Many webmasters and SEO strategists are now finding that image optimization is nearly as much of an important wild card in organic search ranking as content is. However, the newest and seeming effective means for link building and possibly SEO is the newest bookmarking trend Pinterest, a website that acts nearly identical to the Delicious concept except with pictures. And while this site is still relatively new and the concept is currently in gestation period, it does look to be a huge hit as the site allows you to share interests, pictures, plan weddings, and the likes. However, the thought that it is a new answer to SEO is still several long light years away and, in fact, is nothing really too new: Stumbleupon is already doing virtually the same thing with a different name and, according to their homepage, the proof of that statement is nearly obvious.
Pinterest & SEO
Yes, if you navigate through the Pinterest website, you will see that there are opportunities for you to receive ‘do-follow’ backlinks through ‘pinning’ images of relevance and including some form of anchor text on the pin text. This concept seems to be working moderately well for the Tumblr users, too; yet, if we are to actually explore the needs and definitions of true SEO, is this really what will boost relevance any faster than organic placement? I cannot answer ‘yes’ quite yet with my current knowledge of SEO practices due to the Panda update and Google’s future website expectations.
No one is taking anything away from what Pinterest provides users; seems to be sharing pictures in the same manner that Facebook users do every day except with a current ‘glitch’ (that will one day be closed, I am certain) that allows people to get a valued ‘do-follow’ link. However, ‘Stumbling’ also is a means to get traffic and, if you play your cards right, a means to get a PR 8 backlink with every submitted link or picture. Google Product and Image searches are also in place for people to find pictures to use and provide you have an anchor attached to every image, also gives you a ‘lightweight’ backlink from a PR 10 source. And, of course, you have what Twitter seems to be cornering the market on: micro-blogging, now with full-featured pictures involved. So the competition is steep.
My Personal Trial
I actually got involved with Pinterest just today, and I can see how it has value. The best means that people will have to get their site thrown around is to beg others to ‘pin’ your pictures, and make sure the pictures are on your website and linking to where they should be linking to. With a little Pinterest optimization and some keen eye for detail, you should be able to launch your website to the next link building level. However, in terms of ‘SEO value’, there is never going to be anything better than organic rankings and once you have found yourself on the first page of Google with no one else’s assistance but your own, then you know you have done something great.
Use Pinterest as a link wheel to see how to use it first. For example, create your Pinterest account (currently through invites only) and you’ll create a ‘pin board’ where you can add image links from your website. Once you get everything going, you will create a pin that leads to an image on a particular page; in the description, craftily put ‘You can learn more about _____(your link page’s description on the site) today at _________(the link of page)’. Then, your pin will have a url like ‘http://www.pinterest.com/pin/______(numbers)’ which you can copy and link to a keyword on your site; now you have a nice connection going on. Making sure the image has a keyword anchor will assist in these efforts fairly well, too. Then your sole purpose from there on out is getting people to ‘pin’ (an equivocal process to +1) your images so they are growing in popularity.
This Pinterest website will, in my experience with similar ‘link wheels’ , get you backlinks rather quickly, especially if you give people a specific link to the pin you have on Pinterest. Now you are building site traffic to a site that contains your link, making the original location of the link more popular, increasing link authority, and right down the line. It is an exciting website to get involved with for link building and page rank influence, yet is still a ways off from being a viable SEO tool due to the much deeper need for quality content and landing page optimization efforts.
If you need an invite to Pinterest, just leave a comment with your email address and I will send out an invite ASAP.