The Top 9 Influential Women of the SEO Industry

The Top 9 Influential Women of the SEO Industry
September 22, 2020

7 Min Read

Search Engine Optimization is an industry with many challenges to come across, one amongst them is the gender gap. In the State of SEO survey, Moz identified 29.3% of the surveyors as women and 68.4% as men. 

Though SEO has prevalently been a male-dominated industry, there are many women who have set the bar of success with their knack and skills. Let’s have a look at 9 such influential women who have been an inspiration to achieve greater heights in SEO.

Marie Haynes

Twitter: @Marie_Haynes

Experience: 12 Years

Currently the Owner of Marie Haynes Consulting with an ocean of knowledge in SEO especially Google Penalties & Technical SEO. She began her career as a veterinarian and it was beaming. She incidentally landed upon SEO following a back injury for which she was bedridden for some time. And she has never looked back ever since!

She brings expertise to her clients in local search and site recovery from setbacks due to penalties. Her blog and Twitter feed is filled with insights from the world of search: from event live tweets to podcasts episodes to articles. Our personal favourite is the weekly news roundups that is, “Search News You Can Use” 

From a very successful career as a veterinarian, all it took was passion and skill for her to begin with SEO. She is truly an inspiration one needs to follow! 

Lily Ray

Twitter: @lilyraynyc

Experience: 10 Years

She is currently the SEO Director at Path Interactive and the perfect embodiment of multitasking. She is a digital marketer by day, and a DJ by night. She grew in a family with an immense technical background and which is why she was adequately good with computers. She studied Politics and Spanish(minor subject) and then decided to switch her path towards Social Media Marketing and SEO. 

She began her career in a startup environment and quickly moved to an agency world where she set up a successful SEO department that delivered quality results to notable clients. She has expertise in various verticals such as retail, e-commerce, B2B, etc. She is extremely passionate about algorithms updates and solving technical SEO riddles.

In 2017, she was nominated by Search Engine Land for the Female Search Marketer of the Year. She continues to provide industry insights and updates through online publications and social media. 

Helen Pollitt

Twitter: @HelenPollitt1

Experience: 12 Years

Source: Digital Gaggle

Helen is currently the Managing Director of SEO & Digital Training Consultancy Arrows Up. She offers hands-on training & SEO expertise to clients so that their businesses can expand their digital marketing teams and successes. With a background of a generalist marketer, she was more captivated with how machine learning works and the user intent psychology. 

She focuses on all things digital and analytics. She is a regular speaker at most SEO conferences and can be found on stage for industry events like Women in Tech SEO, Search Leeds, SMZ London, Brighton SEO, etc. Also, she writes for various online publications like Search Engine Journal and State of Digital. 

Helen is a great influence for women who aspire to nail their careers in SEO. Follow her on amazing insights on web analytics and tips for better communication skills.

Julie Joyce

Twitter: @JulieJoyce

Experience: 19 Years

She is the founder of the North Carolina based link building company Link Fish Media and the co-founder of SEO Chicks. Before falling for SEO back in 2002, she worked in a small IT company where she managed a group of SEO specialists. She is also the Director of Operations with more than 14K followers and a strong community built on social media.

Her direction towards the SEO sphere was victorious enough as her proficiency and growth-oriented focus drove her team to spectacular results. She is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Search Marketing Gurus, and many more. 

She hosts a monthly webinar “Show Me the Links” which we personally look forward to every month. 

Aleyda Solis

Twitter: aleyda

Experience: 10+ Years

Aleyda could be claimed to be one of the most inspiring women in SEO. An International SEO consultant and the owner of Orainti. But apart from that, she has a major contribution as a Keynote Speaker for most of the SEO Conferences happening globally. 

She is a firm believer in sharing her SEO knowledge to the world and she has achieved that by being a contributing author to most of the online publications like Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, Moz, you name it! Plus, she has also penned down a book called “SEO, Las Claves Esenciales”. 

Her other achievements include being among the top 10 Digital Marketing Specialists to follow in 2015 and one of the top 50 Online Marketing Influencers to follow in 2016 in Entrepreneur. She is an expert in all things search, especially technical SEO and mobile SEO. 

Aleyda has not developed SEO knowledge but truly believes to share it with the world through her experiences. Truly a superwoman!

Ginny Marvin

Twitter: @ginnymarvin

Experience: 15+ Years

She is the Editor-in-chief of Third Door Media along with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land as well as Martech Today. Not only an expert in SEO but also she brings insights and updates from paid search, paid media, and all other areas of marketing.

She is also the director of an award-winning digital marketing agency. To be precise, she has both in-house as well as agency expertise which is visible through her impressive work and thorough efforts. 

Purna Virji

Twitter: @purnavirji

Experience: 15+ Years

Purna is the Senior Global Engagement Manager at Microsoft, a former journalist, a keynote speaker to numerous conferences, an author to various online publications, and what not!  

She was named back in 2016 by PPC Hero as the World’s Most Influential PPC Expert. She won the title of US 2019-2020 Search Personality of the Year, commending her excellence. She is originally a Bing Ads Expert but specializes in both SEO and SEM. Purna has made a significant impact over the digital landscape by contributing her expertise as a keynote speaker for notable conferences such as AdWeek, The Next Web Conference, INBOUND to name a few, and also as a columnist for Search Engine Land and Moz.

Adzooma has named her Microsoft Ads Experts of 2020. She is truly one of the high-flying women in the digital world. 

Ann Smarty

Twitter: @seosmarty

Experience: 15 Years

Ann is a blogger and the founder and owner of But apart from that, she has founded a number of startups like and Her twitter bio also says that she is the Brand Manager of NinjasMarketing.

Interestingly, MyBlogU was initially MyBlogGuest wherein guest blogging services were provided for building links naturally. MyBlogU applies a different and more creative approach of allowing site owners to crowdsource their content. Her Blogs have in-depth insights into the search engine world, in 2010 her blog made it to the number 7 spot in the best Wikio SEO Blog. 

She has been a great influence on young nerds inclined towards blogging and SEO. She is a regular contributor to various online publications like Search Engine Journal. A brilliant and creative mind like hers has helped her become an important person in the industry. 

Izzi Smith

Twitter: @izzionfire

Experience: 6+ Years

She has worked as an in-house practitioner, a freelance consultant, and currently works for SaaS company Ryte, solving local and technical SEO mysteries for notable clients. But more importantly, she is known for giving an entertaining edge to SEO by putting out enjoyable SEO memes so that her fellow followers won’t find SEO boring. 

She basically makes learning fun for the masses, and we love her for that! She has an inclination towards technical SEO in particular and also speaks at various conferences all over the world. She also is the co-host of the Izzi and Nils Show(together with Nils Kattau) where she discusses SEO topics.

Izzi is all about her passion for structured data, SERPs, and user behaviour. But more than that, she makes SEO fun for you!


So there you have it, 9 high-flying women of the SEO industry around the world who have achieved incredible things throughout their careers. Global icons such as these have got to their positions by being extremely ambitious and driven by their goals combined with hard work and dedication. And of course, we can all employ all these attributes to maximize our success!

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