Can Pinterest Help With SEO and Website Rankings?
Pinterest has become one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 400 million active monthly users sharing and discovering new ideas through viral pins.
With this huge audience pinning content to their boards, a common question is whether Pinterest can help boost your website’s SEO and search engine rankings.
Let’s take a deeper look at how Pinterest and its link structure work, and how pins can (and can’t) impact your overall search optimization strategy.
How Pinterest Links Are Viewed by Search Engines
In the past, Pinterest used dofollow links when users pinned content from around the web.
This meant the links passed both anchor text and PageRank authority to the destination site.
However, in 2019, Pinterest changed their linking structure for all pins to use nofollow attributes.
This means when users pin content, the links no longer directly pass SEO value in terms of PageRank or anchor text.
Pinterest adopted nofollow links primarily to reduce comment spam from people trying to abuse their platform for easy backlink building.
So in terms of direct SEO value, Pinterest backlinks provide very little ranking power compared to natural editorial backlinks from other reputable sites.
Though they provide minimal direct SEO value, Pinterest pins still have some indirect benefits covered next.
Best Practices for Using Pinterest for SEO
While Pinterest backlinks don’t directly influence search rankings anymore, you can still use Pinterest as part of an overall SEO strategy in a few key ways:
Optimize Pin Descriptions with Target Keywords
When creating pins, optimize the description with keywords you’re targeting.
This helps Pinterest’s algorithm better understand the topic and content of your pins.
Link Pins Back to High-Quality Website Content
Point your pins to your best, most relevant website content.
This gives users a better experience when clicking through from Pinterest.
Promote Your Best Content Across Social Media
Don’t rely solely on Pinterest for traffic and backlinks.
Promote your top performing pins and website content across all your social profiles.
A natural mix of social backlinks is ideal, rather than an overreliance on just Pinterest or any one platform.
By following these best practices, you can maximize the indirect SEO value from Pinterest, covered next.
Measure Pinterest’s Indirect SEO Value
Here are a few ways Pinterest can indirectly benefit your SEO, even without direct ranking power from pins:
- Referral Traffic: Pinterest can drive significant referral visitors to your site. More traffic and engagement helps build authority signals like time on site.
- Brand Awareness: Pinterest increases exposure for your brand. The more people that see and engage with your pins, the more awareness you gain.
- Potential for Natural Backlinks: Quality pins can earn natural backlinks from other sites. As your content gets shared, it can lead to direct dofollow links.
So while you shouldn’t expect direct ranking boosts from Pinterest itself, focus on measuring the indirect SEO value based on your business goals:
- Analyze traffic to see if Pinterest visitors convert well.
- Track brand mentions and links to assess increases in brand visibility.
- Monitor natural linking domains gained from viral pins.
Focus on your bottom line results rather than trying to gain direct rankings from Pinterest links.
Why Pinterest Changed Link Structures
Pinterest’s shift from dofollow to nofollow links on pins was primarily to reduce comment spam and protect the quality of their search index.
Previously, spammers heavily abused Pinterest’s comment sections to build easy backlinks from dofollow links.
Pinterest adopted nofollow links to discourage this manipulative practice.
The change helps Pinterest control their search reputation with Google and other engines.
Before, excessive spammy links could have diluted the authority passed from Pinterest’s own index.
So while the loss of dofollow links impacts SEO for pinners, it ultimately benefits Pinterest’s platform health long-term.
Consider Pinterest an Added Bonus
The key takeaway is to view Pinterest as a complementary social channel for driving traffic and awareness.
Don’t rely on it solely for building SEO value.
Focus first on creating quality pins that genuinely engage users, reflect your brand, and inspire your audience.
Think of links back to your site as an added bonus.
Over time, indirectly driving more visitors and exposure through Pinterest can benefit SEO. But pins themselves provide little direct value for rankings.
Treat Pinterest as an additional way to distribute your best content rather than a primary backlink source.
The combination of increased exposure and referral traffic may provide small SEO gains.
But the rankings themselves stem from your overall quality and optimization efforts.
Summary of Key Takeaways
- Pinterest nofollow links provide minimal direct SEO value for search rankings.
- Optimize pins for users first with engaging visuals and descriptions.
- Measure Pinterest’s indirect value based on traffic, brand awareness, and potential for natural links.
- View Pinterest as complementary for driving awareness, not primarily for backlink SEO value.
- Focus on producing high-quality content and improving your website’s authority through multiple channels.
While Pinterest itself will not directly impact search rankings, it can serve as a beneficial incremental source of visitors, exposure, and natural backlinks as part of your broader strategy.
But the most important factors for rankings remain onsite optimization and acquiring natural editorial links.