Recently, the moderator of that page had a long and very good discussion about the changes to the Pinterest algorithm that have just started to have an impact.
The changes are big and may influence how you use Pinterest.
We are passing this along pretty much unedited.
Hope this helps.
- There will be penalties for creating longer pins. If you create pins longer than 1260 px your pin will get cut off, your reach will go down and eventually they will stop showing your pins in the feed. Basically extra long pins are about to die a quick death. (Don’t stress or worry about going back and deleting any long pins, just make sure that moving forward your pins are 2 x 3 ratio 600 x 900)
- No penalty for pinning square or horizontal pins. They just don't perform as well in the feed.
- Your first 5 pins of the day will be favored and shown first to the followers tab.
- Pinterest doesn't recommend putting your website logo or branding on the corners of the pin because it will mess up the visual search feature on your pins. Instead put your website branding at the top center or bottom center of your pin.
- Don’t delete poor performing or outdated pins. Instead create new fresh pins with a better keyword heavy description or update your landing page for outdated pins.
- Add hashtags to all of your new pins going forward (up to 20). This will give your pin a boost the FIRST DAY you pin them. Hashtags favor new content so do not waste your time going back and adding back and adding hashtags to old pins.
- Comments and tries help your pin engagement and are UNIVERSAL. This means that whenever someone leaves a comment or try on your pin, it will show up on every pin that has been re-pinned as well. This helps your pins engagement.
- Time of day does not matter when you pin.
- Pinterest doesn't care if you only pin your content. No penalties for this, you won't come off as a spammer, and honestly, the only reason to continue to pin other people's content is if you don't have enough of your own content to pin consistently.
- You can not pin too much, you just need to be consistent. Don’t pin everything for the week in one day. As long as you space out your pinning, putting up 150 pins a day that will not hurt your account.
- Immediate engagement on your pins will help them to rank faster in search.
- The landing page has to live up to the promise of the pin.
Pinterest has recently introduced a followers tab. This is where everyone who follows you will see your most recent pins in chronological order...but only 5 pins at a time. They cut it off at 5 to prevent spamming and to allow a chance for everyone’s pins to be shown. This means that your first 5 pins of the day starting at midnight will be shown first in the followers tab and will be favored.
This next part is also important….
If they perform well, Pinterest will then kick them out and send them around the smart feed. They will start showing up in recommended pins, the related section under a pin, keyword searches and so on.
If they don't perform well, then they will not get sent around Pinterest and will most likely die off for a while
It seems like Pinterest is using the followers tab as one way to weed out bad content. Just something to keep in mind, every pin you create matters!
What happens to your other pins that day?
When I first heard my first 5 pins of the day would be the most important I started worrying about my other 50 pins I pin in a day?!! I was worried that they would not have a chance of being shown in the feed but she clarified that that is not true.
How Pinterest distributes your content
Pinterest will show the first 5 pins first and the show 5 pins from the other people they follow. Then it will go cycle back around to more of your pins but only after the other pins are shown. They do this to spread them out.
So don’t worry, your other pins will eventually get seen!
Tip 2. Don’t put your website logo (branding) on the corners of the pin.
Pinterest has been using visual search and has invested a lot into it. If you put your branding in the corner of the pin this will mess up the visual search for your pins. If you are going to brand your pins they recommend you put your logo in the top middle or bottom middle.
Tip 3. Don’t delete poor performing or out of date pins
Let’s say you ran a travel contest or giveaway and it ended but you still have those pins floating around Pinterest. Or you have a product pin that is no longer in stock. Even if you have a bunch of poor performing pins they still recommended not to delete any pins!
What to do instead about poor performing pins
Basically she said it would be better for you to just create a new fresh version of the pin with a more helpful, keyword filled description.
You can go back and update the description of the old pin with new keywords but it sounds like Pinterest is going to start favoring new content and it is just better to start new with pins or content that didn’t take off.
What to do about out of date pins
Instead of deleting out of date content she recommended to just update the pin description and the landing page. You can also change the link to go to an evergreen page so you don't have to worry about constantly updating the pin link.
For example, if you ran a giveaway and it ended you could go back and change the landing page to say, “We are so sorry but this giveaway has ended, sign up here to enter future giveaways”.
(Note from me for those that use Boardbooster - After listening to her discourage so strongly deleting pins I think I am going to stop the looping feature as it automatically deletes pins so you don’t have a ton of duplicate images. I will keep you posted and let you know if I see a drop or difference in traffic)
Tip 4. Does pinning too much hurt your account?
Nope! You can pin as much as you would like with no negative consequences from Pinterest. They encourage you to add a lot of new content to their site. The only thing she mentioned on this is to make sure you pin consistently and do not do all your pinning in one or two days a week. You can pin 150 pins a day without looking spammy to Pinterest, but make to spread it out. (AKA get a scheduler!)
Tip 5. Does it matter what time of day you pin?
No. This one may surprise a lot of people but according to Pinterest it does not matter what time of day you pin. In other words, it won't hurt or help you to pin every day at 1pm, 3pm and 6pm. Again, as long as you are pinning consistently and spacing your content throughout the days and weeks.
Tip 6. *Extra long pins are out & will start hurting your account (ouch!)*
Costing your team a big game by giving up a penalty kick sucks, but costing your business $$$ by getting penalized by Pinterest could kill your business.
And since this coming straight from Pinterest I would take it seriously.
Yes, that is right. Pinterest is putting their foot down on long pins. In the interview she said that they have already stopped showing extra long pins in some places and eventually they will stop showing them in the feed altogether.
So what is considered a long pin?
Anything longer than 1260 px. will be cut off and eventually not shown in the feed. She even went as far to say you would eventually get "penalized" for pinning extra long pins.
What exactly does getting "penalized" mean?
While I am not exactly sure on this she did say they will not show your long pins, so as a result they will not get clicked on, re-pinned or engaged with and it will hurt your traffic, your engagement rates, your domain authority with them...basically everything. I would say that would qualify as a penalty.
If you are thinking (like I was) that your longer pins still perform far better than your shorter pins it is only because they have not yet fully rolled out these changes.
However, I went back last night to check my Pinterest analytics and only 2 of my really long pins are left in my top pins! My top 10 most clicked and shared pins previously were 75-80%% longer pins. So it is already happening!
What is the recommended pin length?
2x3 is the recommended size, this is the same as 600 x 900 or is you use Canva it is the pre-set size Canva already has in place which is 735 x 1102 (same as 2x3), so if you are currently using those dimensions you don’t need to change anything. Lucky you! :)
These pins will be favored in the feed giving you an advantage over other pins that do not fit the ideal size Pinterest is looking for.
There is no penalty from Pinterest for going smaller.
Pinterest has said they will not penalize you or your account for sharing or creating smaller pins (square or horizontal images).
However, they do not recommend them because they don’t perform as on their platform as the vertical images do.
Tip 7. Immediate engagement on your pins will help them to rank faster in search.
If you participate in the daily threads in the Facebook group a good tip would be to add a brand new pin to the group the first day you pin it so that you get that immediate engagement! Which brings me to my next point - add hashtags, hashtags, hashtags to increase first day engagment!
Tip 8. Use up to 20 hashtags on new pins going forward
How exactly are hashtags going to work on Pinterest?
Relevant hashtags will give your pin a big boost the FIRST DAY it is pinned.
Because so much of Pinterest's popular content is older they are looking for ways to keep things new and relevant while giving new pins a boost in their algorithm. Hashtags (and the new followers tab) are 2 great ways they are implementing this. After the initial first day boost it doesn’t sound like the hashtags will help as much.
Should I add hashtags to old pins?
No, you shouldn’t. Ha. She was pretty straightforward with this. But because hashtags are mainly going to promote pins the first day they are pinned it is not worth your time to update old pins with hashtags.
I strongly recommend you had hashtags to the images on your site. That way when they are pinned “fresh” from others it gives you daily opportunities to show up on the hashtag page and take advantage of that initial boost.
Typically in order to add a pin description you would enter it into the Alt tag on your image. The problem with this is that google also uses the alt tag to rank your image in google. If you start adding a ton of hashtags to your alt tags it could hurt your chances of ranking that image in google.
So what do I recommend for hastags?
There is a new plugin I just started using that solves this problem by allowing you to add your own Pinterest specific description without having to spam up your alt tag with hashtags and keywords. I will go into more detail on how to best utilize hashtags in a later email. So be sure to look out for that in your inbox over the next few days!
Tip 9. Comments and tries are now UNIVERSAL and will help your overall pin engagement.
Now that comments and tries are universal it means that whenever someone leaves a comment or try on your pin, it will show up on every pin that has been re-pinned as well. For a while I thought comments had died out, but it turns out they are still alive and well.
She said they have found that when pins have more comments and tries they typically get re-pinned more. I recommend even trying to start responding to comments to try and further your engagement rates.