So the big news this week? It looks like Pinterest have announced that it’s going to be ok to use hashtags on the site moving forward from August 2017. Wow, this is huge, and I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure how I feel about this.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Currently, at the time of writing, I *think* this is hitting the US first. But it’s only a matter of time until it’s rolled out fully to the UK and rest of the world.
In the last week or so the information has been filtering through some of the big US pin businesses, including Tailwind, and a webinar between Curulate and Pinterest themselves.
Tailwind has a post out on its blog that references the discussions that have been taking place, AND shows a few examples in recent months of how hashtags have been showing up on the feed. It’s a fascinating development and whilst it’s still uncertain how this will develop, it’s clear that Pinterest acknowledges how we all use hashtags across social sites and beyond, and want to use them on their platform too.
Here’s what Tiffany Black, Head of Content Business Development and Corporate Development at Pinterest has to say:
It is true that In the past, I think that we were dissuading people from using hashtags. We are actually changing that such that you can and are often benefited in the future by using hashtags. As far as best practices go, the rule of thumb is use authentic hashtags but don’t keyword stuff essentially. So I know on other platforms you can often see people putting 50 or 100 hashtags on something.
It’s not the volume of hashtags that’s really useful, it’s actually making sure you are using the hashtags that people will likely be searching for. So not trying to do like 100 because actually doing too many will decrease rank in some capacity because we will think it is possibly spam.
So I would say we haven’t figured out exactly what the right number is. I don’t think that we will probably come out with an exact number but you know keeping it reasonable and using ones that are relevant to the content and authentic is the way to go.
So change is coming and this is BIG. For years we have been saying to NOT use hashtags on your pins; they’re spammy and devalue your content. But now, it’s going to be ok, and in fact should be something we should do.
What Should you Do Now?
Should you go out and change-up all your old pins adding new hashtags? Well I guess you could, but to be honest, we don’t yet know the full impact of this, so be careful. Furthermore, be mindful that a hashtag on your pin, could lead pinners away from your content, and distract them from clicking through.
However, we have to assume that this development is going to be great for search. Putting a few relevant, search friendly hashtags on a great pin is going to help you be found more in search, and possible increase your chances of being higher up in the search results. Why not add it to a few pins on your blog/business board and monitor them to see what happens?
You can read the full Tailwind blog post from Alisa Meredith HERE.
If you’re dedicated and want to listen to the evidence coming through from the States, here’s the podcast with Q&A where the hashtag change is mentioned, about 25 minutes in.
So, what do you think? Are you excited to see this change, or desperate for Pinterest to leave things as they are?