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Why Pinterest has become the Yin to Google’s Yang

by | Apr 23, 2016 | Pinterest |

In 1990, “Archie” the first search engine was created by Alan Emtage.  Fast forward to 2016 and today Google reigns supreme with it’s brilliant algorithms that consistently result in fast and reliable search.

But what if you don’t know what you are looking for?  

Well there is a new Search Tool in town, since 2010 in fact, namely Pinterest.  It is quietly establishing itself as a “Search Engine” for those looking to discover new things and to be inspired.   Founder Ben Silbermann doesn’t want us to think of Pinterest as another form of social media but rather as a tool for Search.  In his words “Pinterest exposes people to possibilities they never would have known existed. We do for discovery what Google did for search”.  Read more

Pinterest Statistic: 100 Million Active monthly Users


  • 80% of Pinterest’s users are female and 90% of all pins are created or shared by women.
  • 13% of adult men who are online use Pinterest, with a 120% growth in male users in 2015.
  • Millennials are using Pinterest as much as Instagram.
  • 67% of Pinterest users are under the age of 40.
  • 60% of Pinterest users are from the U.S.


Data from Ahology “Insights & Trends Study”.


Has become a new medium for search

Numbers-1-Black-icon Media consumption habits have already changed dramatically:  

Today social media behaviour trends show that the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are becoming the go-to channel for discovering online information.

social Media consumption habits 2016

Over 80% prefer to source information already vetted by their networks over traditional mediums such as Search Engines, news sites and email.

**Ahalogy’s Media Usage Study reveals the number of Pinners who use Pinterest for Search versus other more traditional mediums.

Numbers-2-Black-iconPinterest can help users find answers to questions that have more than one right answer:

Similar to an encyclopedia, Google’s algorithms will provide detailed answers to very specific and precise queries.  Pinterest allows for “happenstance” and Inspiration to grab you when you least expect it.


Pinterest is a true discovery tool, much likened to that of browsing through a traditional fashion magazine.

Pinterest allows for “accidental discovery” of new ideas, inspirations and trends.

Once inspired a click of a pin quickly directs the user to the source of the content encouraging engagement and even leading to a purchase.

Pinterest allows for accidental discovery like a magazine

Numbers-3-Black-icon“Images are the rising stars of the Internet” and Pinterest is the ultimate visual discovery tool.

The importance of Visual Mediums will continue to grow as attention spans continue to decrease, and the trend of consuming media in bite-sized pieces becomes more and more common.  By nature, people are visual and are attracted to images.  A study by MDG Advertising shows that content featuring compelling images averages 94 percent more total views than those without.   As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Images are the rising star of the internet
Pinterest has a robust search tool: guided search

Numbers-4-Black-iconPinterest has a robust visual search tool. 

Pinterest’s deep learning algorithm allows the user to zoom into an existing pin, focus in on a particular item in the image and then by tapping on the search tool easily scan the site and immediately pulls up related pins.

For example:  The living room scene on your left shows a stunning lamp that you may like. Tap on the tool and zoom in and voila, you will see more images of this or similar styles of lamps.  Now CLICK on any of these images and you will be taken directly to the place where you can make a purchase.



Pinterest users consider themselves trendsetters
and regard the medium as a great source of 

“What’s In & What’s Hot.”


Pinterest is utilized in the same way the consumer in the past coveted the much anticipated September issue of Vogue magazine which set the fashion trends for the coming year.

When users sharing images – known as “pinning” and “repinning” – they in effect clue marketers in to their interests.   Now top fashion magazines such as Glamour, Stylecaster, Pop Sugar and even Vogue are using Pinterest as a valuable resource for what is trending now.

Pinterest is used for search instead of Google

Why Google Loves Pinterest.

Like trend setters, Google too considers Pinterest an authority of sorts or so the data shows:  Using SEMRush’s extensive database of organic listings, we see that Pinterest ranks #8 among all websites for number of keywords ranking in Google’s top 20 results.

Pinterest ranks high of Websites with the most ranking keywords on Google

Numbers-1-Black-iconGoogle loves fresh content and Pinterest provides fresh content everyday.

Pinterest user are very active, pinning and re-pinning content frequently.  In Google’s eyes Pinterest platform is SEO rich as it contains images generally filled with keyword rich descriptions, links, hashtags and “likes”.

It is important to note that Google indexes personal Pinterest profiles and private Pinterest boards.  The more popular a pin or board gets, the quicker your results move up the Google search rankings.

Elle magazine lists Pinterest top 10 home decor ideas

Go ahead and Search the top makeup, fashion, or decor trends on Google and you will typically find Pinterest in the top 10 listings.

You will also see that within the top listing, articles from sources such as Elle magazine’s Décor magazine (left) feature data curated from Pinterest.

Why pinterest content is so valuable to google - ranks high in search

Why Pinterest content is so valuable to Google.

  • Each year, Pinterest offers more than 1.5 trillion recommendations
  • Recipes: There are over 1.7 billion recipe Pins
  • Shopping: Every day nearly 2 million people Pin product rich Pins (Rich pins lead to the source of the original item, often an online store where a purchase can be made)
  • Articles: More than 14 million articles are Pinned each day
  • 2/3 of all the content people Pin is from a business’ website

Source: Venture Beat

Numbers-2-Black-iconGoogle determines Pinterest content to be very relevant due to the millions of backlinks it generates.

The average Pin gets repinned 11 times and each time a pin is pinned and repinned, it creates a backlink to a source page.   This creates a constant flow of relevant activity to and from Pinterest, it’s users, businesses, and organizations.

The “Pin it” button helps encourage social signals through the flow of fresh and relevant content via popular social media sites.

How social media supports SEO

Chart courtesy of Postano.com

Google loves mobile - is now a ranking signal

Numbers-3-Black-icon  Google loves mobile.

As of April 21, 2015, Google Search began designating “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal. Pinterest’s focus on image content lends itself particularly well to mobile and with 75% of Pinterest Usage Takes Place on Mobile Devices, consumers can easily discover, capture and share info while on the go.

The user experience is now made even better with the release of Pinterest’s latest App.  The App has a new modern look, universal readability (31 languages) and most importantly a “Crazy fast” loading time.

Numbers-4-Black-iconGoogle Covets Pinterest’s ability to identify and curate trends.

Google sees such great value in this that it has mimicked Pinterest with Google Plus’s 2015 launch of “Collections”, a product with its focus on collections, communities, content and curation. from digital trends

Google loves Pinterest's ability to identify and curate trends

If you’re not currently using Pinterest as part of your digital
marketing mix and SEO strategy.


It’s Time to take another look!

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine, a platform dedicated to discovery and to building the future.  Pinterest’s advantage for a business over Google is for brand discoverability and the related e-commerce opportunities.  Further, Google’s “fondness” for Pinterest’s rich and relevant content can help businesses boost their SEO strategy.

I don’t think Google has anything to fear from Pinterest. It will no doubt continue to reign supreme as the ultimate encyclopedia of information.  Perhaps…a future acquisition is in the realm of possibility.  As Instagram did for Facebook, Pinterest can do for Google.

If you’re not currently using Pinterest as part of your marketing mix and SEO strategy. Its time to take another look.



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