Pinterest News Flash!
February 8, 2016
If you are a seasoned pinner, you may have noticed a significant drop in traffic originating from Pinterest since the beginning of February. It’s not you. You are not imaging it or doing something wrong. Bloggers in Facebook groups everywhere are voicing their frustrations.
Pinterest has changed its algorithm and the best we can surmise is that it has to do with group boards. This isn’t the first time that group boards have been on the chopping block. Back in December 2014, group boards’ effectiveness was also attacked. Over the past year, it seemed like it floated slowly back in favor of them.
The algorithm is a secret more guarded than the Mona Lisa.
What does this mean to you? Well, that means that you no longer can count on large group boards carrying your pin to the masses. More than ever, building your following and own personal boards is critical for success. Continue to curate and share great pins that your followers will enjoy and want to share.
Obviously, this will take you longer to generate traffic from your own pins. But it still can be done.
Algorithms change for a reason. When an algorithm is perceived as “figured out” and that a large group of people are manipulating it, a change is made. I have a feeling that bloggers and online marketers are directly responsible whenever a change is made to an algorithm on any social media platform. Social media is meant to connect and share content people want to share naturally.
Of course, money also plays a part. We have seen it increasing difficult to get our fan pages’ posts on Facebook to reach our own followers without having to shell out money. As of today, only pinners in the US can promote pins on Pinterest. I anticipate an expansion of that program very soon.
What can you do? You must actually spend time on Pinterest, sharing from your feed, curating great content onto your personal boards and connecting with other pinners. Remember it IS “social” media. If you continue to spam only your own pins, or only pins from share threads you participate in, drop the pins in and leave, you will never be successful. As well, if you do use a scheduler, I use Board Booster, you still must actively participate on the Pinterest platform itself.
Does this mean group boards are useless now? No, it does not. If you can successfully teach Pinterest that all of your pins are gold, you should still see success using group boards. Again, if your only pinning strategy is to pin your own personal pins to group boards and leave, I dare say, your pins are probably not going to be pushed as easily into pinners feeds as they had been. It is imperative that you implement a strong pinning strategy to be able to take advantage of the followers of group boards you do not host yourself.
I host group boards. What should I do? I have not been able to verify any of my findings yet but I have a very strong suspicion that some groups boards have grown far too large both in number of collaborators and number of pins. Particularly in duplication of pins on the same board. It is the large boards that I have noticed most of the substantial drops of re-pins. Moving forward, my strategy will be too monitor my personal group boards more closely so that all who participate benefit mutually. This will include only inviting active community pinners and keeping an eye on duplication and spamming.
Of course, this is just my advice from my own observations and testing. Absolutely no one, NO ONE, can tell you a definitive way to win on Pinterest or any social media platform, including Google. They can only put forth theories from their own trial and error analysis.
So, as you hurriedly read posts out there about how to use Pinterest, keep the above in mind. Other bloggers and social media managers can only share their best guess at how the algorithm works. This also means that you must check dates of posts. What worked 2 weeks ago, may not work any more.
Have no fear. Do not give up. Stay on track. Use Pinterest as it was meant to be used, and you will see results. Stop expecting your numbers to skyrocket over night and be happy with a steady climb. Rome was not built-in a day.
If you have come across this post six months from now, the above information is still of value to you. Understand that algorithms, such as Pinterest, Facebook and Google, will always change in favor of user experience and people finding great content. As a blogger or marketer, your view of what that is, is slightly skewed towards your own personal interests. The benefit will always be for the average reader. None of the platforms want their algorithms being abused to change the experience meant to be had. If you use the platforms for their intended use, you should still be able to use it for generating blog traffic. Always keep in mind, it is about your followers and what value you provide them.
If you are a total newbie or wanting to break into Pinterest for the first time, I hope I haven’t discouraged you. These posts are a good place to start. I take you through step by step how to set up your profile. Having an awesome looking profile will never be to your dis-advantage.
Please also check out Kate Cook’s post on Outsmarting the Pinterest algorithm.
Good luck and happy pinning.