Dana Lookadoo, center, at an SMX Conference flanked by Mat Siltala (right) and Matt McGee. Photo by Dana Lookadoo.
The SEO industry lost one of its favorites this week. Dana Lookadoo died early Monday after fighting a long and courageous battle with the life-threatening injuries that she suffered in a November 2013 cycling accident.
Her husband, Ed, shared the news Thursday night in a private Facebook group. When she was strong enough, Dana herself often posted in the group about her difficult rehabilitation. Despite the intense pain she was usually in, Dana — true to her spirit and personality — somehow managed to share these updates in ways that inspired everyone who read them.
Many of us knew Dana from the SEO conference circuit. She was a regular attendee and speaker at our SMX events, as well as many other conferences over the years. Those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing her in person probably encountered her online, perhaps on Twitter, Facebook or in a forum, where she was always willing to help and teach when the opportunity presented itself.
Dana was very smart and a gifted marketer; her clients and co-workers can attest to that. She was a woman of great faith, especially during the difficult 22 months since her accident; her Twitter stream is proof of that. She was always smiling, always warm, always interested in others and always willing to lend an ear and a word of support — or whatever her friends needed.
Her husband, Ed, has asked that no flowers be sent. Instead, he says that friends are working on setting up a scholarship in Dana’s name to help marketing students earn their degrees. I’m sure Dana would be thrilled with that because she loved to help others succeed. When we know more about those plans, we’ll update this article.
Update, Sept. 23: A website about the scholarship is now open, and includes donation links. Visit DanasFund.org if you wish to contribute.
There are few people in the SEO industry, if any, who were as universally loved and respected as Dana. Her openness about the accident brought us together then, and in death this week, she’s doing it again. Here’s a sample of some of the messages that the SEO industry has been sharing on Twitter since we heard the news Thursday night.
An entire industry grieves tonight. I pray for you all my friends. @lookadoo was the most amazing person full of true love & acceptance.
— Melissa Fach (@SEOAware) September 18, 2015
Thinking of @lookadoo's friends and family tonight. A wonderful woman who will be terribly missed. Glad you're at peace.
— Ben Cook (@Skitzzo) September 18, 2015
This was the day I told Dana I had cancer & was having surgery in a week. I'll never forget her love and concern pic.twitter.com/47F9uwnDym
— Jennifer Sable Lopez (@jennita) September 18, 2015
Dana, you were the most amazing woman. You were like a mom, a friend, a colleague, and a bundle love… https://t.co/t2pZznIY5u
— Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord) September 18, 2015
My heart is heavy tonight as I learned that Dana @lookadoo passed away this week. You will be missed greatly.
— Keri Morgret (@KeriMorgret) September 18, 2015
— Scott Cowley (@scottcowley) September 18, 2015
If you didn’t know @lookadoo, you missed out on a wonderful person. One of the brightest stars God put on this earth. We miss you, Dana.
— Matt McGee (@mattmcgee) September 18, 2015
So sad to hear the news. We will miss you and your sunshine smile, @lookadoo
— Selena Vidya (@selenavidya) September 18, 2015
Dana thanks for always lighting up my day and making everyone around you want to be better. My soul aches tonight. pic.twitter.com/4ZJcmGRJzl
— Matt Siltala (@Matt_Siltala) September 18, 2015
Damn. I can feel our whole industry crying. When really @lookadoo ALWAYS made us smile. Let's learn something beyond SEO from this butterfly
— laura lippay (@lauralippay) September 18, 2015
We miss you, Dana @lookadoo. Thank you for being such a kind, encouraging, positive person. We miss you. Rest in peace.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 18, 2015
So sad to hear of @lookadoo's passing tonight on Facebook. She was such a good person and well known in the search space. RIP.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) September 18, 2015
Oh no. I never got the chance to meet @lookadoo in person. So sorry to hear she is no longer with us.Dana you were such an inspiring person.
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) September 18, 2015
— Michael Dorausch (@chiropractic) September 18, 2015
Dana was a great friend to me and all of us at Third Door Media who knew her. I’m sure I speak for all of my coworkers when I say that I can’t imagine not seeing her again at a future SMX conference, or anywhere else for that matter. We will miss you tremendously, Dana. We already do.