Pinterest Guided Search – What Marketers Should Do Now

Introducing Pinterest Guided SearchLast night, social media sweetheart Pinterest announced a new feature – guided search. It’s only on mobile, and only for US English-speaking users right now, but if that is you – try it! I only got half way through the video before I had to go try it myself.

What this means is that next time you search for “smoothies” you can add “recipes” “for weight loss” or  “detox” (among others) to your search, narrowing results to exactly what you want. If you choose one interest filter and it’s not what you want, you don’t have to go back, you can just select a different one, or add more until your search is as narrow as you want it! Still, Pinterest is about discovery, not just targeted search, so, as the Pinterest blog states, they’re “leaving a little room for serendipity” in the results.

With 750 million boards and 30 BILLION pins, it certainly was time for a new way to search. Check it out:

What Marketers Should Do to Benefit from Pinterest Guided Search

Obviously it’s a little early, but there are some common-sense things to do for best exposure on guided search. You may be doing this already, but now it can be refined.

When you have some content to share, think about the main topic and the proper category. Make sure to use the main search term in your description. Maybe even make it a hashtag. Now, do the search yourself. Look at the options that come up. Where does your content best fit? In my smoothie example, I’d want all four words in my description: smoothies, recipes, for weight loss, detox.

Lest you think it only works well for such obviously Pinteresting topics as smoothies, try something a little more obscure, like “cars.” The options are nearly endless. This is going to be too much fun.

The most exciting part for marketers AND users is the way it will change the way marketers think about how they write pin descriptions – all for the good of the community. That’s the best thing about Pinterest. When it comes to trust and user experience, they just get it. And, they care! Sure, eventually they’ll have to start making money, but I’m guessing even that won’t bother us too much.

I’m not the only one who thinks so. “Yesss!!!! Pinterest truly puts Pinners first! It is not just something they say…they do it and it shows in everything they update and create. It is really all about the community.” This from a slightly pumped Kelly Lieberman, founder of #PinChat – THE place to be for Pinterest fun every Wednesday night at 9 EST on Twitter.

What Spammers Might Do

Remember the wild first days and years of Google search where you could stuff your meta tags with any keyword you want and reasonably expect to rank for them, no matter the actual content or quality of your site? Might spammers try to game the system, using popular keywords like “wedding,” “dresses,” etc. to get their get-rich-quick pins found. They might, but Pinterest has always been about providing the best user experience, it’s been a lot of years since the dark days of Google – and their engineers are smart.

So, what about you, have you tried guided search yet? Do you see marketing opportunities here?

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


  1. BOb

    Wow, this is very interesting. I am intrigued to see how much influence the hashtags are going to play in this whole thing. There have already been way too many people going #crazy #with #50 #hashtags on each pin – hopefully this doesn’t make it worse!

  2. Alisa Meredith

    I’m with you 100%, Bob! I hope they find a way to crack down on that to keep it a spam-free zone.

  3. Always been somewhat curious about search and organic discovery on pinterest. Spam can become a problem but I’m sure they will figure out a way to deal with it.

  4. Alisa Meredith

    Are you using Pinterest, John? Yes, Pinterest really seems to care about its users, so I’m sure they will.

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