Is Pinterest Broken? Shadowban? Not Working? Traffic Falling?

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For months, years even, my Pinterest traffic had been falling. I was something of a Pinterest ninja a couple of years ago, enjoying up to 1000 Page Views per day from Pinterest. Over time this Pinterest traffic has fallen to a pathetic 150 clicks per day.  Was my Pinterest broken? Had I got myself a shadowban? I’d tried everything to fix it, bouncing between Tailwind, Board Booster and hand pinning alongside a meticulously created spreadsheet. My pins were good  ( I thought) and I added fresh pins regularly, I had 20,000 followers and was on some of the best group boards. I owned some of the best group boards. I know SEO inside out, I own a very big travel blog, funding a family of 4 through my website and I was adding the required Pinterest hashtags, so why wasn’t Pinterest bringing me any traffic?

There was a second element to this problem, Pinterest Analytics didn’t seem to be recording the same number of clicks to my website as Google Analytics. But I finally found some answers and I hope, maybe, I’m on my way back to increasing Pinterest traffic. I’ll just say up front here that I am not selling a course. Isn’t that refreshing? My current Pinterest strategy, which has doubled Pinterest clicks lately, is at the end of the post. But my Pinterest traffic is still pitiful compared to what it was.

Pinterest Not Working?

This first part is all about getting my head around Pinterest Analytics. I think I’ve figured a few things out and you may be able to follow your Pinterest Analytics better after seeing what’s below. Unfortunately, I published this post before Pinterest changed its back end Analytics display so my screenshots are obsolete. I’m working on removing and replacing them.

The Drop In Pinterest Traffic

Below is my Pinterest traffic over the last few years. You can probably see my problem. Pinterest traffic has been falling and falling as I’ve been pinning more and more. I’ve always made Pinterest a focus and always put in a lot of effort since arrow 1, which is when I first got serious about pinning. At that stage I was hand pinning only, using the same fledgling spreadsheet I use today. You can see how quickly my Pinterest traffic took off.

Pinterest Traffic Dropping Over Time

In January 2016 I hit 100,000 total page views per month and 80% of that traffic was from Pinterest. After that Pinterest traffic dropped and only now, in ( this was back in November 2017 – 2019 I’m on 300,000 monthly PV), am I hitting 100,000 monthly page views again, but this time around 10% is from Pinterest, my organic search traffic is now 75% of my total. Google loves me, thankfully.

The period indicated by arrow 2 was my Pinterest peak, I had 3 pins that went viral over several months and they are still my best performers. When I first started investigating this problem I eventually gave up. Maybe it was just those 3 viral pins that caused my Pinterest surge and maybe I’d now returned to ” normal” Pinterest traffic. Hard to believe, but that was the only conclusion I could draw. If this is the case then “normal” Pinterest traffic is barely worth having.

Halfway through this Pinterest boom period (  2) I started using Board Booster. It didn’t seem to really increase nor decrease Pinterest traffic.

In February 2017 I bought Tailwind. As you can see it didn’t help at all, traffic continued to fall.

On October 22nd 2017 I stopped using Tailwind and returned to hand pinning. Traffic did not drop at all, I continued to monitor this for a few weeks before I switched back to Board Booster again just to test my theory that pinning tools weren’t helping.

There is a marked drop in traffic, sudden and obvious, shown by arrow 3 at April 24th – 25th 2017. I put this down to a Pinterest change, nothing I did in terms of Pinning changed on that date. On this date the new Pinterest feed was introduced on my account. This didn’t happen on the same day for everyone, but I know it did for me.

I stopped using Board Booster on the 17th July 2017. There was no drop in traffic when I stopped using this pinning tool.

Just for comparison, below is my growth in Direct traffic over the same period.

Direct Traffic Growing Over Time

The direct traffic is hard to interpret as it could come from many sources, Pinterest on mobile has been mentioned elsewhere as one of them. I don’t know if this is true or maybe was true at one time. I now have more daily direct traffic than I do from all my social media channels combined.  Could this direct traffic be mostly from the Pinterest mobile app? I found data and studies suggesting this idea but Google Analytics doesn’t help me any further than this with tracking direct sources.

It’s worth noting that I do not have m.pinterest (mobile Pinterest) as a traffic source AT ALL. The post I link to above DOES show m.pinterest as a traffic source.

m pinterest

Pinterest Analytics Not Working?

At first glance I thought my Pinterest Analytics wasn’t working, until I realised I was looking in the wrong place. Below is my Pinterest traffic as recorded over the last 30 days in Google Analytics.

Pinterest Data Google Analytics clicks from Pinterest, last 30 days, same period

Below is Pinterest clicks for exactly the same 30 day period as above, from Pinterest Analytics. It looks all wrong, where are the 1,000 + clicks to the Thailand money post shown above? Later I realised I’d been looking in the wrong part of Pinterest Analytics.

Pinterest Data Pinterest Analytics, Clicks last 30 Days

This is where I should have been checking my Pinterest clicks in Pinterest Analytics, the figures below DO tally with Google Analytics data.

pinterest analytics clicks to website

I was originally looking at numbers of clicks from box 1 below  ( Your Pinterest Profile) when I should have been looking at clicks from box 3 ( Activity from my website). An easy enough mistake to make and totally my own fault. The first box only deals with clicks from pins on your own boards, the third box deals with pins from anywhere on Pinterest.


How To Check Pinterest Traffic in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics go to ” Acquistion” and then “Overview” in the left-hand menu. In the chart at the bottom of the page select ” Pinterest”.

Once you have your Pinterest data you can find out which pages your Pinterest traffic is landing on by selecting ” Secondary Dimension”. Under secondary dimension find behaviour and landing page to see a list of posts on your site that Pinterest traffic is landing on.

Finding Pinterest data in Google Analytics.

The secondary dimension button is useful in many ways in Google Analytics, it’s worth familiarising yourself with how it works.

Tailwind, Board Booster or Hand Pinning? Which is Best?

For me Tailwind was absolutely useless in terms of raising traffic and was by far the worst user experience.  This was the first time I tried it. After that I deactivated my Tailwind account and swore I’d never use it again.

The second time I tried it, all of the bugs and speed issues miraculously resolved and now it worked faultlessly. Who knows? I don’t have a clue why this happened.

I used Board Booster for a long time and really liked the tool. Unfortunately Pinterest have forced Board Booster to shut down. It’s gone and you can no longer use it.

So, reluctantly, I went back to Tailwind after months of just not using Pinterest at all because I was so sick of it not performing.

I’ve realised that all the big pinners are on Tailwind and you’re not going to get any sort of boost from them unless you’re in their tribes. Tribes are useful. Tailwind Analytics is very useful. Still though, I’d rather hand pin if possible and just use Tailwind to span the gaps.

Also, I’ve learned from scanning through the tribe feed to repin other people’s work to my own boards, that a pin has to have certain characteristics. It needs to spell out in big bold letters what the pin is about. In the travel sector it must clearly state the country, not just the town or city. More general pins are better, countrywide rather than narrowly specific to a certain small town or attraction. Also it must be a bit spammy to get people to click. Entice them, with the words on the pin, to want to open your post.

So Pinterest is back on the up for me, finally, using a tool that I swore to never go back to. If you want to join Tailwind, do so here. It is absolutely vital to pin at the right times, globally. I’ve finally figured that out and with global travel shut downs and domestic travel being the current priority, this is make or break.

Joined Tailwind

Finally! It’s on the up! I re-joined Tailwind on 12th of July and already my Pinterest traffic is increasing.

Tailwind tribes are a LOT less hassle that joining those Pinterest Facebook sharing groups and you only pin the pins from your tribes that you like. Nothing poor quality, nothing outside your niche, nothing to damage your SEO. Save your time and get better results by getting yourself into some tribes right now!

Pinterest SEO is a Nightmare and Thoughts on Pinterest SEO

Pinterest SEO often just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

I searched the word “worldschooling” in Pinterest a few days ago and several of my own pins appeared. Some were relevant but some had nothing to do with worldschooling whatsoever. The world ” worldschooling” didn’t appear in the title, description, alt tag of the image or even the post.

One idea I had to explain this is that people have pinned my pins to worldschooling boards and this is considered by Pinterest as part of the pin’s SEO.

Another theory of mine, and one that I’m seeing more and more evidence to support, is that the image itself is part of Pinterest’s SEO algorithm. If the picture looks like the thing you’re talking about, it somehow counts towards the pin’s SEO. So if the pin is of children exploring the world, even if the content is non-worldschool related, Pinterest is somehow seeing that pin as being about worldschooling. Test it out for yourself, go search a few things in Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean. Look at how visualy similar the pins that appear in your search results will be.

I’ve learnt a new trick lately, you have to help Pinterest figure out what your pin is about by initially pinning your fresh pin to the boards that most closely match the pin’s SEO. This helps Pinterest not get quite so confused by its visual SEO element. If, say, your pin and post are about Thailand with Kids, pin it to your best Thailand board, or the best travel with kids board. Also, of course, make your image LOOK like it’s about Thailand with kids.

In October 2017 Pinterest announced that hashtags were now required and like a good pinner I’ve been methodically adding them. I saw no improvement, but they say you should, so you should.

Pinterest Favours New Accounts and New Content

I have no documented evidence to support this new account theory, but as I work with new bloggers I can tell you that almost without fail, new Pinterest accounts do well at first, if the owners really decide to work hard on their Pinterest game. It’s impossible to not see this pattern and I’ve talked to many other experienced bloggers and professional social media managers who say the same thing.

It could simply be because Pinterest loves new content. Pinterest has publicly said this (April 2018). So you need to be pumping out new pins on your new and old content. If you consider that all new users’ content will all be new, this could explain a lot.

Also I know my 6 or 7 year-old account is far too bogged down in old pins with too few shares and repins. I think counteracting that is going to be hard and without Board Booster Analytics I can’t see which ones they are to delete.

Every Pinterest “Expert” Says Something Different

This is the incredibly frustrating part of Pinterest. No 2 people who claim to get good Pinterest traffic do it in the same way. Some Pinterest experts are riding the back of virals and not realising that their Pinterest strategy actually has nothing to do with their success. Some, like me, are obsessive with analysing Pinterest data and multiple Analytics sources – I can find no pattern.

I could write you a step by step guide on how to get good traffic from Google but Pinterest – nope. It’s a mystery to me still. The hours and hours I’ve poured into Pinterest and no clear pattern emerges.

No 2 pinners follow the same strategy. Pinterest is random and unpredictable. I have friends who swear by group sharing threads, others who swear by Tailwind, some only pin to Pinterest when they release new content, what works for one person may not work for another.

A Pinterest Strategy That Works in 2018

When I wrote this ( end of 2017) I saw no point in sharing my Pinterest strategy because it wasn’t working.  It’s certainly improved, not massively, but things are better than they were now, in 2019.

 How I Increased My Pinterest Traffic (Finally!)

It’s not a huge increase in terms of numbers, but I’ve doubled my Pinterest traffic since Christmas.

  • Fresh pins, lots and lots of fresh pins, on old content and new content.
  • Big fat clear text that people can read easily in tiny feeds as well as plane image pins and video pins.
  • Finally solving the schedule time mystery globally.
  • SEO, SEO, SEO. A makeover on my account, my boards and my pins.
  • SEO based on Pinterest’s own search terms. Type your ideas into the Pinterest search bar and see what pops up.
  • Tailwind scheduling of every fresh pin to every relevant board if I’m unable to be online to hand pin. I would still prefer to hand pin.
  • Tailwind tribes keep my pins in the feed when I’m in the Himalayas.
  • Prioritising the best pins, the ones that I know go well on Pinterest and resharing them regularly ( They are often technically the worst pins, too small etc., but they work. NOTE the old size rules have gone out of the window, square or any 1:3 ratio is now recommended by Pinterest, 600 x 900. I tried square- they flopped).
  • Launching new pins in the first few days or weeks to all boards of mine and group boards they belong on with a focus on SEO of the board and power of the board. Pinning to a useless board is pretty pointless and I worry it could harm the reputation of the pinner and the pin. Tailwind Analytics is great for checking on the usefulness of boards.
  • I’ve left the sharing groups and threads. Pinning other people’s non-relevant, poor-quality stuff wasn’t helping my authority as a pinner nor my SEO. Neither was hosting huge random group boards, they’re gone.
  • Cleaning up my boards, removing the dross ( size of the pin hardly seems to matter by the way, some of my best pins are “too small”)
  • All new pins have images that show the destination or subject clearly to help with the visual element of Pinterest SEO.
  • Re-pinning the most productive pins ( as determined by Google Analytics and/or Pinterest Analytics) to any boards or group boards I have not yet pinned them to, as well as resharing often to the “power” group boards. Popular pins never seem to stop performing.
  • Finding the most re-pinned versions of my pins and repinning these pre-loved pins with thousands of interactions on them already. Pinterest likes pre-loved pins more.
  • Spending more time actually on Pinterest. But for me with a travel lifestyle, this is hard.
  • I deleted my biggest group board full of “junk” pins. A bold step. Instead I have more niche group boards with strong SEO and smaller groups of pinners who understand that they need to keep that board strong. I’m still working on reducing my number of boards, I just couldn’t pin to over 100 different boards regularly, so I’m culling and focusing more.

Read in more detail about what’s working for me on Pinterest in June 2020 in this post.

So if, like me, Pinterest has dropped your traffic in recent months or years what’s your take on it? Why is this happening? I must admit, it’s not a massive big deal for me, my traffic grows despite social media not because of it. So what is it, has Pinterest changed so much that it’s just not useful for travel bloggers anymore? Was I doing it all wrong for years? I know the recipe bloggers still do well and I have friends in travel with huge Pinterest traffic. 2018 will see big changes as Pinterest moves more and more towards becoming a sales platform. Wouldn’t it be great to have an extra 1000 clicks per day from Pinterest again? I’ll let you know how it goes.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

96 thoughts on “Is Pinterest Broken? Shadowban? Not Working? Traffic Falling?”

  1. Great article. But Pinterest is messing around with its interface fairly regularly which is probably having a knock on effect.

    I had 2m monthly views and under a month I’ve gone down to 1.5m monthly views. I’m still putting in a lot of effort with my pins especially new pins. Next idea is to start doing only video pins but this is time consuming and I’m wondering if I should even bother continuing!!

    My followers are growing daily but I don’t have thousands which seems odd when I have had high monthly viewers. I also think there are a lot of spammers out there so these figures could be skewed!

    It’s time to re-evaluate the whole platform and maybe move my efforts to Instagram. Though any platform owned by a big organisation can just change its algorithms overnight and we can all then be no matter how well we’ve done in the past!

  2. Well I am glad to know I am not alone! I was getting 450k+ impressions and 250k visits. Then boom! September hit and my analytics have been dropping daily by 2-5k sometimes less other times more! It’s really not a enjoyable service anymore and in fact is beginning to seem dated.

    If they keep screwing with everything then it’s time for me to just shut my stuff down. I mean they change stuff almost chronically!

    Example: Like today you can do this function but then next week, “You can no longer do this function.”

    Ok, Pinterest rant over!

    Good luck everyone!

  3. OMG – This article came at such a good time – I am struggling big time! My monthly views have gone from 1.3 million to 773,000 in month. I am afraid to open it every day because it goes down at least 20,000 view a day. COME ON PINTEREST! REALLY? FRUSTRATING especially when you put so much work into it and this happens.

  4. Thank you for your post. I have been also struggling just this past month. I had 1.3 million views back in July and now it’s down to 824,000 views and going down fast. I do believe that sharing boards is causing some of it and I am going to stop that. I have boards that are not even of interest to me. In fact, one is in spanish-ugh! I also need to do some cleaning up of older pins and start doing fresh ones. I have tried Tailwind in the past and maybe I will get back on with them, too. Your advice was much appreciated! It is frustrating when you open up Pinterest daily and see those views drastically going down!

    • @Julie Diorio, I agree it is very disheartening. I’m not sure paying the fee for Tailwind warrants your money it is merely a scheduling tool. Though they now have the facility for you to use their Beta Create which allows you to produce several styles of pin for one idea which looks as if you’ve produced several different topics. Though you still have to mess around with the pin styles to get it to work well for you.

  5. I’m really glad I found your post. I’ve been struggling with Pinterest the last month. As a new(ish) Pinner I saw my stats rise dramatically and I was just shy of 1mil audience mid July. My website traffic hit 1500pvs for the first time as well. When suddenly my impressions were in single digits and my stats were dive bombing. So many other pinners are reporting the same and arguing with Pinterest support regarding their spam filters. I use tailwind because I don’t have the time or brain space to pin manually right now, but none of it makes any sense ?? I need to figure out how to get more traffic from google as I don’t want to rely on a system that essentially can click its fingers and take my traffic on a whim

    • @Sam, I am having the exact same issue. I went from 530K impressions and 11K PV in June to 125K impression and below 4K PV as of today. I am a new blogger and was just getting some momentum going and then everything just plummeted. It’s so frustrating!

  6. Hi, thanks so much for this post, it has really set my mind at rest! I’ve been working on my pinterest account since March. I’ve been using it for years and pin in gluts, but since March have been tidying up my boards, pinning more consistently, using portrait rather than landscape images etc etc and my unique monthly views have gone from 120k to 2.5k!!! I can’t even find myself anymore on pinterest, although the individual pins do come up if I search on the subject matter. I checked out my google analytics after reading your post and it certainly doesn’t seem to have affected traffic to my site, so that is a huge relief. I’m working on my content now for SEO and continuing with pinterest but I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. A very interesting read and I’ve shared with industry colleagues as well.

  7. I have created pinterest in 12 May, and immediately, i posted a few video images and they went to 2k in those first days. However, absolutely no link clicks. Then comes the problem of the images being associated with the wrong content. It is as if you need to post the same content as others to get attention. Otherwise it’s impossible. I first tried to post video images to attract attention, however, no link clicks were done. Then I changed to just posting images and the views are like 10, 30, 40. Have seen tons of tips on pinterest and the pins are visually pretty and appealing. Don’t know how to get more attention to the blog. It is very infuriating.

    • I had a video pin hit 100,000 views this week and zero link clicks. Video pins seem to be good for increasing the standing of your account or board, but not for traffic. ( My experience only – I could be wrong)

  8. I start to bloging new and i wanted to get traffic from pinterest as well, but I did everything what i can for my blog on Pinterest, for instance new pins, rich pins, approving,seo boards, sessions, description. I saved my pins diffrent my boards, or saved others pins on my related boards but pinterest impressions droped almost zero i don’t know what to do. I’ve used pinterest for months impressions were always increasing it become 1k daily then in one night it became 30. Why can you give me some advice. And you have great pinterest account.

      • Thanks for advice, I searched pinterest/source/ and result was empty. İ totaly can’t find my account by searching on pinterest. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any idea about it? My account was new i can make a new one but what if my domain totaly banned from pinterest which is ım afraid most

  9. I’ve finally given up with Pinterest, I have changed nothing but no matter how much I try I can’t get into my original account. This has happened before ably assisted with their annoying auto login which no matter how many times you turn it off, it turns itself on. Well I’ve have enough and hope my own submissions of photos I have posted of my worldwide travels will just disappear in time by themselves as I can’t get to see them let alone delete. Can’t even delete my original account as its taken it upon its self to create me new totally useless accounts which after this experience I wouldn’t trust with my photos if you paid me. All future email from Pinterest goes straight in my Junk folder where it belongs.

  10. I end up reading this article after my Pinterest traffic went down by 50% in a matter of hours. I’m not sure if is because I repined by pins to different boards, or because of the algorithm, but that had me thinking to reconsider my traffic sources for my blog.

      • At least you are still getting traffic. I have never used Pinterest before about 3 weeks ago and have pinned a ton of stuff, on my own boards and group boards and have maybe gotten 4 visits. I keep reading how great pinterest is, but it seems like a waste of time to me so far.
        I use hashtags, add keywords from searches, and still nothing.

        • Ryan, it will take a lot more than 3 weeks. Give it a few months of pinning fresh pins only, every day. I’m building a new Pinterest account too. It’s coming along nicely, but a few weeks in I’m on only maybe 20 visits to that site per day, 40K monthly impressions.

  11. Hey Alison,

    That was a very useful post. I also have a website in the outdoor niche and recently I hired my wife as a Pinterest manager.
    She only hand pins because she likes it and I think her pins are really awesome.
    But sometimes though I see that the impressions of some pins are much much lower as compared to others.
    For instance, a pin could have 5 impressions while another one could have more than 10k. Strange…
    Anyway, thanks for the useful info.

    • Asen, thanks, this post is very, very old and needs updating. What you are seeing ( we see it too ) is usually down to keywords, popularity of those keywords – what’s trending – and timing. Pinterest SEO does not work like Google SEO. The Pinterest keywords at the top of the page seem to be the only ones that get any traction. Use those. Also now only fresh pins are working for us. Pinning between boards seems to bring no additional benefit. So Pinterest really is not worth our time, still. But we do still run several Pinterest accounts, with high levels of Tailwind Tribes and Looping, and we still struggle to get Pinterest traffic. A steady 100 or so visits a day from my big travel account.

  12. I read a lot of articles on Pinterest and followed all the instructions from Pinners who have got huge traffic from Pinterest but somehow it is not working for me. I think they may have some other strategies which work for them but they don’t share.

  13. Expect it to get worse. A lot worse. Pinterest is now almost unusable for non-sellers. You know, the userbase you are trying to reach…

    They’ve removed everything that made it interesting – how many times a pin was pinned and who by, the captions have gone so all we see now is pictures. “Picked for you” is a joke – kept showing me my own pins (my own original pins) and stuff I already pinned. A lot of pins go to spam sites that are nothing to do with the pins.

    Oh, and the autoplay videos are annoying as are they fact that a lot of them feature the mistreatment and torment of animals for “funny” content.

    Feeds are full of content the same as your last five pins and not your overall interests.

    I’m just a private pinterest user (although today I archived most of my boards today) for sellers and professionals it must be worse.

    • I’ve started only using the following feed not the home feed, that makes things much better. Happy to say, I’m seeing some Pinterest gains again. But it has taken me years to figure out the Pinterest mistakes I was making.

  14. I went from having 850,000 monthly views in December 2018 to having just over 300,000 in March. Interestingly, this was after I made an effort this year, after completely neglecting it last year. Also interestingly, I keep getting emails from my new Pinterest rep wanting me to talk to him about running ad campaigns. Hmmm.

    • Michelle, I’ve lost Pinterest traffic and recently started getting emails from a Pinterest rep trying to get me into promoted pins as well. I told him I need to get my traffic up again before I’ll be willing to invest in their platform! Pinterest has always been good to me, much better than other social networks, but I’m not about to toss money their way when something isn’t working now.

        • Pinterest offers a free service, their revenue comes from ads. In its first years Pinterest focussed on quickly acquiring masses of users. The company was privately funded and loosing tons of money. Then it went public in April 2019, So now they have to become profitable or at least show aggressive revenue growth.
          Ahead of going public, they started pushing adverstising on the platform, with reps calling owners of accounts that seem promising to them. (Though the rep will only help you set up your ad campaigns if you commit to spend a certain ad budget, otherwise you are on your own.). Could it be that at the same time, changes were made to the algorithms penalizing organic pins, encouraging people to pay for promoting pins in order to maintain traffic? I don’t know but it would not be very surprising.

          • That’s very likely Fran. Pay to advertise or lose your reach. But I lost my Pinterest traffic well before 2019. However … I think I’ve just, yesterday, found the answer. I’ll update if this works. My husband says it’s the 956th time I’ve ” figured out what’s wrong” LOL.

  15. Hi,

    I have been using Pinterest to promote my business and blog for quite a time now. And there weren’t many views on pins in general. But 2 months ago I posted an infographic and that pin earned about 6k views. I had never seen such high views in any of my posts. And now there are no views on any of my new content. (which is better than the pin I had this much view on). I am totally confused here.

    • I have the same problem! A crapy old infographic brings loads of clicks, but I really don’t want people going to that post!

  16. Thanks for the article it was a great read. My pintrest jump up from 600 monthly views to 1.3million in 6 months. And sat there for awhile but in the last 3 months it has just dropped. One day it dropped 300k. I really can not get my head around it as I have changed nothing in my methods. I dont post manually just through tailwind and belong to 8 tribes, I just dont know what went wrong? Will have to try some of your ideas.

    • I think pins going viral is a huge part of Pinterest ” success”. Like I say, I’ve quit. After Christmas I’m giving it one more go and hiring an expert Pinterest VA, but honestly, nothing I’ve tried recently has helped beyond slightly. I’ll let you know if the VA works.

    • I have noticed the same problem over the last few weeks. I jumped up to 600K and am falling down to just over 440K now. Again, nothing has changed in my practices. I use Tailwind and pin manually. We will see what happens, I guess.

  17. I am new to Pinterest and have been working really hard at posting my content and growing my account. All of a sudden everything dropped off 90 percent around Thanksgiving this year and I am not sure why. My views are up, followers are trickling in, it seems like most of my followers are accounts that seem kind of spammy. Mostly selling stuff and they all have exactly the same board titles + or – one or two. I only have a little over 600 followers at this point. It doesn’t seem like these spammy accounts would be likely to repin my pins. Is the key to getting legitimate followers just really good keywords and SEO in my descriptions?

  18. Great read. Pinterest has been driving me crazy for a while now as my traffic has stalled for around 6 months. I’ll check out some of your pointers and fingers crossed it’ll help. Thanks, Mike

  19. Interesting article! I’m also running a successful travel website. Just started growing Pinterest 5 months ago (before the account was sort of ‘dead’). Traffic increased each week, pinned each day, used TW etc. All good. Until 2 weeks ago, when Pinterest traffic (in Pinterest itself and of course Pinterest traffic to my website) drastically dropped. There was NOTHING I did different. Now Pinterest traffic almost dropped to zero on my website. I really have idea. Like you, I’m good at SEO and I’m doing everything Pinterest ‘wants’. As you wrote, it’s a big weird mystery. Thinking about giving up on Pinterest 🙁

  20. Alyson, great information! I don’t have a blog but have been thinking about it for quite some time. I really appreciate your honesty. I see a lot of pins about making 6 and 7 figures and how they did it and tend to roll my eyes at this because I realize this is a pipe dream much like winning the lottery. Anything worth having takes patience, time and hard work.

    I got interested in Pinterest mainly for recipes and home decor ideas. Back in May I decided to dabble a little in affiliate marketing through ShopStyleCollective and ShareASale and eventually moved into promoting some bloggers courses that I previewed and that didn’t promise the world.

    I see things through a different perspective. In my opinion Pinterest has grown into this huge social media search platform. There are just too many bloggers, affiliates, businesses and let’s not forget about spammers competing for business. And, I’m not saying this in a negative way, just in a realistic way. Too much of a good thing eventually peaks and falls. Too much of the same info being pinned by too many pinners (ie learn how I make $10,000 a month, etc.). And, a lot of the info seems to just be copied from blog to blog (not sure if you know what I mean here).

    I study my Pinterest analytics closely and find that a lot of pins get saved but not many actually get clicked to follow the link. I realize this is very different for bloggers. I’m strictly speaking from an affiliates view point.

    I really just wanted to thank you for this blog post and let you know that I appreciate all your honesty.

    • Pinterest is a mystery, at this point…I TOTALLY GIVE UP ! I’m still using it ( but all Tailwind currently as I’m trekking in the Himalayas) but not hoping for much. After the huge changes in Google in August, Pinterest seems to be following suit. I’m not sure if the Google changes are causing the Pinterest changes or if Pinterest are driving them? Either way, people who WERE getting thousands and thousands of Pinterest clicks are now finding themselves high and dry. Pinterest DOES drive huge traffic for some people, there are people on Mediavine who run their businesses purely on Pinterest traffic, but for me it no longer works. Yes I know it’s over crowded, but people ARE or WERE ( until August / September) still getting huge Pinterest traffic. As with Google and it’s changes, where have all the clicks gone? Are all the people who were using Google in July clicking somewhere else? Where? My husband has switched to a different browser because Google just isn’t giving him the search results he needs any more. Are millions of other people doing the same? It’s all quite bizarre but I guess given a few months all will become clear. That old wisdom that all you truly own is your subscriber list is more true than ever right now. My traffic is down ( other than a huge viral last week) but my income is WAY up because I’ve been focusing on my subscribers again and giving them what they want rather than SEO or Social Media clicks.

  21. I’ve also noticed drop in -11% from Pinterest. Thanks for your advice and I will focus on creating more fresh pins.

    • Not sure I’m offering advice, just thinking out loud. I’m still really struggling, but things are a bit better than they were, unfortunately nowhere near where they were a few years ago.

  22. Hi Alyson, your information is so good! Thank you for taking the time to share this with others, and without even charging. It’s very generous of you. About 4 months ago, my account was flagged and closed. They said I broke some rules. After asking numerous times what I’d done, they responded that it was a mistake on their part. The reinstated my account. The problem is that my website traffic went from 300 to 400/day Pinterest visits to 20 to 30/day. I’ve asked them if I was penalized and they claim I wasn’t. I’m left to rebuild my traffic. Our food blog is a hobby for us, so not a huge deal on the income front, but it still hurt a little.

    I have a question for you. It’s a bit of a newby question. When you say repin old content, does that mean pinning the same pins to the same boards? If so, wouldn’t that get me in trouble with Pinterest? Ive seen a few people recommend the same, but I want to make sure I’m doing things safely to avoid getting my account closed again. Can you explain? Thanks so much! I appreciate your help.

    • I’ve always believed that repinning the same content over and over again ( with a gap of a few weeks or months) was absolutely fine. But honestly, I have no idea any more and I don’t think Pinterest do either. The whole thing is a mess. I get conflicting messages from so many experts, and these are real experts that I’m chatting to, not course sellers. One thing works for one person, something else for another. There seems to be no consistency whatsoever. Sorry I can’t help more. I’m as frustrated as you.

  23. Hi Alyson,

    I really appreciate this post, and it IS very refreshing you’re not selling a course – that one is new to me as I only seem to find sites where people are advertising how they made their gazillions using Pinterest. My hopes were probably set a wee bit too high here as I thought I could learn the ropes and start to drive traffic right away – I’ve been trying to figure out building a site for the last 6 months and only recently even made my first pin from my own site.. Unfortunately Google doesn’t love me (yet) but that just comes with time and patience. Pinterest has been pretty disappointing so far in driving any traffic but I am trying to believe there is a puzzle piece I’m just not getting yet. I haven’t even started to build out my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter or other social media channels since I’m strictly focused on Pinterest for now until I “get it”.

    If you don’t mind me asking, is there another social media channel you would recommend that works better than Pinterest?

    Much appreciated again,

    • Hi Elle.
      Pinterest still, to this day, is my best social platform. Despite me hating it and regularly throwing my hands up in disgust, Pinterest still brings me the most clicks. I have periods when Facebook comes close but the work involved in that is intensive. Sharing and resharing around the clock, creating video, sharing my work to any group or page that will alow me to do so. I even had a VA to do this for me at high cost for a few months but it didn’t work out. She wasn’t me, she just wasn’t doing what I do and I found it really hard to tell her what was needed. So in that instance paying a VA actually brought me more work, less clicks and more headaches, so I gave up on that idea. I think the thing to do is pick one platform and totally own it. Every platform takes a lot of work, every platform could be a full time job in itself. But Pinterest, still, is the easiest and most productive IMO. But out of 6-7000 daily clicks for me 2-300 will be from Pinterest, maybe 10 from Instagram/ Twitter, maybe 100 from Facebook. The other thing to do of course is to build your list. If all these platforms shut down and Google stops loving you ( The August 1 st algorithm update has hit my traffic hard…I can see how to fix it, but it’s a lot of work), you still have your list to email once a week and drive them exactly where you want them on your website. Best of luck. This game is crazy, fun, rewarding and frustrating.

      • Ah, such good advice! I hear you on all fronts – my Mom always says “if you want something done right you have to do it yourself” – so true. I will listen to what you have said and focus on figuring out the magic behind Pinterest (and Google, I wasn’t aware of the Aug 1st update… ugh, more learning :D) – Yes, when people say “oh it’s nice that you’re just staying at home these days” I don’t think they have any idea of the morning to night challenges I face on a minute to minute basis with little to no help from anyone, besides the great people online like yourself. They don’t get how often I am almost in tears from a technical challenge I spend days on. So I am truly so grateful for your help and advice!
        Thanks again,

        • Let me know what you need help with and I ‘ll do mt best. I’m actually in the middle of writing a post on the rules of blogging and why we should ignore them…there are different ways to get to the same goal but all routes take hard work and know how.

          • Thank you Alyson for this post and Elle for your comments. I am in the same place as you Elle, have been working for months trying to build my consulting/coaching business by getting my website up and running, FB page, Pinterest account, IG, etc. figured out, but still feel like I am spinning my wheels. I knew to take all the “making 6 figures with Pinterest” courses and posts with a grain of salt, but I think I fell for it a little because I was way too optimistic going into Pinterest. I too am trying Tailwind, fresh posts, tribes, etc. but it has been about a year since I started and I am getting no traction. I have had better luck with Facebook ads, and like Alyson suggests, focusing on SEO will be a priority going forward. It feels very risky to the health of my business if too much is based on Pinterest algorithms that seem to change on a whim. Alyson, I like your advice to spread that risk out over several channels and make sure as a last resort that your email list is strong.

            • I often wonder if my problems stem from being in travel, ie. i log into Pinterest from a different country every few days. Pinterest have publicly stated that this is a red flag for spammers. But in my industry its unavoidable. Anyone else in the same, travel bloggers moving countries all the time ? When I was doing really well on Pinterest I was stationary in London for 10 months.

  24. I’m sorry I didn’t understand.. are you using Tailwind now or not? In some comments, you are saying that you have stopped using it completely and then in your post you mention you got back to it.
    I was always pinning my pins manually and traffic was going up. And then last week it just fell. Now I’m getting around 100 per day from Pinterest, so disappointing! Thinking to try Tailwind but concerned it will sink down even those 100 clicks.

    • I stopped for a long time, but then I gave Tailwind one last chance. Things are better, but not great! At least this time Tailwind is actually working, first time I tried it it didn’t work at all.

  25. Thank GOD for this post! The Pinterest traffic to my blog went from 1400+ clicks a day to 300 a day if I’m lucky, even though my Pinterest analytics are climbing. There’s no rhyme or reason to Pinterest, and it’s starting to feel like I’m doing a more and more work for less and less. The comment about promoted pins is dead on. I’m eve now getting emails from Pinterest offering help wit her setting them up properly. I don’t have time to be paying attention to hourly changing algorithms. It’s gotten ridiculous and I miss about ready to give Pinterest the boot.

  26. Really interesting post. I see everything increasing on Pinterest EXCEPT my clicks, which stay the same. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. The real shame is that Pinterest has now said that Pins to group boards will drop in visibility. So all the work people have done building up group boards is pretty much wasted.

  27. Thanks for this post, it’s very insightful. I just started Pinterest less than 2 months ago. On my first few weeks I was getting almost no clicks. Then I started getting around 200-300 a day after a month. And suddenly at around 6 weeks one pin went viral and I’m getting between 1.5k-2k a day. I don’t know if this will last. It’s been a week now of this increased surge in traffic.

  28. this is really interesting thanks. my pinterest traffic had rocketed then just around 2-3 weeks ago it dropped off dramatically, i thought it might be because of the new algorithm and I’ve noticed pinterest seem to be pushing theip “promote pin” more. such a shame as I was really enjoying using it but now it’s almost like i’m not on there at all!

  29. The same thing happened to me, I was getting like 70 views a day and then it dropped to just 3 views and I have no idea what happened because my pins are getting lots of repins and my audience reach is growing.

  30. Glad I stumbled on this as I was searching for answers. Just in the last week my traffic which as consistently been at around 800 – 1000 + per day has suddenly dropped to as low as 19. I thought perhaps I was shadow banned. I also found Tailwind didn’t help and to be honest, all the effort you need to put in an tackling these damn algorithms takes all the joy out of it. I’m a recipe blogger with over 40k followers on Pinterest and millions of views on the platform monthly but getting less than 100 click throughs to my site seems totally weird for me? Something is definitely up. I’ll follow some of your tips too, thanks

    • Are you using google analytics? On 8/26 my traffic reported from pinterest on google analytics dropped from a consistent 40-50 % down to about 15% and has remained there. Pinterest fluctuates but it was so severe I checked out my access logs and all other stats and metrics – the traffic is still there – just not being reported by GA. The GA numbers are out out of sync with all other reporting. The referral is still there and has been consistent. All the individual pin referrals (which was most of the traffic) – e.g. (typically in the hundreds daily) disappeared suddenly.

      I went back into Google analytics and figured it out – not how to fix it but what it is – for me anyway-. Google Analytics is not reporting any traffic at all from the pinterest mobile app. Not sure if it is a bug or fixable or permanent. It’s a huge amount of missing data. I wonder if anybody else is seeing this.

      • I think that’s exactly what mine is doing and some, maybe all, is actually being counted as direct traffic. Yes, I’m a total GA geek, but Pinterest – well I just can’t be bothered anymore – but I say that all the time. Have you found a fix ? Have you spoken to GA help ? I did message them about this a couple of years ago, I don’t think I got a reply. But Google help are usually very, very good, way better than Pinterest help.

        • Hi Alyson,
          I never got a response from Google but just fixed my problem. The short story is switching to the monsterinsights google analytics plugin fixed it. The plugin I was using didn’t put the GA property code in the page source html. When my site was viewed in the pinterest mobile app (most of my traffic) or instagram GA did not see the code and the pageviews weren’t recorded.
          Thanks for the awesome post,

          • For real? Thanks I’ll have a look RIGHT NOW – OK, had a look, installed it. Don’t see how that would help, it’s just putting Analytics data that I had already, in Google Analytics, in the back end of my site. I don’t see the point for me because I never had an Analytics plugin. Not sure how it could help the analytics code when that’s still installed on the site as it always has been. I have, in the last few days figured out some very huge things about Pinterest and I see many instances where I’m getting it wrong – I’ll write a book one day – call it Obsessed By Pinterest. If you could explain more I’d be grateful – thanks!

  31. Pinterest sucks. It is just a big commercial machine, very much as Facebook is. I just like storing my own collection there but have no traffic from this site. Their search algorithm and image recognition is inaccurate too.

  32. This was really helpful! I found you through an organic search, not Pinterest. I just starting using Tailwind about a week ago and have seen zero benefit so far! If noting good happens after a month, I am going to get rid of it. Cheers!

    • I used Tailwind for about 4 months. My traffic actually went down. I have no clue how some users get great traffic through it. Maybe I am missing something. Manual pinning worked much better for me, until the last week or so where my traffic from Pinterest has just plummeted.

  33. Thank you for this very insightful article Alyson. I started last July with Pinterest not putting a lot of effort into it at the time. My focus was to get my content on my website else there is nothing to pin.
    Started for real in December with manual pinning not really knowing what I was doing. Searched for info everywhere. For some reason it never picked up. My best day was 150 views from Pinterest on 1 day in the middle of January. I finally thought I cracked the code but no such luck.
    Bought a Pinterest manual pinning book and implemented the strategies. Again no increase in traffic at all. I’m on about 60 boards at the moment pinning every day but still no major improvement. Where I see people talking about 1K to 2K views per day easily. I would definitely do a happy dance if I manage to get that type of views from Pinterest. Now I get about 30 to 40 pageviews from Pinterest (on a good day) and I put a lot of effort into which is kind of frustrating.

    • I’ve actually totally stopped using Pinterest at all, other than to add new pins when I first publish new posts, and nothing has changed, still ticking over at about the same level. The people getting huge traffic just have something going viral, is my take on it. Could be wrong of course. I’m going to try a dedicated Pinterest VA and see if she can improve Pinterest traffic. Pinterest is not worth my time any more.

      • Alyson that shows that when you are at a certain level the pins keep on appearing on people’s feed and attracting traffic at a specific pace. Looking forward to hear if a dedicated VA can get it moving for you.
        It must be that people have viral pins. Although I sometimes wonder why certain pins go viral and get a lot of repins when they are not much to look at.

        While researching how to get Pinterest to work for me instead of against me I only see the same answers. Yours is the first that is different. About the duplicate pins e.g. I keep on reading to recycle my best pins to my best boards. Where as you as saying the opposite. Going to give it a little more effort before giving up on it ????

  34. I also noticed a huge drop in traffic from Pinterest on one of my websites. Went from 5k -10k daily to now 1k – 2k… Pinterest visitors are a nice extra but the real gold is organic traffic from search engines. 🙂

  35. Thank you for posting this, Alyson. I’ve just started putting my pins on Pinterest and you’ve given me lots of food for thought. For now, I’m going to focus on creating visually interesting pins, using popular hashtags, posting on group boards, and keeping my account active on a daily basis. I guess time will tell if the results are worth the effort.

    • I think for new users the results are always extremely good, it’s just some of us long term uses that are seeing this slump. It’s likely a deliberate ploy to hook new users and you can see it on most social media platforms. I’m working on a new Pinterest account right now and it’s going crazy, performing far better than my established account, although that account is certainly picking up day on day, but slowly, nothing like that first rush of viral Pinterest traffic.

      • Good to know. I can certainly use that rush of traffic to get some eyes on the blog. It’s also good to know it may not last and I need to diversify my reach to other social media platforms as well as optimizing my SEO for some Google love! It’s lots of work and there’s lots to learn, but it’s fun!

        Thanks again for all of the information and inspiration!

  36. I thought it was just me i never knew it was a general issue. As at november and december i was getting 1000+ views to my post from a few boards. This january it dropped so low am getting 10-30 views per day and i have over 20 post on the boards. It seems pinterest probably changed there algorithm which is quite outrageous. So what else does one have to do to get views to there pins….

    • The exact same thing happened to me Michael. I went from getting about 1-200 new followers per month, to zero in January and this month losing. I am getting very few repins now too. I have not changed a single thing I have done since day one.

  37. I’ve noticed a similar trend. Though my accounts don’t have nearly as many followers, I’ve seen a decrease in traffic as well.

    I wonder what’s up.

    • As of January mine is rising, but I’m putting a lot of effort in, lots of hand pinning, deleting old dud pins, resharing EVERY old pin, it’s rising slowly. And I’ve totally stopped using Tailwind and Board Booster, I’m convinced Pinterest scheduling tools don’t work.

      • Have you shared you’re Pinterest schedule that you created? Maybe in an email to your subscribers that I could get? Would love it!

        • No Amanda, I don’t have one, I’m just doing as much as I can at the moment. This involves going back through EVERY post on the World Travel Family board, deleting the bad pins with few reshares, checking the links and re-sharing every pin at least once. Newer pins I’m getting around 100 shares each through a pinterest sharing group. I’m using that spreadsheet to share ( eventually) every pin to every group board or appropriate board of my own. I’d guesstimate that currently I’m pinning around 150 pins per day ( not every day I’m not that keen!) 100 from the group sharing thread along with roughly 50 of my own pins, interspersed throughout the day. The clicks are coming up, they’re double, but it’s a lot of work for little return and I don’t think, unless something goes viral, that it’s really worth it when I could be creating content instead. Once I have everything organised I’m getting a Pinterest VA to do this for me, my time is too valuable. I’ve also re-thought my pin creation strategy based on the visual element of Pinterest search. It’s not just the words, it’s the picture too.

  38. My experience is the same as yours- not much ROI for the amount of effort Pinterest takes. I have all but given up after trying everything- Tailwind, BB, etc. I have a couple of pins that drive all the traffic I get, my other pins nothing. I also agree about Pinterest ssearch- I just don’t get it. I can NEVER find my own pins- even under the My Pins tab in search? Makes me wonder The few times I have managed to get an answer from Pinterest it is so vague it is useless.

    The fact you have to make a “PIN” as well is just time consuming- even less ROI.

  39. That’s too bad! I had heard so many good things about Pinterest, but now I wondered if they are the ‘bait’ blogs that you are talking about. I will still try it with our blog, but I guess it could take a fair amount of time. Do you post in group boards? Or mostly just your own?

    • I have a lot f group boards. They used to perform extremely well. I was one of the first 3 family travel bloggers on Lonely Planet’s board. It performed brilliantly, now there are hundreds of us on there, of course it doesn’t. But some people are still seeing good results, I’ve talked to them about it and I still just don’t get it? Why does Pinterest no longer work for me? Or is it just that many see 200 clicks a day as great, I see it as lame? Or maybe everyone who says Pinterest is amazing for traffic have a few pins going viral ( as I did back t the start). I really don’t know and can’t find any answers. But for now…just keep pinning!

  40. Great post! We have the same drop issue with our pinterest account (arround 40k followers) and we didn’t find a solution either… we tried several tools, suppressed pins, used hashtags, improve graphics… But we’ll keep looking for a little bit more, we don’t have so much google traffic 😉


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