Over the past two years, Pinterest has become a major factor in the online social space. The growth of Pinterest has gone from just over 4 million active users at the end of 2011 (according to their Facebook page) to just over 8.3 million active users currently.
Pinterest is the third most popular social website (Experian traffic report April 2012), just behind Twitter and Facebook. In just over six months, Pinterest has become more popular than LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, and Google+ (based on traffic volume).
Pinterest Audience Is Growing
With all the growth Pinterest has received domestically, the company is now looking to go global. Currently, they are looking to add French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
Also, another factor to consider is the growth of the male demographic on Pinterest. In September 2011 74 percent of the user base on Pinterest was female and 25 percent of the gender was male.
Fast forward to March 2012, the numbers are starting to shift to a more balanced gender viewership with 65 percent of the base being female, and 35 percent of the base being male (according to comScore March 2012). Also, during this time you will notice on the graphs below that overall age range of users in the 35-54 range has grown five percent.
Pinterest is growing in overall volume, becoming more gender balanced, increasing its age group range, and building out a global community. Much as Facebook and Twitter are a general part of your SEO/social strategy, so should Pinterest.
Social Link Signals From Pinterest
Our SEO team conducted a study recently to see the impact of Pinterest and the potential social link equity, one can generate from “Pinning” pictures. The results are quite interesting.
For the sample test we took a domain with very little equity (0 inbound links) and created a Pinterest account for it. Our team then pinned two recipes to share with people on Pinterest.
Within one week of pinning to the Pinterest wall, the site accumulated over 150 links.
The site previous only showed up for one keyword query. One week after pinning, the site was indexed for 25 queries (mostly long tail keywords, low competition terms), according to Google webmaster tools.
Pinterest pins for the two recipes were few and far between, however by merely pinning these two recipe pages to Pinterest, links from other sites such as WordPress blog sites, Tumblr, Google images, posted new backlinks. Thus, we were creating social buzz, and more visibility for the site overall.
Value of Pinning
Will this strategy necessarily bring massive boost for established brands or highly competitive keywords? Probably not!
Will this help diversify your backlink profile? Yes.
Does Google like fresh content from social sharing? Yes.
Is this an easy way to inject some fresh content and new social citation for your site? Yes.
If you create creative and interesting images, and have some influence on Pinterest, could something go viral? Yes.
Should companies and sites invest in using Pinterest? Absolutely!
Top Brands on Pinterest
Obviously due to the nature of the medium, lifestyle type brands do extremely well on Pinterest such as:
Brands that are not Lifestyles...Doing Well
Here is a list of some other brands you might not expect to do well but are:
Pinning is Winning
Clearly, Pinterest is becoming a major social medium to build your digital strategy around. Creating interesting and creative images to share with others is the key to success.
You don’t have to be a lifestyle type site to win on Pinterest, you merely need to figure out a way to creatively make your brand fun. Also, from the above case study, there are other benefits as well, such as social links generated from content shared on Pinterest.
For the modern SEO/social strategy you should look for ways to use Pinterest, because Martha Stewart does “and it’s a good thing…for your brand.”
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!