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Is Pinterest The Next Great Place To Get Links & Social Mentions?

Even if you’re one of the few people who say they love link building, it’s still the most tedious aspect to being an SEO. It seems like new sites pop up weekly, if not daily, as “yet another great way to get links.”

While the creative part of you may be motivated from a new, untapped resource, the overworked part of you is likely deflated. Consider Pinterest just one of those latest resources.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can tag and organize images from across the Internet into category-specific groups. You can pin things yourself by adding the URL or you can repin something from another user onto one of your boards, creating a conglomerate of shared images, resources (and yes links) across multiple users. It’s the same basic principle as Twitter, just more visually focused.

On a personal level, the value of Pinterest is easy to see: I’m always surfing to find new recipes to test, new looks to try or new music to listen to.

But naturally, the next logical stop in my train of thought of what’s the value these “pins” have on SEO. Is it worth the effort to invest a portion of your ever-limited link building time on them?

Since August, Pinterest has seen more than 100% growth in both traffic and unique page views. Some people are even putting it on the same level as Google+ and Klout. The people are there, the people are pinning, and the potential for your content to go viral, indexing hundreds of backlinks to your site, is there.

To be effective for SEO, it makes the most sense for products that appeal to women as they make up the largest demographic. If your product ties into food, fashion, DIY, travel, home décor or weddings, and can easily fit into giveaways, it’s also a gold mind.

Like any other site, let’s do some basic analysis by pulling the Open Site Explorer metrics for www.pinterest.com:

Pinterest Open Site Explorer metrics

If you were to go on metrics alone, any link from the pinterest.com root domain would be carry some heavy SEO value back to your website. But like any site with a member community (Blogger, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) not all of that root domain juice is going to get transferred over once you get into individual member’s URLs. Still, it’s worth a further look.

Getting Your Content Pinned

Everything that gets pinned is a followed link back to your website. Enough people Pin It, and you’ve quickly cataloged a good set of backlinks. The value of those links is still up for debate, but up until recently, the impact Twitter links have on your SERP rankings was still in question, too.

We do know that social cues have a big influence in how well you rank, and since Pinterest shows a similar traffic and popularity trend to Twitter, it could be the next thing Matt Cutts says influences search.

As with any viral marketing campaign, be wary of putting something out there just for linkbait. Keep your content organized, relevant and applicable to the different categories. Pinterest doesn’t allow business pages, so focus on sharing, not selling.

Pin It Product Listings

Just like Facebook’s Like button has found it’s way on nearly every product listing, the Pinterest Pin It button has the potential to be the next standard social sharing feature. Making it easy for the thousands — or hundreds of thousands; the site hasn’t released user numbers yet — to easily pin something to their board is critical to start gaining any link traction from the site.

Building Relationships

LinkedIn is normally one of my go-to plays when putting together a blogger outreach campaign. It’s one of the easiest ways to first get in touch with the people doing writing, rather than backing into by finding sites first.

For example, I was doing SEO for a limousine company and our biggest push was promoting their fleet of vehicles for the wedding season. Using Pinterest and just searching “wedding” brought me to 175,606 pieces of content on 164,345 boards tagged by 104 people — and that number continues to grow.

Pinterest weddings results for link building

Then, I was able to comment on relevant pins with a link back to the client’s site and target bloggers posting about weddings who could be potential partners for giveaways or promotions.


Anytime you can get a link from a reputable website is a win, even if it’s from a site with a domain authority of 20. With the viral capabilities that Pinterest brings, it’s also a bonus for your overall goal: getting people to know about you or your client.

It’s not the end all be all to your link building campaign — because, let’s face it, nothing is — but it can be an integral ingredient that allows you to diversify your links.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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