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Final update: This information has been confirmed by Tailwind:
Jan 30, 2019: I’m sure you’re here because this post has been directly contradicted by Tailwind. My contact at Pinterest asked me to not share her name in this post, so I did not. Know that this post was written by myself and my contact, and then it was passed through several teams at Pinterest before being sent back to me for posting. My intention for posting this was to get bloggers on the right page and allow a place for feedback to Pinterest.  

Almost one year ago I had the pleasure of meeting two Pinterest employees at Mom2.0, a conference for bloggers. A small group of us stayed after the session and had the opportunity to “get real” with them and chat about some things that were on bloggers’ minds such as stolen pins, rich pins, Pinterest best practices, and more.

This relationship has been an honest and open door that we have kept up since the conference and in light of recent Pinterest changes, I asked for some clarification and solid numbers for bloggers. As I’ve mentioned to Pinterest, bloggers will follow the rules if you give them rules–but you have to give them specific rules.

I have had multiple meetings with Pinterest over the last few weeks and given a lot of feedback to them from bloggers about some things that are happening at Pinterest. I feel that they are beginning to understand where we are coming from and as more information comes out, I’ll update this post for you. 

I co-wrote this post with my Pinterest rep. Pinterest asked that I post this on my blog for bloggers to see–originally we discussed posting it in Facebook groups but decided it was easier to read and save if it was on a blog.  

What is considered Spam on Pinterest?

Pinterest users are reporting that seeing a board with the same Pin multiple times (even if that is over the course of many months) is spammy, AND they’re reporting those Pins and boards.

In order to not be considered spam (and have your account shut down):

1. Don’t Pin the same Pin to the same board multiple times.

2. Click through Pins to make sure that you’re not Pinning a Pin that leads to a spammy site. You can also test to see if a link is spammy using these tips: (website removed)

3. Make sure the Pin image is relevant to the webpage it’s linking to.

4. Sites with pop-ups, sites that are very heavy on ads, and sites that have a slow load time are considered spammy.

Note: Account suspensions don’t happen with one “negative action.” There are usually several strikes against your account by the time your account is reviewed and suspended.

Are duplicate pins ok on Pinterest?

I explained that as bloggers with a ton of posts and Pins, we repin often. And of course, more repins = more website visits = more money for us, so more is better for bloggers and we really need specifics.

Pinterest explained that our boards should not have duplicate Pins. A few times is ok, but if a regular person would look at your board and notice the ‘same pin,’ then it’s getting risky. They will take into consideration things like Tailwind glitches (like when Tailwind Pinned duplicate Pins for all of us at the end of last year).

Approved Schedulers for Pinterest

This can’t be said enough: do NOT use unapproved schedulers. If the scheduler asks for your username and password, it is a security risk and you shouldn’t be using it.  If it’s an approved scheduler, it’ll have a popup that brings you to the Pinterest site and asks you to approve the app (oAuth).

You can find a list of all approved Pinterest partner tools right here.

Long vs Short Pins on Pinterest

The tall giraffe Pins are slowly losing traction and are losing distribution. Anything longer than 2:3 will be in danger of being cut off (think about the tilted Pins on the business profiles–if it’s getting cut off there, it’ll also show up cut off in other places in the same way).

Pinterest gave us a warning about this way in advance (like, two years ago), so that we could change our image layouts. The changes are still in progress and the 2:3 aspect ratio will continue to be emphasized.

Do Pin and board descriptions matter?

Descriptions make your Pins and boards more useful to Pinners and help with distribution. We recommend adding descriptions to all your boards and Pins, along with descriptive titles.

Does categorizing boards help with SEO?

Yes, categorizing your boards does help with search engine optimization. To edit your board category, just click or tap the pencil icon in the lower right corner of your board, then select select the category that best represents your board.

How does Pinterest use keywords? Should I include them in my descriptions?

Yes! Good keywords will help your content get to the right audience and give helpful context to Pinners. Pro tip: Try out a search yourself to find out what results show up with certain keywords.

What’s the difference between keywords and hashtags? And when should I use each?

Both keywords and hashtags make your Pins easier to find. Keywords help with search and give important context about your Pins and boards to Pinners. Adding hashtags helps Pinners discover your Pins. Each hashtag you add automatically creates a link that Pinners can tap to see other Pins with that same hashtag. People can discover hashtags in places like search results and Pin descriptions. When you visit a hashtag feed, the freshest Pins are featured up top.

For my descriptions, should I use full sentences or only keywords?

People are reading these, so sentences work best. But remember that robots are also indexing these, so make sure to include strong keywords.

There’s a new “Creators” landing page with case studies and tips.  Good overview for anyone getting started: You can also email Creator support at

Tailwind Tribes

Look to join and maintain smaller tribes with good quality control. Tribes that are helping to distribute spammy Pins are becoming an issue–don’t assume that because you see a Pin in a Tribe, it’s “safe.” Look for familiar URLs and click through the Pins you don’t recognize to see if it leads to a spammy site or a quality one.

How many times a day should I be Pinning?

Pin a handful of times or a lot, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re following the spam rules and doing it authentically (not blindly). Pinterest understands that a smaller blogger with less posts/Pins is going to Pin less than a larger blogger with 1,000 posts/Pins.  The most important thing is to save ideas consistently and steadily, rather than in one single flurry.

What’s the deal with Group Boards?

While group boards are a great way to collaborate with friends and family, they are not good mechanisms for getting distribution. The ones that follow Pinterest’s wishes are small group boards that are all Pinning about a small handful of related topics (healthy recipes and fitness; kids crafts and recipes, etc). Go find a few bloggers that are similar to you and have great content and create a niche group board. Pinterest wants collaboration, not group boards that hack the distribution of Pins/algorithm.  <— this was stressed many times during our phone calls.

What I’m doing different

I manage my own Pinterest account as well as a few accounts for brands and bloggers. I’m changing the way all of the accounts are managed due to these changes.

Personally, I’ll no longer be adding duplicate Pins to boards. I’ll be evaluating where my Pins link to very closely and paying more attention to Tailwind’s little ! warnings that say “you’ve Pinned this Pin to the same board.”

I’ll be creating more new Pins for posts so I can still share my newest and more popular recipes in ways that don’t look as spammy. Right now, I create 4-6 per post and each focuses on a different category of the post (Weight Watchers, Healthy, 21 Day Fix, cooking method, etc). I’ll be making at least 2 Pins for each of these categories now.

I’m leaving any tribe that isn’t managed by someone I know or has ANY spammy looking Pins. I’m also creating a few tribes and hiring someone to check them weekly for rule following and quality links. My assistants will have lists of “safe” accounts to Pin from.

I’ll be Pinning more from bloggers I know and less from unknown sources. If I Pin about a certain topic, I’ll be creating tribes to help fill my boards and filling those Tribes with high quality bloggers.

Bloggers, please leave your comments about these new guidelines below. Anonymous comments are ok, too. Pinterest is reading them and they want your feedback.

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  1. I’m curious at what point Pinterest begins to understand that they exsist because bloggers take the time to create the pins that fill their feed that drive their traffic!!! If bloggers unite and decide to stop playing these non-stop games there’s no new content for their feeds!!! In a nutshell…give us the respect we deserve for providing the content that has built your success!!! Yes your platform drives traffic to our sites and Vice Versa our platforms drive traffic to your site! So can we get a little mutual respect? What we need is another platform that will listen to and respect our needs and our contributions!

  2. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and joined Pinterest back when it was invite only. It is COMPLETELY ridiculous to suggest that adding the same Pin to boards is spam. I have recipes dating all the way back to 2011. If I want Pinterest users to find my recipes (for them to hopefully show up in a feed) I HAVE to repin my own content. Often. They aren’t going to go scroll through a board with thousands of pins to find my recipe from 2011. And it wouldn’t make any sense to keep creating new boards just so that I can share my content.

  3. Frustrated says:

    It would be great if Pinterest treated us as business partners and communicated clear and concise guidance directly through our verified email. While I so appreciate your efforts here, this is the latest in a long list of conflicting information because Pinterest refuses to have an authentic relationship with publishers. Instead they hide behind various ambassadors (bloggers, third party businesses, ad networks)and create an inconsistent telephone game with creators that only creates confusion, panic and frustration. Again, I appreciate any information anyone is willing to share but if Pinterest truly wanted change in the blog community they should have one voice of authority communicating directly to business partners for a change. Instead, they’ve created a boogie man (being marked as spam) and fuel the rumor mill periodically. Side note: Why ANY legitimate verified (by PINTEREST!) website should fear accidentally getting marked as spam is beyond me. This has been an ongoing issue FOR YEARS. And instead of finding a solution for a very real problem, they’ve weaponized it instead! Now it isn’t just a random stroke of bad luck, now it is also being used as a threat to publishers… when they want to send smoke signals on their latest non-official “guidelines”. (ALL while failing to bring all the legit spam under control and adding insult to injury feeding stolen pins out to the masses through their algorithms. Both problems that completely undermine publishers. )
    Bottom line: It is increasingly difficult to decipher how to proceed. We’ve ALL been burned by listening to what someone else has been told only to have Pinterest tell someone else conflicting advice. Hours of work wasted. Confusion prevails and no one knows what to do. This is not how you treat partners. If they would actually work with us (and TALK DIRECTLY to us)they might be surprised how the community would respond to real and consistent official direction. Again, I appreciate any blogger, ad networks or third parties that attempt to get us the answers we all seek… however, Pinterest needs to actually begin owning their role in THEIR relationship with publishers. We want Pinterest to succeed. We could be an asset rather than a nuisance if they invested time into regular emails.

  4. They seems to be offering conflicting advice. Don’t repin but they created the Smart Loop tool so repinning would be easier.

  5. As a blogger I pin content consistently and with considerations for Pinterest users. That being said I do have to egg rotate my own pins through again. As a Pinterest user myself, I don’t have time to scroll through one board of thousands of pins to see if any are the same. Who does? Are these the same people who consider ads as pop ups to complain about for sites to get free recipes? Considering our rotation of pins as long as its spread out seems a bit unfair.

  6. This is beyond frustrating. I thought perhaps Pinterest was moving towards supporting content creators with all of the meetings and facebook live chats; however, it seems that is not the case. What is Pinterest without content creators? Is Pinterest moving in the same direction as Facebook, where they want you to stay on Pinterest, not leave to actually get a recipe or directions for a craft?

  7. It feels like every few weeks, Pinterest is coming out with new “best practices” and giving little to no details about what they ACTUALLY want. Bloggers need more specificity and less conflicting information about exactly how to succeed on Pinterest. Not vague warnings that are given and then rescinded every other week. I’m not sure what their method is for figuring out what to focus on, but it feels like confusing their users (particularly those who rely on the platform for business purposes) is their main goal these days, and it’s getting old. I’m so exhausted by the constant changes and unhelpful updates (which are never actually provided directly BY Pinterest, but instead through bloggers, like this). Why is there no central location for Pinterest to explain algorithm updates and tell users what they want them to do going forward (and why?!) I don’t understand it. Please, Pinterest, help us help you. We don’t want to quit you. Many of us rely on your platform and use it constantly. Make it easier on us here…not harder.

  8. Sick of suspensions says:

    So many of us have been getting our accounts suspended randomly (or our clients accounts) for no apparent reason. We follow all the rules and don’t act spammy. And yet REAL, consistent, high-quality users are the ones being penalized and taken down and punished, while thousands of actual spammy pins float freely around the platform. Why?! It’s infuriating. This has to stop.

  9. I have read through most of the comments on this article. I have read the comment also on the fb post where I found this.
    I share the frustration and despair of these bloggers and also as a user. I see that ads and content control are now Pinterest’s focus.
    For content providers to participate on the platform we will surrender our content to Pinterest. Pinterest will not allow us to market our own content. It seems to me this is moving swiftly toward pay to play for content providers.
    We will be without recourse. Paying for ad reach is all we will have. And it’s too expensive!
    I lost about 1/3 of my Pinterest traffic year over year( or more). This after religiously following the new best practices set out last spring.

    There is nothing for us to work for if we are asked to recreate fresh pins for the Pinterest feed for every post every time we want to refresh a pin.

    The Pinterest feed is populated by getting the pins published onto boards. If we can no longer pin to the same group boards How many private boards do you want us to create???

    Tailwind is dust if this is your new plan. Because we can’t use the service enough to pay for it.

    AS A USER I find my feed boring and repetitive with the feed populated by whatever ideas I just pinned. I miss the old platform. I used to love scrolling through it and finding brand new ideas. I found steam punk and travel destinations, space trivia and science sites to mention a few. I never searched for any of those things. Pinterest was so much fun then. WHAT HAPPENED??

  10. Bothered Blogger says:

    I will add a few things not being addressed.

    One: Why is my entire blog post content available to be read “inside” Pinterest. When I click on a pin, it should not open the entire blog post inside Pinterest where the user never goes to my site, so it doesn’t count as a page view, or count for ad revenue for me. This is basically Pinterest stealing my content and benefitting from it. Has no one else noticed this happening? I’m shocked that bloggers aren’t in outrage over this.

    Two: when I look at pins from people I follow on mobile, why are they ginormous squares instead of the actual pin shape? Do we need to make square pins now? Because I far prefer to scroll the tab of people I follow – I hate to scroll the page of Pinterest’s smart feed that shows me nothing I want.

  11. If we’re not supposed to pin the same pins to our boards what are we supposed to do instead? Am I seriously supposed to create 100 different pins for one blog post? I’ve just started to work on my Pinterest strategy heavily and I dont see how I can avoid this scenario. I would really love an answer to this, because I’m seeing a huge problem with my pinning strategy. It’s not like I can just create different boards everytime I want to add the same pin.

  12. Pinning duplicate content is spammy? Seriously?! Then why on earth did Pinterest approve Tailwind’s smart loop feature?Which, by the way is 50% off until the end of this month and then full price after that. So, now I don’t know if I want to purchase it!!!
    What IS spammy is having the exact same promoted pin at the top of my newsfeed every single time I log in. Seriously, I didn’t click on it the first 10 times I saw it. Show me something new and actually relevant!

  13. This is nigh on impossible to do with a mature account. Bloggers who came in at the start with Pinterest have thousands of pins on our boards. Are Pinterest seriously suggesting we scroll through all those before pinning. The only way of getting round this is creating hundreds of new boards with little content on them and that can’t be a good user experiencr. Surely it is more sensible just to have a decent gap and timescale before repromoting content on Pinterest. Please stop changing the guidelines Pinterest. We are your users too.

  14. What about different images for the same web page onto 1 board. So Say I make a recipe with 10 different images that are then created into pins. What If I pin 3 of those to 1 board? The images are different but it still goes to the same location. Is that acceptable?

  15. Why why why? says:

    Oh Pinterest! You used to be my fave…as a “normal” user, I was with you in the beginning by invite only. I stuck by you, I raved about you, I ENJOYED using your feed and truly never thought I’d see the day that I did not enjoy you. But guess what? I’m here to tell you that as a “normal” user, I despise what Pinterest has become. It is no longer the enjoyable experience that it was due to the fact that there’s consistently garbage in my feed that I’d never in a million years click on let alone pin to one of my personal boards. I do not need the junk advertising at all, there are better ways to implement promoted pins, you need to know regular users HATE this. Now as a blogger, what are you thinking? We provide you amazing content and you basically say we’re spamming by REPINNING our own content to our own boards…that makes ZERO sense. You cannot tell me that “regular” users are reporting our repins as spam is leading to bloggers repeatedly having their accounts shut down for “spamming”. Regular users do not care, no one I personally know is going to do anything but keep on scrolling not spend time to report as spam. Nope, you are not selling me on that! For one, if you truly felt spamming was an issue you might want to take a better look at all the FAKE accts who are truly spamming your system, not bloggers who try their very hardest to obey the guidelines. Let alone, and I speak from personal experience on this one, receiving an email that your account has been suspended and guess what, the link that YOU provide in the email to object to the suspension is a dead-link (it goes nowhere) which tells the blogger that provides good content to your platform that you truly do not care to hear from them. TWICE I have had my account suspended for “spamming”, and it took days of repeat emails to have the account restored. Guess what? Not acceptable! All this listening to bloggers, in my opinion, has been a crummy PR stunt, if you really listened to bloggers this post would never have been needed. It is simple, we earn you money you earn us money but mutual respect is required and from my eyes, it is a lopsided respect that’s a true slap in the face.

  16. Pinterest, please provide an option to promote pins that is NOT one-tap. I’m in the educational market and many teachers have very strong feelings about being taken off Pinterest, without warning, to go to another site. I have stopped all my promoted pins as a result of one-tap. Give users a choice of whether or not they want to click to leave the site. Not giving users a choice feels a lot more spammy than anything bloggers are doing as described in this post.

  17. Amanda Smith says:

    When I first started using Pinterest it was as a user, not a blogger. So I have been on both sides of the fence as a background. As a user, years ago- I really enjoyed Pinterest. Then I transitioned my account to a business account when I started blogging. Back then, even though my account was a business account I STILL really enjoyed Pinterest.

    That all changed in recent years though. Pinterest was my favorite social platform. I mean it was awesome! I LOVED going on there both personally and professionally. I loved that I followed other bloggers and even my friends I went to High School, College and just were important in my life. I loved seeing their pins in my feed. Example: Another friend pinning an outfit that I loved or a home decor project, so I would see that and repin.

    Now pinterest is different and that can be good, and that can be bad. Since Pinterest switched to a “smart feed” set up and a search engine, I no longer see content those I follow Pin really. I get what pinterest suggests to me and what they “think” I want to see and repin. I want to be clear- the algorithm changes with facebook has killed not only bloggers and businesses- it has killed the personal experience and I see that happening HERE with pinterest too.

    There needs to be a happy medium. I like certain aspects of a smart feed but there needs to be a balance with pins showing up that THOSE I FOLLOW PIN. What worked 6 years ago on Pinterest was NOT broken, so the only reason I can see the change that was made to 100% smart feed is because Pinterest REALLY doesn’t put content creators first.

    Honestly, let us be clear and be real- if the content creators WERE NOT on pinterest, there would be no pinterest. We truly helped get pinterest off the ground and going, and we are being slapped for it.

    In the golden days of Pinterest bloggers would do something similar to the following: Publish new content. Pin to Pinterest to their “Best Of” board and THEN disperse from there to other boards. We like stats. We wanted to be able to easily track how well that pin did. Now we are being told this is spammy.

    Considering bloggers and TRUE content creators spammy is honestly comical considering I have had to hire someone to be a PI on pinterest and FIND and track down my STOLEN pins…ACCOUNTS WHO have the sole purpose to steal pins and point traffic elsewhere are SPAM. Not bloggers sharing to multiple boards. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Pinterest keeps focusing on these other changes against bloggers and content creators vs figuring out ways to cut out people stealing out pins and redirecting to another site.

    I want to be clear, I still love pinterest. I do, just not as much as I did before. I know if things were how they were back in the golden days, I would be bringing tons of more traffic than I am.

    I want clear guidelines from Pinterest. It is also ridiculous to shut down all these health and wellness accounts. LET YOUR READERS DECIDE if they want to believe something, if it is legit or if it isn’t. I am sorry- but the censorship hasn’t affected me yet really, but it has others and it is also ridiculous. This goes for politics, health and wellness, diet, religion etc!!! Let the reader decide!

    Stop changing which image sizes are recommended. Stop making us be pushed over and over every few years to change everything with our image layout and sizes. Remember the golden days when square images were recommended? Then it became vertical, then it became 2:3 etc etc…STOP.

    If tailwind is approved and it is- then all aspects of tailwind should remain approved including their smart loop.

    Lastly, your customer service is so lacking. Here’s an example of a recent incident. I reported an account for spam. I included everything needed in that report. I used YOUR forms. I got an email saying I needed to send in all the info. I had ALREADY sent in the info! I was asked for the SAME info I sent in!!!! Your right hand doesn’t seem to know what the left hand is talking about and even the division that is supposed to be set up for content creators, they still can’t answer questions.

    I would love to see Pinterest great again, the first step to that is to actually FINALLY listen to bloggers and content creators and QUICKLY make the changes needed. Not in a year or two, but quickly.

    As a user, I have almost stopped using pinterest because I can’t see the stuff I want, the people I follow. As a creator, it is frustrating at best.

    Do better, be better. Fix it.

  18. We need clarification from Pinterest on “don’t pin the same pin to a board multiple times”. Each scheduled pin is considered a new pin, correct? I don’t have time to make new pins with different images, as a food blogger that would require remaking the recipe over and over to get different shots. Is scheduling the same image to go out to each board once a month still okay?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this comment!

  20. It is absurd to me that Pinterest still can’t seem to stop entire accounts scraping images & rerouting to their websites, but are finding time to respond to people flagging spam for the same, legitimate, pin being saved to the same board? When was the last time Pinterest did anything that was working FOR bloggers instead of against them? This is so frustrating. I’m so glad I haven’t invested any money in promoted pins because it is clearly a sinking ship there :(

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