Without a doubt, Pinterest is the flavor-of-the-month website.
People are talking about it all the time, so I thought it might be interesting to look at Pinterest from a search engine optimization perspective.
As I was getting ready to write this column, I was talking to Greg Habermann about it and he asked an important question: "Why would anybody care to optimize Pinterest?"
That pretty much threatened to derail my entire column for the day. But I'm not an easy person to get down, so I quickly thought of a couple reasons why a person would want to do this.
One reason for wanting to optimize your Pinterest pins is to take up greater search engine results pages real estate. Possibly you already rank well for a particular phrase and then ranking well for the phrase on your Pinterest account would give you more overall exposure.
Another reason is that you never know how the search engines will value social media listings down the road. They typically follow web users' interests. That's why you see an increasing number of images and videos in Google these days.
Based on what I have seen anecdotally, most Pinterest boards and pins don't rank well for the phrase they have targeted. I believe this has more to do with the fact that people have not yet linked to these boards and pins. And likes, comments, and re-pins in Pinterest probably have not been accounted for in the search algorithms at this point.
However, I'm definitely starting to see Pinterest results appear in Google. Here is a result for the phrase "bottles to organize bracelets":
And in image search, the second and third results are Pinterest results:
I'm still not seeing more competitive phrases appearing in the results. But I believe that's just a matter of time. If society continues to have the love affair it currently is having with Pinterest, I've got to believe that the search engines will continue to give these listings even more weight.
Bing also shows Pinterest results in its web search:
But it doesn't show results for this phrase in image search.
It doesn't take a huge mental leap to imagine that we are going to see Pinterest results increasingly prevalent in the main search engine results pages.
Here are 10 tips to help position your Pinterest images on the search engines.
Bonus tip: URLs that you add to images when you edit your pin are "nofollow." So these links should not be given any weight according to standard nofollow rules. However, you can put URLs in your descriptions. Those currently are followed, meaning that Google should follow these and give the URL weight.
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Sage Lewis is the president of SageRock Digital Marketing. SageRock has been a leader in Web marketing since 1999, offering search engine optimization, paid search marketing, social media marketing, and analytics.
Sage speaks nationally with SES and other prominent Web marketing organizations. He is one of the most sought after speakers and coaches in the field of Web marketing. From coast to coast, Sage has trained, coached, and consulted with some of the largest brands and conferences in the country.
Sage is also "The Web Marketing Video Guy" with nearly 500 Web marketing videos published. Sage writes as an expert for ClickZ in the "Search Engine Marketing" section. He lives in Akron, Ohio with his wife, Rocky, and son, Indiana.
His columns can be found in the Search Engine Watch archive.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT