Many of us use Pinterest as a method of driving traffic to our websites and improve our website performance. However, we need to remember that Pinterest is working hard to maintain a high-quality search engine and coming down hard on site abusers. Typically an abuser is someone who either deliberately or due to ignorance is spamming the site.
Spam on Pinterest
There are essentially two ways that you can spam on Pinterest.
- An evil spammer can post pins that link to spam or malicious sites. These people are deliberate spammers.
- The other type of spammer is someone who is pinning their own pins too often and overwhelming their feed and boards. Since many people post 50 to 100 pins a day, a spammer has to be really going overboard to stand out. A typical example is someone who pins too often to a group board, pins the same pin over and over to several boards at the same time or repins the same pin repeatedly in a short period of time. They are Pinterest bullies.
Pinterest has two ways to treat spammers. The spammer in the first scenario can cause the site harm. This person can be banned from the site completely. Pins can be reported by flagging them and Pinterest will take pins down immediately if they are spam. The company has also put in place a filter that stops users from pinning shortened URLs and blacklisted-site URLs. If you attempt to use one of these URLs, you get a message that tells you why you can’t pin it.
The user in the second scenario goes to Pinterest Jail. Pinterest Jail is a sneaky kind of jail. Some users don’t even hear the bars clang around them for days. What happens is that suddenly no one can see your pins anymore except for you. If you are an avid pinner, you will notice that you are getting fewer followers and repins. If you pin to your boards, other users can’t see the pins. If someone else pins the same link to their boards, the pins will be seen. So the jail is more like an invisibility cloak, hiding your account from other users.
Getting Out of Jail
If you think you are in Pinterest Jail, you can send a message to the support team. They can tell you if you are there because they locked you up or if there is a technical problem. If this is your first offense, you can be rehabilitated from jail eventually. However, repeat offenders will be in jail for a very long time or banned completely.
The lesson is to stay out of jail. Follow the rules, and you will reap the benefits. Abuse the rules, and you will reap the consequences.
Paula A is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.