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Pinterest Algorithm 2020

8 September 2020

What? Pinterest algorithm? If you are asking me this, I know as a blogger you need to remember so many algorithms like Google’s ranking algorithm, Facebook’s etc. I know you have a lot in your plate as a blogger, but to generate tons and tons of traffic to your site, you need to master the Pinterest algorithm too.

Pinterest is not like other social media, it is a visual search engine. Pinterest has 322 million monthly active users.

Pinterest algorithm

It has become the top sources of social traffic for ecommerce sites, especially in US. So Ecommerce and small business shifting their attention nowadays towards pinterest for their growth. The life length of a pin is much greater than any other social media post. A pinterest member with 1k followers can drive better traffic than compared to a member with 10K followers on Facebook.

However, Pinterest still seems to be an untapped opportunity for many of us. So in this post I am going to cover how pinterest works and what you need to do to drive traffic to your site.

Pinterest Algorithm 2020

If you are new to pinterest marketing, make sure you grab my Free Pinterest Roadmap below. It will help you set up everything perfectly and make sure you are not wasting time on the things that don’t work.


How Pinterest Works?

According to Pinterest, users have saved over 200 billion ideas on over 4 billion boards on the platform. If you are into content marketing, understanding how to optimise your content for pinterest should be your top priority. Pinterest has no content shortage to share with its users.

Now lets understand how pinterest works and distributes its pins to the users.

When speaking about algorithms are three primary areas, you  have to understand.

  1. Pinterest Smart/Home feed– The content/pins that you see whenever you login pinterest.
  2. The Following feed– The feed of your followers, when you click following you will see this.
  3. Pinterest search feed– when you make a search, the results feed.

Pinterest rank your pins in all these areas based on an algorithm, like how google’s algorithm is not known, the same way nobody knows pinterest’s algorithm too, but based on the four factors the algorithm ranks a pin.

Pinterest Smart Feed:

Smart feed aims to offer a relevant mix of designed pins to catch the user’s eyes and drive engagement. This is the first screen you will see when you login in pinterest on your desktop or mobile.

Recent activity on the pinterest favour heavily on smart feed.Pinterest quickly priorities a content on what a user is currently engaging.

Pinterest home feed-pinterest algorithm
2020

The smart feed pulls content from three prime locations.

  1.  Accounts  followed by the users
  2. Targeted ads sponsored through pinterest system
  3. Individual pins that pinterest feels a user might like

Pinterest collects the pins from all the three areas and makes a home feed for the user and sees how they move forward making an engagement with the pins.

The Pinterest Following Feed:

This pinterest’s attempt to show users what the people you are following is doing on pinterest. You can see the pins from the people you are following. There is an algorithmic influence in this area and this is more likely to be a discovery area focused on delivering the content from the people you are following.

Pinterest Following feed how pinterest works

Note: Timestamps play a crucial role in this feed. That means, the fresh pins, higher the chances of ranking.

The Pinterest’s Search Interface:

This the feed you see when you search something on pinterest. Like when I search for the keyword Influencer marketing, you will get the results related to your search.

Pinterest search feed- algorithm updates

Pinterest’s primary function is to discover and collect the ideas. With its guided search suggestions, pinterest tries to deliver the most value for its users.

Here pinterest relies on SEO, that is the keywords used in the pins and descriptions to rank a content.

These feeds are on Pinterest, and when you want to make your content visible to your audience, you have to rank your pins here in all these places.

You need to know the ranking factors and the ranking algorithm for these feeds.

First, let’s see the ranking factors

Pinterest Ranking factors you need to know:

When ranking content pinterest considers several ranking factors, just like google.In Google we take care of on page SEO- things like permalinks, title tags, header tags and keywords etc. These SEO factors are not the same as in Pinterest.

It focuses on Pinterest-specific ranking factors instead of applying Google’s SEO factors. Pinterest’s ranking factors are unique to their platform, although there are few intersections between the traditional SEO and the pinterest SEO. While nobody exactly knows what the pinterest algorithm and the ranking factors are, based on the experience and strategy I use, I share the most common ranking factors with the definitions. Hoping this is what a beginner needs.

Here is what you need to focus on for Pinterest ranking factors for your individual pins and the most important places where you need to place your keywords.

Image Name: The File name should contain the primary keyword or the main keyword. (I mean the filename you have saved on your PC)

Pin Description: The description of the pin should be at least two sentences long, along with the keyword.

Board Name: The Board name where you save pins should be relevant and keyword rich.

Board description: Instead of stuffing keywords in the board descriptions, I recommend filling a few detailed descriptions about the board along with the keyword.

Board owner’s Profile Value: Pinterest places value on the board creator who is engaged in the community and has a better community authority on the pinterest. That means the number of followers and the targeted followers, the profile’s overall engagement rate or likes and comments. Everything comes into the picture.

Pinner’s Profile Value: If on a group board, the pinner differs from the board owner, pinterest, then considers pinner’s profile value.

Pinner’s Community Engagement: Higher the community engagement for a pinner, higher the chances of ranking. Pinterest prefers community.

Engagement Rate: How many times pinners engage with a pin versus the number of times a pin is shown.

Rich Pins: Websites with the rich pins enabled performs much better than the non enabled.

Read : How to start a blog in five simple steps

5 important factors that influence pinterest algorithm:

As said, one can never find how the algorithm works in any search engine. Pinterest has provided few guidelines on how it’s ranking and let’s explore and most importantly use them in our content marketing strategy.

Here are the five major factors pinterest  algorithm considers

  • Domain Authority
  • Pin Authority
  • Pinner Authority
  • Keyword strategy for pinterest
  • Hashtag strategy

Right from your profile picture to how you pin and how others are reacting to your pin, everything I have included in this post, let’s look at each and everything.

I recommend doing it step by step with me as you are reading this post.

Note: There is no specific order in the ranking factors I mentioned here.

Factor 1:Domain Authority :

Pinterest checks the quality of your domain. Like Google sandbox pinterest too takes some time to understand and trust your blog. To establish your blog authority, pins from your website must be liked , saved and engaged. Pinterest looks at how popular pins from your website is performing, the more the engagement, higher is the trust.

There are ways that you can use to sharpen your domain quality.

Step:1 Signup for a business account :

Creating a business account is the first step in making yourself and pinterest sure that you are trying to market your content.

Incase if you have already created a private account you can shift to business account.

Step 2: Claim your website.

To verify the ownership of the website you have to claim the website. To do this,

Click on the top right menu on pinterest and click settings

How to claim a pinterest business account

Top right menu>> Settings>>Claim>> enter website URL>>Copy the code and paste in your blog’s header file.

claim your website on pinterest

After that return to Pinterest to check whether it is verified. I have already claimed my website so, it is showing as claimed for me. Note: If you have still problems with claiming your website, check out the article from pinterest.

Step 3: Enable Rich Pins

Rich pins are the pins that have your website favicon and URL. Marketers confirm it that people buy from the rich pins directly. I recommend you to apply for these pins, especially if you are from ecommerce.

Step 4: Optimise your Pinterest Pins

Best pins are visually pleasing and interesting to click. Pinterest has a specific dimension for its pins.

Pin Sizes: Pinterest recommends having pins vertical in the aspect ratio of 2:3. That is 1000px:1500px.

Width600px1000px1200px2000px
Height900px1500px1800px3000px
Pinterest Pin Sizes(Recommended)

Other pin sizes may truncate or affect your CTR.

Note: Check Pinterest’s Size guide

The key component of a pin is its copy. You want your readers not only to save your pins; you want them to click and read your posts or buy from that. So write a CTA in your pin.

Step 5: Consistent Pinning:

Consistency wins over everything. You might have heard this a million times. How much ever you hear, the truth is the more you are consistent, higher is your chance of your click through rate for your pins.

Try to pin regularly. Make it as a habit of pinning and try finding pins from other’s profile that your audience might like.

Keep your pinterest account fresh and for sure pinterest rewards you with an ample amount of follows and likes. Pinning 100 pins a day and not turning back to pinterest for a week, is what pinterest doesn’t like. So, start with 10 pins a day and gradually when you have formed a habit of pinning everyday you can then increase your pins.

You can use Tailwind to schedule your pins. This scheduler helps you save a ton of time and automatically pins at the best time for your readers.


Factor 2: Pin Authority

Pinterest wants its users to be happy and satisfied. The more satisfied they are, the higher they will use pinterest. So Pin quality is the top ranking factor on pinterest. Pinterest wants its growth and you want to drive traffic to your site. So that it’s mutually benefited.

If there is a high quality pin, there is a higher engagement rate. I mean more likes, clicks and saves. Pinterest recognises the quality of  the pin and promotes to the maximum audience. Bear this in your mind, how your own followers react for your pin is the most important of all. Pinterest first distributes your pins to all your followers and checks the engagement rate and then distributes the pins to the others. If a pin resonates well with your audience there is a wider chance of distributing to the wider audience.

With that said, another interesting quality is the freshness of the pin and the topic relevance. Now let’s the steps that you can employ to improve the authority of your pin.

Step 1: Create Click Worthy Pins:

You can generate tons of traffic from a single pin to your blog from a stellar pin image. You have to understand the anatomy of a pin for that.

See the image below,

Click worthy pins

If it is an article write an enticing title and pull your readers to your site through  a compelling call-to-action.

In this above pin , i have marked 1 for the catchy title, that title is an evergreen how-to article.

Title has a time factor of 2020, it makes sures the reader that it is a fresh and new article.

You can either image like this in the pin or for an image based pin you can see the next example.

In this next image below you can see a high quality image added to the pin.

click worthy pins 2

Even this pin has a click worthy headline. But this is a list post. I hope you got my drift of explaining what a pin image is. Both the pins have their logo and the website URL.

Most of the pinterest pins are branded with colours. You can have your brand colors in all your pinterest pins and this helps users recognise your pins.

I make pinterest pins in Canva. If you are not familiar with it, canva is a tool for creating high quality graphics for your all needs. You can even design your ebooks and printable in canva.

So, the best pin practices include,

  1. Using high quality images
  2. Using the pinterest recommended pin sizes
  3. Using nice and branded text overlays
  4. Using your logo effectively
  5. Using an enticing headline

Step 2: Better Blog titles and Pin description:

If you have followed my previous pin design, I have emphasised on the titles.

You can use title generators to even write better titles for your post. Portent is a free title generator that I more often.

I suggest creating at least 3 to 4 variant titles for a blog post. You can create 4 pins for single blog post. That way you make sure you get ample traffic and you can analyse what works best for whom.

Needless to say, writing a better call to action and benefit driven blog post title will make sure your high click through rate.

See the example below:

use better pin titles and description

In the above example the pin title, pin description and hashtags are very clear and clever. This makes sure the pin goes viral.

Step 3: Increase Engagement with tailwind tribes:

By now, you have an idea about how you can increase engagement with your pins by increasing pin quality.

Just creating a better pin doesn’t mean that it will go viral by itself. You  have to find the people who like it and distribute it to them. You have to find people in your niche, who finds your article useful for them and their readers.

Some bloggers prefer facebook groups to share their blog posts, like facebook groups there are tailwind tribes. Tailwind tribes are niche targeted groups where you can

  1. share your pin.
  2. Promote your pin
  3. Find viral pins from other people in your niche
  4. Connect with fellow bloggers easily.

Factor 3: Pinner Authority

The who pins a pin is called pinner. Pinterest checks the profile of the pinner and his community engagement before distributing a pin to others.

Pinner quality is the major score card that evaluates you the pinner as a content creator, blogger and pinner. This score also includes content from other pinners checking whether the other pins are also high qualified.

Here are the following questions must consider answering if you want to establish yourself as an authoritative

  1. How often do you pin?
  2. How relevant pins you are pinning? The Niche relevant pin
  3. The amount of saves and comments you get in a board.
  4. How useful your pins are?

You can increase your pinner quality score with the following steps

Step 1: Relevant pinning strategy

Create niche specific pinterest boards and pin only the relevant pins in the board.

image 9

In the above image, mudahome has 8.2M monthly viewers along with 12K followers, They have organised their pinterest board very specifically and clearly for their niche.
Find 10-20 high quality pins from authority bloggers in your niche and pin them to the most relevant board.

Step 2: Create fresh pins every often

What are fresh pins?

Fresh pins are the pins that are new and never seen in pinterest.Pinterest algorithm loves fresh pins. Create fresh wins every week and publish them as often you can.

The entire pinterest visual search engine runs on content, when there are no fresh and new pins, the platform and you cannot grow.

You can use canva to create pin templates and create fresh pins easily in 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3: Boost your overall  engagement rate

Headover to the pinterest analytics by clicking on analytics and you can see which content is ranking higher with the impressions. You can see the below picture of a sample analytics report.

As pinterest is a visual search engine, you can find which type of colors and patterns resonate well with your audience.

pinterest pin analytics

So that you can create similar type of content.

Step 4: Your Pinning strategy from other blogs

When it comes to pinner quality, not only your pins,  the other high quality pins from others too is important.

Find the popular content in pinterest and add those to your boards, You can find the popular content here.

Factor 4: Keyword Strategy for Pinterest

Step 1: Find the right pinterest keywords

If you want to rank your pins in the pinterest smart feed that we discussed earlier you have use keywords wisely. Pinterest helps you to find the keywords easily with the search bar.

For the keyword pinterest “Home office decor” , search bar displays the specific keywords.

pinterest keyword search through search bar

You can use these keywords in your pins and pin descriptions. Incase if you are adding images related to the  home office decor, specifically for women then you can use the keyword”Home office decor for women” that way you make sure you are targeting your pins for the specific users.

Like google has a related searches column, the same way pinterest has a searches to try column. Where you can find the specific keywords.

For the same keyword “ Home office Decor” the searches to try includes

Small home office ideas,

Desk ideas,

Modern home office,etc.

pinterest keyword ideas

Step 2: Optimise keywords in right place

Where should you use the keywords?

  1. In the name of the pin image. The Pin image name should contain the primary keyword
  2. The title should have the primary keyword and
  3. The description should have the primary keyword.

Step 3: Use Free Pinterest Keyword tool

Head to pinterest keyword tool here

And enter the keywords you want to rank for and find the related long tail versions to use.

This tool generates keywords this way as in the image below.

pinterest free keyword tool

Factor 5 : Hashtag Strategy For Pinterest:

Do you know you can use hashtags on Pinterest?

Back in 2017 Pinterest officially confirmed that users can use hashtags.

Hashtag features on pinterest works same like on Instagram. But you should not use hashtags like #lazymorning, #iwokelate, #sleepydays etc.

Pinterest prefers topic relevant hashtags like #bloggingtips, #seoforsmallbusiness etc.

How do hashtags on Pinterest work?

Fresh pins show up first on each hashtag search. Which means when someone search for #blogtrafficideas , the latest pin will show up first. Which means if it is a popular hashtag your pins will not show up for a long time. as more people will add pins all over the world.

If you include hashtags on your pin description, then your pins will show in a reverse – chronologically (which means in the order you added it) to the feed.

Like Instagram hashtags you have to be too strategic in planning hashtags for your pin.

Few tips for using hashtags on Pinterest.

  • Use only 3-5 hashtags in a description
  • Keep your hashtags relevant
  • Use Proper hashtags
  • Switch Up Your Hashtags
  • Prefer medium popularity hashtags

Summing it up: Pinterest algorithm in action:

When you understand and implement all the pinterest SEO tips and create click worthy pins, you will boost your pinterest performance and get high authority in your niche.

This way you can drive tons of traffic to your site. If you haven’t downloaded my Pinterest Roadmap yet, you can always sign up to the Free resource library , where you can find 10+ free guides and checklists for your blog.

Now it’s your time to take action and succeed.

Happy Pinning and Smart Blogging!!!

About Me

Durga Thiyagarajan

Durga Thiyagarajan

Digital Marketing Consultant

I teach business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs the actionable steps for building a successful online business through digital marketing strategies.

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