Press "Enter" to skip to content

Stop Using Pinterest for SEO and Start Optimizing for Pinterest Search

I’ve already talked about how to resurrect old content with Pinterest, but this month I want to talk about how Pinterest is changing the way many people use the internet and search.

It used to be that I would utilize Bing for any searches that didn’t require a lot of heavy lifting from an engine standpoint.Things like recipes, gardening tips, DIY stuff, would be at the forefront of my Bing queries because I knew I didn’t care that much about the result and it earned me some Bing Rewards in the process.

But with the introduction of Pinterest I have found myself using Bing less and Pinterest search more, which got me thinking a bit about how other users are using Pinterest and how it may be changing the way people search on the internet.

pintrest is not for seo

As Jordan Kasteler recently pointed out in his Search Engine Land article, Pinterest is not the SEO silver bullet, so let’s just stop it already. As it is it’s not even a social network that can be compared to the likes of Facebook or Twitter because the user behavior is completely different.

People aren’t joining Pinterest to socialize or catch up with old friends. They’re joining to discover new things and bookmark things that inspire and interest them. More and more people are turning to Pinterest to do things they once used a search engine like Google or Bing for, myself included.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve begun utilizing Pinterest more like a search engine for some of the lighter searching I do on the internet. These searches have resulted in a number of delicious meals and some really cool ideas. But on the other side of the screen there are a number of websites and brands that have gained some Facebook Likes, newsletter subscriptions, website traffic and a handful of potential future purchases in the process.

But I’m not the only user showing this kind of behavior. In a recent study posted by The Next Web, 21% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they found on the site.

In fact during a recent workshop Firm Media CEO Christopher Suchanek explained this exact phenomenon when he told the story of how as a new user exploring Pinterest he did a search for men’s dress shoes that ultimately helped him find a pair he liked and later purchased via Pinterest because he was unable to fulfill the purchase in a local shoe store.

For the first time I think we have finally come upon a social network that is the perfect hybrid of search and social and actually has some buying power behind it. While, Twitter and Facebook can increase brand awareness and eventually generate revenue in the long run, I think that Pinterest is the first social network with true buying potential.

A person could search on Pinterest or view a friend’s pin on Pinterest and turn around and buy instantly. This is a behaviour that is fairly unique to Pinterest as we don’t see this sort of instant purchasing power as frequent on sites like Facebook or Twitter. But how do you leverage Pinterest to benefit from some of this buying power?

6 Ways to Optimize for Pinterest Search

  1. Pin It to Win It – If you’re not already utilizing the Pin It button on product pages or feature pages, add it. This will help increase the visibility of your products or services on Pinterest and make it easier for people who like your product to share it on their boards.

  2. Optimize Your Profile – Completing your entire profile can help make finding your business and its products or services easier. Your name can help in brand searches, your location can help for location searches and your description can help fuel traffic for relevant keywords to your profile.

  3. Optimize Your Boards – A lot of Boards I come across have meaningless titles that don’t really serve a purpose to anyone but their creator. Be sure to create meaningful keyword rich titles for your boards and categorize them accordingly to help increase their visibility in Pinterest search.

  4. Optimize Your Pins – Strong descriptions, prices, and the like can help with clickthroughs, but the number of times a keyword is used appears to help as well. Don’t be spamy, but be aware that the use (or overuse) of a word seems to help with search prominence in Pinterest. You’ve got a 500 character limit, you might as well use what you can.

  5. Remember Basic Image Optimization – Whether coming from your site or via an upload be sure to use traditional image optimization practices to help you along. It’s clear that in many instance where pin descriptions and boards are not relevant Pinterest is using other data to fill in the blanks.

  6. Add Value to the Community – This will help give you and your brand some street cred. Do your part to comment, repin, and engage your audience the same way you would on other social networks. Remember, even if your stuff looks pretty and shows up in searches people need to know you are legit and they can trust you. Pinterest is already doing its part to battle spam, don’t contribute to it.

The potential for Pinterest to grow as a place people turn to as a means of finding things is growing. Though it may seem dominated by certain niches, people are searching pinterest for everything from recipes and crafts to apparel and gadgets.

While search engines are still playing a dominant role in the search space, a website like Pinterest definitely shares a role in fulfilling queries for users on the internet and the sooner you or your brand get involved the sooner you can reap the benefits.




  1. Robin Jennings April 20, 2012

    I’m only been involving myself in Pinterest fairly recently and I can really see the benefit for companies to promote themselves.

    I work with a lot of artists and I can really see many of them really enjoying Pinterest over & above the other social networks.

  2. Lady Pinsalot April 21, 2012

    Non-optimized board titles is a major pet peeve of mine and one of the reasons I created If you must have cutesy board titles on Pinterest itself, at least you can tag your profile with proper keywords on or a similar site so searchers can find them somewhere. Of course, better yet is if you optimize board titles on Pinterest AND tag yourself on! 😉

  3. Marshmalo June 26, 2012

    In fact, most of the product site owners and marketers don’t know how to grow their community of people having same-interest on pinterest. Pinterest is growing rapidly. Still, apart from other stats, it has a value.

  4. veganolo July 2, 2012

    My past experience with pinterest:

    I have used pinterest to improve my site’s ranking and it jumped from page 5 to #2 spot in 3 weeks time.

    I found that the seller named “pinterest”, which ranked first when you search “pinterest” at Fiverr, has produced the best results on my websites. The seller pins my site with 75 different people, not sure how he did this, but it has improved my SERP’s ranking. I’ve tried 5 other sellers who offer similar gigs on Fiverr but they can’t improve my site’s ranking. I don’t know why. Maybe he has magical trick. lol.

    Notable benefits of pinterest for seo:
    1. Google loves social media signal.
    2. Links and images from pinterest are dofollow!
    3. Each pin is considered as 3 inbound links.

  5. David December 17, 2012

    Are you saying there is zero SEO benefit for having Pinterest backlinks?

Comments are closed.

Copyright© 2010-2024 Search News Central (SNC) | No material on this site may be used or repurposed in any fashion without prior written permission.

Search News Central uses Accessibility Checker to monitor our website's accessibility.