Last Updated on October 20, 2020 by ellduclos
It’s no shock that social media platforms change their algorithms constantly. That’s why it wasn’t a huge surprise that Pinterest would do the same. Over the past few months there have been noticeable changes to the Pinterest algorithm. I received tons of messages from frustrated content creators wondering why their Pinterest views have decreased dramatically. If you are reading this then you are probably a frustrated content creator too. That’s why I decided to put together this post sharing everything you need to know about the new Pinterest algorithm.
I started noticing a change in the algorithm back in June 2020. It was clear that Pinterest had a huge focus on FRESH pins. My scheduled pins didn’t perform the way they used to which made me a bit frustrated. That’s when I decided to reach out to Pinterest in fear that my account was mistakenly marked as spam.
Pinterest apologized for the frustrations and explained to me that their was a bug causing their spam filters to mistakenly flag good accounts. A few months went on and it was still happening. I contacted Pinterest again and received a similar response HOWEVER, they also mentioned that they favor fresh pins over repins now.
Taking this information I decided to focus only on fresh pins and stopped re-pinning.
Now fast forward to just a month ago in September, my fresh static pins were bringing me the BARE MINIMUM amount of views.
I knew I had to investigate this new Pinterest algorithm further. I began testing out strategies and tuned in to the recent Pinterest Creators Festival. I finally figured out how to work with the new Pinterest algorithm and I am going to help you do the same!
Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used and you can read my full disclosure here.
Important Changes to Note About the New Pinterest Algorithm
Is Pinterest a visual search engine or social media platform?
This question has been circulating throughout the blogging community for a while now. What is Pinterest? Is it a social media or is it a search engine?
Before the latest Pinterest algorithm update I would have said Pinterest is strictly a visual search engine. HOWEVER, as of lately I would say Pinterest is both a visual search engine and a social media platform.
Why is it both?
At the Pinterest Creators Festival it was clear that Pinterest thinks of their platform as both a search engine and a social media. They began introducing new features that lean towards a social media platform such as, story pins, live reactions to pins, comments, and followers.
For a while followers didn’t seem to matter much on Pinterest. It was still easy to get attention on Pinterest without a large following.
With the new Pinterest algorithm followers are seeming to play a huge part in your pins’ reach. When you first upload a new pin your Pinterest followers are the first to see it. Depending on how they react to your pin will determine how your pin is then pushed out to a larger audience.
HOWEVER, you can still get Pinterest engagement, impressions and blog traffic from Pinterest with a small following if you practice proper Pinterest SEO.
This means making sure you have a 1-2 sentence keyword pin description and an optimized Pinterest profile. Good Pinterest SEO is still crucial.
I have old pins that bring me thousands of Pinterest views every month because they rank in Pinterest search.
Here are a few examples:
Having good Pinterest SEO will help your pins rank on search and in the smart feed so that your pins will continue to bring you consistent blog traffic every month. The pin stats I showed you above are pins that I created months ago that STILL continue to rank.
What to know about story pins…
If you are a member of my Boss Girl Bloggers facebook group then you probably read my post on the new Pinterest algorithm recently. I shared my feelings about the Pinterest Creators Festival. I won’t lie, the creators festival disappointed me.
During the PCF they mentioned that they are trying to make the platform more enjoyable for content creators who don’t have a blog or website. In my opinion it feels like Pinterest is trying to keep their audience engaging on the Pinterest platform longer because that means more money in their pocket. They are making it harder for content creators who DO have a blog to get the blog traffic they used to get from Pinterest.
One thing they are prioritizing (according to the Pinterest Creators Festival) is story pins. These are a series of pins that you can create RIGHT in the app. Story pins are still in beta mode. I used to have access to creating story pins but, they seemed to have removed the option for me. If you want to learn more about story pins and request access to story pins then click the link below.
|Learn More About Story Pins & Request Early Access|
Story pins were mentioned many times during the creators festival. They made it seem like story pins would increase your Pinterest audience and engagement a ton.
HOWEVER, story pins don’t allow you to link to your blog post or website. When it comes to Pinterest marketing it is SO IMPORTANT for me to be able to include a link. Without being able to link to my website it doesn’t help me much. Yes, it will get me a few new followers and some Pinterest views BUT, that’s not as important to me as blog traffic. I am very picky about how I spend my time.
An alternative I found to story pins on Pinterest…
Since story pins don’t allow me to add a link I would rather create video pins. When video pins first rolled out I absolutely hated them. They wouldn’t get me any blog views and I wasn’t sure how I could easily create them.
Now that video pins are prioritized with the new Pinterest algorithm, I create them all the time. The best part is my video pins now outperform my static fresh pins!
My video pins can get me hundreds of blog views within the first 5 minutes of the pin being published.
The other night I published 6 new video pins and received tons of blog views right away! I even had over 150 active users on my blog at one point.
Like I said before, Pinterest is trying to keep people on their platform longer so they are making it harder to get those link clicks. They don’t make it easy for people to click into video pins BUT, YOU CAN click into a video pin.
One of my Pinterest accounts still has the “visit” button but, the other one does not. If your account does not have the visit button you need to click on the 3 dots in order to visit the website that the video pin is linked to.
How can you tell Pinterest wants people to stay on their platform longer?
This new algorithm has made it crystal clear to me that Pinterest wants their users to spend more time on their platform because:
- At the creators festival they made it clear that they were trying to make it easy for creators to CREATE and grow on their platform without needing a website.
- Story pins aren’t linkable
- Video pins are becoming more difficult to navigate for users to find that “visit website” option
- Static pins are no longer getting the INSTANT viral activity they used to get
- Promoted pins are showing up in the smart feed more
- They are hinting that Pinterest is a social media platform
- Tailwind scheduled pins are no longer performing the way they used to
Does this mean that you should give up on Pinterest marketing?
NO! Pinterest marketing is still relevant for bloggers. However, you should give up on setting high expectations right away.
Growing a blog on Pinterest used to be easier. Results came a lot quicker! With the new Pinterest algorithm growth might take longer.
I find that my top performing pins are my old pins that rank on search.
I have a few list pins and quote pins that rank and bring me THOUSANDS of link clicks each month.
I then started noticing that my fresh static pins wouldn’t start taking off until 3 weeks later.
Here’s a pin I published 3 weeks ago that is finally starting to get link clicks.
What should you do moving forward with the new Pinterest algorithm?
Just like any other social media platform you need to learn to work WITH the new algorithm and not against it. When I started to work with the new Pinterest algorithm my results showed.
I took the strategies from my Pinterest with Ell course and used them to create video pins that bring RESULTS.
You can easily create a video pin using Canva Pro. I just take my created static pin and turn it into an animation on Canva with just one simple click!
When I hit “animate” pin I can choose an animation and it will create an animated text pin that I save as an MP4.
Then I upload that video pin directly to Pinterest and link it to the related blog post.
I can also create a video pin by adding animated “stickers” to my static pins and save it as an MP4 too! It’s super simple. No need to create a fancy video pin for it to perform well.
To see my animated video pins on my Pinterest account click here.
Keep in mind that fresh static pins are still important but, they will take longer to take off. You should also keep in mind that whenever you upload a new pin it is competing with all of your other similar blog post pins. You want a mix of static pins and video pins to rank. Create both!
When it comes to Pinterest marketing try not to stress the dips. Things will always change and who knows how long these new algorithm changes will last. Whatever you do, don’t give up!
Consistency will bring the best results. I always say give your Pinterest marketing strategies at least 6 CONSISTENT months before you throw in the towel.
Make sure you aren’t using out dated Pinterest marketing strategies because that can have a negative effect on your account too.
- Group boards
- Constant re-pinning
- The 80/20 rule that says to pin 80% others’ content and 20% your own
- Pinning over 30 times a day
- Tailwind Tribes
These are things that will just suck up your time and take away from your own pins! It’s not necessary.
- Pinning fresh, relevant content
- Pinning on trend – you can find the latest Pinterest trends here
- Testing out different pin styles and designs
- Analyzing Pinterest analytics and learning your audience
- Pinning video pins
- good Pinterest SEO
- Having fun with creating new content and engaging with your audience
If you are feeling lost when it comes to Pinterest marketing then you need my affordable Pinterest course!
|Learn More About Pinterest With Ell Here!|
My Pinterest 1:1 audits are also available again! I would love to help you grow your Pinterest and blog traffic. For the month of November I am booking calls at a special promo discount and you can e-mail me to learn more.
|EMAIL ME NOW!|
You might also enjoy:
- How to create content your audience will love
- Pinterest mistakes to stop making
- Best Pinterest marketing strategies
Thanks so much for this up to date info. It’s tricky keeping up with the changes sometimes
It really is! You are very welcome!
Clarissa Cabbage says
Thanks Ell! I am just getting into pinterest and took your course. I noticed when I was pinning manually I would get 3-4k views on a fresh static pin the first day. Then I started using tailwind to schedule and my fresh static pins are getting literally <3 impressions a day. But I haven't changed anything except scheduling through tailwind. Should I go back to manual pinning do you think? I'm not sure what else the problem might be. Thanks so much for all these helpful resources!
Manual pinning definitely tends to bring better results! I suggest testing out some video pins manually too 🙂
Clarissa Cabbage says
Okay, I will give that a try, thanks Ell!
Christina Woodcock says
I just wanted to say I agree with everything you have said. I started pinning just 5 pins manually a day, and my reach grew. I do think the video pins depend on the followers you have. By that I mean my followers are 45+ women. They are more than likely not going to want to try and locate where to click on a video pin. My video pins always tank and that is why. My followers like a simple, get to the point pin, where the younger crowd might like pretty, video pins.
But, it’s like you mentioned. You have got to test, test, and test again. And I totally agree about the groups, tribes, etc. I ditched Tailwind and I have never looked back.
Thank you for keeping us all informed. I did want to ask you mentioned a Pinterest Festival? Is that something opened to creators?
Thank you so much Christina! So happy to hear you are seeing similar results. I was sent an invite via email. I think you’ll want to be subscribed to their business emails which you can do right on the Pinterest platform!
Kate Rae says
Thank you. I came here through your Facebook group, and the video pin advice is exactly what I needed!
So happy to hear this! Thank you!
Hi Ell, thank you for such amazing content. I haven’t been lucky with Pinterest yet, and I get more confused like most when I only get 10 or less impression on a pin! some days I am lucky to have 2k.
Reading from you, I understand that group boards aren’t worthy, listening to the food blogger summit the other week, they said 30 pins a month!
I remember early this year, Pinterest said 5 new pins a day.
Please, could you help me to understand what is what that I should pin?
I am happy to have found your blog, there’s too much helpful info to read. Thank you
Thank you so much! I definitely suggest 5 a day, it’s a great place to start 🙂
Iris Findlay says
Wow, I’m so glad that I found this post! Pinterest is still a mystery to me.
Thank you! It’s a mystery at first but I have faith you will crush it!
You have so much valuable information here, I feel like I should be paying for it! I’m definitely going to use these tips to start growing my pinterest…. which is looking a bit sad right now lol
Thank you so much Vanessa! Don’t worry you will get there! 🙂
This was really helpful!! I also have had great results with pinterest in the past! However recently, my efforts dont seem to be getting the same results! It is reassuring to know that this is not entirely down to me!! Also good to highlight the things that we should be focusing on to see the results 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
So happy to hear this! Thanks so much!
Patricia P says
This is a very helpful post. thank you. I noticed that my new pins do much better. I am getting clicks from searches on pinterest too. I haven’t ventured into video pins yet… not sure how best to do this.
Thank you so much! Video pins are great you can just create a simple animated pin using Canva 🙂
Woah, so you totally flipped a lot of what I thought I had learned about Pinterest! And in a great way, I am just starting to use it for blogging and I think I would have wasted so much time if I hadn’t found this article, thank you so much for posting! I do have a quick question about the descriptions, what do you think about using hashtags at the end? I read this and tried it and it seems to have made my pins get a little more impressions but I noticed they don’t show up anymore at the end unless you click the “read more”, so that must have changed. I remember always being able to see the hashtags no matter what. Do you think these still give your pins SEO? Thanks!
Thank you so much! I personally have found that hashtags don’t make or break your pins. A lot of the pins that rank actually don’t include hashtags!
M L says
I haven’t tried using the Pinterest video features yet. When they first released them I found myself getting annoyed that there were so many of them. I’ll try manually pinning instead of setting up a Pinterest scheduling app. It makes sense that their algorithm would change several times. Thanks for the great advice!
I hope it helps!
Hi Ell, love your content, very straightforward and helpful.
Hope you can help me figure out what happened to one of my Pinterest accounts. I was pinning regularly (I pin about 4-5 of my own pins and about 2 of others daily). Then all of a sudden my own pins’ daily impressions went from b/w 200+ to 1.8k a day each pin to 0 to 8 or so.
Did I get hit with a penalty or something? Not sure what is happening.
I daily impressions, and clicks are still the same and growing gradually but my own daily pins are like 4. 6, 3, 8 impressions each and as you would guess repins and clicks all 0s.
Not sure if I should keep pinning or what to do next?
Thanks in advance!
Thank you so much! It’s important to make sure you are using updated strategies for the current algorithm. It’s possible your account was mistakenly flagged. I would reach out to Pinterest just in case 🙂
April Blake says
I’ve grudgingly started doing some video pins. I dropped out of broadcast journalism in college because I hate doing video but fine, fine. Mt CTR is garbage lately, hoping these strategies will help!
Hi Ell! I am new to blogging and I use your blog as a benchmark to use Pinterest to promote my blog. In this case, is that mean no need to use Tailwind at all? I wonder whether Tailwind can still be used for scheduling pins only (without using the other features like Tribes). I tried to pin manually 2-3 per day, however, from each pin, the result just showed after a week or so. Should I try schedule pins with Tailwind, or did I do something wrong?
Thank you so much! 🙂
So happy to hear this! For me personally I no longer use tailwind as it just doesn’t provide me the same value as it used to!
Amandeep Kaur says
I must say that you’ve covered a great knowledge here. I just want to ask… If someone is starting new on Pinterest and has near to zero followers, is it a good idea to publish into Group Boards? I’m really confused about this.
Group boards are no longer effective like they used to be so I recommend not doing so!
Not Good Internet says
Thank you for the information I find it very helpful as well as the trending pinterest link
Hi! Wow, so much helpful information! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have one question. I see in one comment you suggested pinning 5 pins daily. Do you mean 5 “fresh” pins daily that lead to our own blog? Or 5 pins mixed in with our own and other people? I just don’t have enough blogs to link to in order to create 5 fresh pins of my own every single day.
Thank you!! 5 pins of your own that are fresh and new 🙂
Such useful information. I stop to pin other pins for a while but I see I have to start again. Thanks a lot☺️
So glad you found it helpful!
I’m so glad all the things I hated about Pinterest are now obsolete haha. Thank you for this fabulous update!