Pinterest is a somewhat new social media site that has begun to explode thanks to it’s aggressive app that pushed its way through Facebook and addictive pinning habits that many people, mostly women, are hooked on. One thing that you don’t see is them ranking high for products inside many of the search engines. Even with their strong and aggressive apps, their addictive site and ability to go viral, they have serious SEO issues. By making a few simple and obvious changes, Pinterest can take over, start becoming a shopping comparison engine to raise money and completely grow their traffic faster and for free, not to mention make a ton of money. Think about these 5 seo mistakes and then what may be missing from your site as well.
1. Their URL Structure
The url structure on Pinterest is great for the boards. They use dashes and have the keyword name of the boards. The issue is when you click onto the pins. They have sloppy urls. Although the products and copy is there, the url structure is numbers and slashes and that’s all. If they would make it about the product, be more easily or even able to be crawled, etc… then they could start ranking all of the user generated content with keyword rich urls and take over product rankings. By enabling the pinned products to be crawled and ranked they could really increase their traffic (There is another example of a product page with an ugly url below, but it isn’t being crawled), but they’ll also have one other issue to worry about. (Now with that said, they do have other pin pages which are able to be crawled and do have good urls like in the image below. But those pages have a url redirect issue which is number 3 on this post.) One other issue is that when you do a site:pinterest.com query in Google you get 33 Million+ pages indexed, but they are all user profiles from a spot check I did. When I did site:pinterest.com/rollerbladerdc I noticed that they only pulled my profile and non of my boards, products, etc… This is a crawling and indexing issue.
2. Duplicate Title Tags
If you look at the two example images above, you’ll notice that even though the url changes, the title tags don’t change. If they would enable products to be crawled and indexed easier, or more clearly, they’ll have to fix their title tags since when you click on a pin the title’s stay the same. One thing they are doing that is good is not allowing some of the duplicate pages to be crawled.
3. Product URL Redirects and 404 Dead Pages.
If you notice in the top image I capitalized the P in pin. This caused a 404 error page. When I capitalize or lower case letters in other pages, some redirect correctly while others turn into 404 pages. If you would build backlinks to the pages and the same url gets indexed that way, while a page with the lower case that works is indexed, you create an issue for the Search Engines. They should be redirecting all urls to the same one to prevent duplicate content and pages from being able to be indexed. The 301 redirect is perfect for this since it says that the same copy will be on this page. Then they can use canonical tags to show which is the page to index.
4. Pinned Product Page URLs and Title Tags
In this example I pinned a product this morning. The issue with this is the Title Tag. Look how long and ugly it is. They need to find a way to shrink it back down. Also, they use the board as the first part of the title. What they may also want to look at is pulling keywords or having a product title space placed into the add pin section and that can become the title and then they can auto import the description up to 150 characters or whatever their optimization limit is, in for the description tag.
5. Alt Tags and Image Names
When I was searching through the code on the pages I noticed one obvious SEO mistake for images. They did name their alt tags on their images correctly which is awesome, however they did not name the image when uploaded into the actual urls. Instead of a giant string of numbers.jpg, they could have easily taken the alt tag and used that name and then maybe added numbers if it is duplicate to the image name. This would probably help them with image searches inside some of the major Search Engines.
Pinterest is an awesome and addictive site where you can build a following and fans for your blog as well as make money. They have grown virally by using aggressive apps and Facebook as well as by word of mouth. By fixing a few things within their site they could really take their SEO to the next level. Think about the basics that are missing from your site and see if you have any of these issues as well and think about how you can fix them.