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Can Pinterest Help Google SEO?


Detailed explanation how Pinterest pins and traffic can and doesn't help with Google SEO.

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If you pin 100,000 pins on Pinterest linking to your site, will all those links help you rank?

Sadly, no.

Could you imagine such a scenario and how it would ruin Pinterest?

To answer the question whether Pinterest helps SEO,  the answer is as follows:

  • No, Pinterest links do NOT help website SEO.
  • However, I believe traffic and brand building does HELP SEO.  In this indirect way, Pinterest can help SEO.

2 aspects to Pinterest SEO: Google vs. Pinterest

“Pinterest SEO” can mean two things.

One meaning is ranking pins on Pinterest.  That’s known as “Pinterest SEO”.

The other meaning is “Pinterest for SEO” as in using Pinterest to improve your site’s SEO.

While it may seem like splitting hairs, the differences are huge.

For example, ranking pins on Pinterest is totally doable but that has no direct bearing on your site.

Pinning on Pinterest and linking to your site hoping to improve your site’s rankings is totally different.

What is Pinterest SEO?

It’s ranking pins on Pinterest so those pins get more impressions and clicks.

Pinterest is a search engine. There’s a search bar at the top. Millions of visitors search Pinterest with keywords and phrases.  Getting your pins to show up at the top is ranking pins with Pinterest SEO.

This has nothing to do with Google.

What is Google SEO?

Google SEO is ranking your blog posts/pages in the Google search engine for various keywords and topics.  It has nothing to do with Pinterest.

Theory:  Quality traffic is good for Google SEO

I believe that quality traffic to any site helps SEO.  I lump Pinterest into the “quality traffic” category.

Here’s why I believe quality traffic is good for Google SEO:

Signals to Google

If you have traffic to your site and that traffic measures decent on-site metrics like average time-on-site, Google takes that as a quality signal for your site.

On the flip side, if the traffic left after a few seconds, that would be a bad signal.

That’s why if you use Pinterest, you want to do so in a way so that Pinterest visitors stick around.

Brand/Site Exposure

The other benefit of quality traffic is brand/site exposure.

You can’t attract links to a site without traffic or exposure.

Pinterest is one of several platforms to build brand exposure.

For example, if you’re in the recipe niche and pinned a recipe that some local restaurant thought interesting, they may repin that but also might link to your site from their blog.

Yes, this does happen.

SEO is a numbers game.

The more exposure, including Google search exposure, the more inbound links you attract.

The more inbound links you attract, the more traffic you get.

Round and round you go.

What is good Pinterest alignment with a blog?

Before you just go pinning willy billy linking back to your blog,  you need to ensure that your Pinterest account, boards and pins align with  your website.

That’s a fancy way of saying to pin relevant pins.

The last thing you want to do is pin irrelevant pins linking to your site so that visitors leave in seconds.

If you’re in the food niche, focus on pinning food-related pins.

If you’re in the autos niche, focus on pinning auto-related pins.

Let’s back up… how do we get people to see our pins?

So Pinterest traffic can indirectly help your website SEO. That’s great.

How do you get more people to see your pins?

That’s where Pinterest SEO in the literal sense comes in.

You need to create beautiful pins (or interesting, surprising … something special about them) along with unique descriptions (well written targeting goog keywords).

Then do that hundreds and thousands of times.

Pinterest is a volume game.  Yes, you might go viral with your first pin but it’s unlikely.  Besides viral is overrated.  I’d rather have a pin ranking for its intended keywords in Pinterest for years sending a nice trickle of relevant traffic to my site than some viral image that spikes in impressions and traffic the falls into obscurity.

When you start a new Pinterest account, you need to take it slow. Don’t blast out 50 pins on day one.  Pinterest may flag your account.

Instead, you need to trickle out one or two per day.  Build up over time.

Every pin should be fresh.  I do not repin. Every pin I post is unique.  It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it.

Do this over and over and your impressions and clicks will grow.

Next – how do you drive traffic with pinterest

Impressions on Pinterest are great but you impressions don’t make you money.

Clicks to your site make you money.

This means once you have consistent impressions, you need to test pin designs and titles to see what gets more clicks to your site.

This too takes time.

DO NOT expect high click through rates.

My best CTR pin are around 2% (and these are exceedingly rare).  That means for every 100 impressions, I get two visitors to my site… and that’s good.

1% CTR is good.

.5% CTR is decent.

Which means you need thousands and millions of impressions to drive meaningful traffic.

The only way to get the click is to test pin designs and text.

Pinterest marketing tools to help drive traffic

It’s true you can now schedule pins in Pinterest. It’s astonishing to me this feature took so long.

Does that render pinning scheduling software useless?

Yes and no.

I still use Tailwind for two reasons.

First, Pinterest does not have a feature where you can add users to your account for pinning.  You can add users for your Pinterest ad account but not for organic pinning.  Since I don’t wish to give access to my Pinterest account to my team, I add them as users in Tailwind.

Second, I believe the Pinterest scheduler caps out at 30 scheduled pins.  For me, that’s a day.  With Tailwind, I can schedule out thousands of pins.

Would I use Tailwind if starting out?

No, I wouldn’t. It’s not worth the money.  Before when repinning cycles worked, Tailwind was great because it automated all that.  However, I don’t repin.  I only schedule fresh pins which means Tailwind is merely a scheduling software for me.  If starting out pinning 1 to 3 pins per day, I’d use Pinterest’s scheduler.

Do Pinterest Links help Google SEO?

Links are good for SEO typically, but they need to be dofollow (for the most part… Google recently announced they give some credence to nofollow links but I doubt that applies to Pinterest links).

In other words, are Pinterest links dofollow?

Answer: No

Links from Pinterest are nofollow so they pass no SEO juice.

Okay, recently Google suggested they give some SEO weight to some nofollow links. I have a strong suspicion that nofollow links from Pinterest are not included in those.

What would be the point because anyone can create links from Pinterest.  IMO, Pinterest links should NOT impact Google rankings directly.

Should every site be on Pinterest if it CAN help Google SEO?

No, not every site should be on Pinterest.

It really depends on your niche.

While I’m sure I could get impressions on Pinterest for any niche, what you need to consider is the potential pay off for the effort/cost involved.

I’m in several niches that work on Pinterest and yet the effort and cost is fairly high to drive serious traffic.  Don’t get me wrong, the serious traffic is totally worth it but it wouldn’t be in niches that don’t work on Pinterest.

I’m not a believer in “being everywhere”.  I’m a believer in being wherever you can get traction.

Conclusion: Does Pinterest Boost SEO?

Not directly… as in the links don’t help organic SEO.  However, indirectly Pinterest can help SEO due to the traffic reporting decent time on site metrics and more importantly the brand exposure and reach Pinterst provides.


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