    Rosline Malach Reply

    well done Anna

    January 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm
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    Ash Nallawalla Reply

    I respectfully refuse to vote in such a contest. I declare all the ladies winners.

    I haven’t heard of half these ladies, which shows the problem. There is a tendency to assume that people who have ample time to write blog articles and travel to numerous conferences are necessarily good SEOs. There could be many unseen experts we will not hear about.

    People who live far away from the US can’t afford to go to many (or any) conferences. For example, a name I would like to have seen there is Kalena Jordan. I have never communicated with her but consider her an expert from viewing her writings. I invite people to look her up.

    January 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm
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      James Norquay Reply

      Ash I agree with some of your comments but I notice one Australian SEO is on the list been – Annabel Hodges, I work with Annabel in the Sydney market and can recommend her SEO work. It is not soo much about going to every conference it is more about been active on social media/ community websites and having a blogging presence I would guess.

      I also have found Kalena Jordan’s work to be good, I would also say she is a deserving entrant on the list, I have met her once at SMX and she is quite switched on in the SEO/ digital marketing space.

      Kind Regards,
      James Norquay.

      January 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm
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        Level343 Reply

        Hello James, thanks for your input. Just so you’re aware there is an Italian, British, a few Americans, and Canadian, ladies included on this list. While we would have loved to include a few more names to this list, our past winners are the ones who nominated the women they admire and respect in the SEO industry.

        January 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm
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    Bonnie Reply

    Such an impressive list of names! Not only that…but looks like everyone was having a great hair day with their head shots. And such HUGE smiles on their faces….obviously taken before a work day started. And finally, They Are All Winners 🙂

    January 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm
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    Paul Schlegel Reply

    Close call between two of them for me. Many of them I don’t recognize but will be leanring more about.

    January 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm
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    Jim Rudnick Reply

    Looked for the babe from Guelph….but found out at the bottom that SugarRae didn’t want to be on the list…

    Dunno why. But won’t vote as I think the best candidate ain’t on that list….least in my world, eh!

    Canucks rule!



    January 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm
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    Jo Turnbull Reply

    Thank you for the nomination.

    I am honored to be on the list with you all. Hope to see you at one of the next conferences.

    Have a great 2013 !

    January 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm
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      Level343 Reply

      It’s a pleasure adding you along with such a wonderful list of new women…Looking forward to meeting more of these awesome women at the next conference. PubCon New Orleans anyone? 🙂

      January 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm
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    axshat Reply

    Really, i feel very happy to say that the all the women which is doing the seo is the best. but i voted Ann Smarty because she is really good in seo and i read so many post of her.

    January 15, 2013 at 12:03 am
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    Andrea Reply

    Lisa: per i miei più cari amici la N.1!

    January 15, 2013 at 7:56 am
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    Jake Reply

    All these women are visionaries, inspiring, and winners! Annie Cushing, I shared her SEO audit and Must Have Tool doc plus so much more (Pivot Tables video was epic) and now my entire team has the SEO bug and more confidence with the ever changing landscape we work in.

    Jill Whalen your custom GA reports are legendary, thank you!

    Aleyda Solis – Queen of mobile SEO – too awesome, a little too advanced for me, I spend hour reading your posts and honestly I dread every new post.

    We are all looking forward to 2013

    Thank you,


    January 15, 2013 at 8:34 am
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      level343 Reply

      Indeed, they are visionaries, inspiring, winners, and let’s add gracious with their time and help. We’ve heard so many wonderful things about these women that we’re proud to honor them and share them with our readers and of course the world. 😉

      January 15, 2013 at 9:20 am
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    Sam Page Reply

    I really love that you guys are giving these women much needed credit. Unfortunately, women are often overlooked in this industry especially in the recent “Top SEO” articles.

    Keep up the hard work and congrats to everyone on this list!

    January 15, 2013 at 8:50 am
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      level343 Reply

      Thank you Sam, very kind of you to say! 🙂

      January 15, 2013 at 9:18 am
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    Dana DiTomaso Reply

    Such a fantastic list! It was really hard to pick just one.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:38 am
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      Level343 Reply

      I know what you mean, but it’s not so much about voting as it is about sharing our respect and appreciation for having these great women in our industry.

      January 15, 2013 at 11:30 am
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      Deborah Anderson Reply

      I agree, Dana. It is a great list!

      January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm
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    Dorothy Reply

    I want to them just like them soon..if gods will I will really try my best to be a succeful woman in online bussiness!!!

    You girls rock!!!

    January 16, 2013 at 12:31 am
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    Linda Reply

    What an original idea, thanks for this recognition of women’s work.

    January 16, 2013 at 1:17 am
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      level343 Reply

      Merci Linda c’est un plaisir. 😉

      January 16, 2013 at 4:53 am
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    David McBee Reply

    Thanks for doing this. My twitter feed just got a much needed boost. Looking forward to hearing from these smart ladies.

    January 18, 2013 at 7:20 am
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      Gabriella Reply

      Excellent,I’m glad to see people are getting into the spirit. 🙂 We love sharing these fantastic women with the world.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:49 am
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    Miguel Reply

    Fantastic idea for this contest. And wow, what a list! I expected like 10 people when I came to this post but I really cannot argue against any of these women. I thought that I had my choice nailed down until I kept scrolling down the page. A VERY tough decision!

    January 18, 2013 at 8:47 am
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    Amy Vernon Reply

    Oh my god, there are way too many people on here whom I know and love and respect to be able to vote for just one. Can I get at least three or four votes? 🙂

    January 18, 2013 at 10:35 am
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    Dave Fowler Reply

    Some stirling people on this list, but the person who’s ideas and writing have had the most influence on my own work in 2012 has to be Ann Smarty. Good luck Ann!

    January 19, 2013 at 9:42 am
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      Dave Fowler Reply

      Some *sterling* people on this list…

      January 19, 2013 at 9:57 am
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    steveplunkett Reply

    gabs… my boss should be on this list.. she has managed to scale orm and seo out of my head and create a team that does #whitecoatseo, which created corporate culture of Ultra White Hat… #justsayin

    January 20, 2013 at 8:27 am
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      Gabriella Reply

      Oo she sounds wonderful, but as you can see these women were nominated by our previous winners… Next year we’ll go back to accepting nominations from the general public 🙂

      January 21, 2013 at 6:52 am
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    Greg Reply

    I think it’s great Christine Churchill made the list. She has been in the industry for quite some time and we are both board members of the DFW SEM Group. Congrats to Christina!

    January 23, 2013 at 11:12 am
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    Tamara Calhoun Reply

    Amazing! I just know that there a good list of women who have done well in SEO. My congratulations to all of them. They have contributed a lot in SEO. I’m sure many have been guided by their abundance knowledge and strategies in SEO. I got an interest as well to check some of them to get informed about the SEO trends nowadays.

    March 23, 2013 at 8:21 am
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    Geoff Reply

    There is clearly a lot of talent among women involved in the SEO industry. It’s nice now to be able to put some faces behind the names. I’ve cast my vote!

    April 9, 2013 at 6:37 am
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    Seen many post of Kristi Hines on top 5 SERPs….She is top Women SEO of 2013

    May 10, 2013 at 3:10 am
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      Level343 Reply

      Hello Vishal, indeed Kristi Hines is among the Top SEO Women of 2013. Your enthusiasm is contagious 😉 Stay tuned we’ve invited her to share her insights, challenges, among other things in an upcoming post.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:24 am
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    Jenny Halasz Reply

    I had to vote Annie Cushing because her tips have saved me so much time over the years! But this is a truly awesome list of outstanding women!

    June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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    Mehmet Korukmez Reply

    Good luck everyone any thank you for making SEO prettier.Note: If any of you are looking for Agency Job in London , please drop me an email,

    June 5, 2013 at 8:27 am
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    Kevin Clarke Reply

    I think that all contributions to seo are important as it helps us generate more ways of reaching desired goals.

    The world of SEO is very wide and there is a underworld of SEO methods being practiced.

    Thanks to a outstanding woman, I have been taught great strategies that have worked over 3 years for me. Thank you for adding great value to me. This blog is very resourceful.

    July 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm
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    Ismail Akinci Reply

    Congratulations are in order to the ladies for undertaking of SEO. You are outstanding.

    August 8, 2013 at 3:21 am
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    Ryan Watson Reply

    Nice step to fetch women’s moral up for working in SEO. Nice to watch who will be the winner. No offence to any woman, just have seen a lot less women in SEO..

    August 29, 2013 at 7:39 am
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    Paolo Reply

    Great professional and a lot of effort ! Congratulations

    December 29, 2014 at 6:26 am

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Top SEO Women of the Year Award - 2013