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Clickable URLs Have Changed in Pinterest’s Pin Descriptions

UPDATE: Please note that Pinterest seems to have fixed the issue of clickable links. Before if you put a specific link in the description it would go to the source of the pin. This seemed to be happening for about 4 days before March 20th. Since this went on for so long, I believed that this was a permanent change, however this is no longer the case, the url that is written in the description will direct to that url. What is in this blog post is not applicable (at least for now). This was brought to my attention by Krishna De so please kindly disregard the rest of the article, unless you would like to read it for fun. Big thanks goes to Krishna for letting me know.

Tricky, Tricky. URLs in Pin Descriptions are Clickable but... by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com #Pintalysis
I first heard about this when one of the members of the members on the Google Plus Pinterest Marketing Community had asked the question regarding links in descriptions no longer leading the to the url that was typed in, so I decided to explore.

I’m going to say this right away, this is one of those blog posts that it’s just so much easier to explain through a video. So if you have three and half minutes to watch, then check out the video. If you’re at work, or reading this on bus then read on.

Spammers…YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

I don’t know about you, but it sure annoys me when I’ve worked hard at creating a pin, only to have some stupid bot (a type of software that automates) take my pin, change the descriptions and then add in their own website. I’ve seen it happen with my own pins dozens of times.

I want to tell people “Don’t click on the pin in the pin description! That’s not my site!” in the comments, but I just don’t have time to do that.

Well it seems like the good people at Pinterest have decided that enough is enough. They don’t want those nasty spammers to do that. And so those Pinterest engineers did something which I personally love. They make any url that’s in the pin descriptions clickable but it leads back to the source of the pin.

By the way, this is only for the desktop version of Pinterest since urls in descriptions are not clickable on mobile.

URLs in Descriptions All Redirect To the Source of the Pin

To prevent those bad shenanigans from spammers ever happening again, Pinterest has decided that ALL (actually there’s one exception that I’ll go into later) urls that are in descriptions will now redirect to the source of the pin.

Here’s what I mean by the source. Login to Pinterest on the desktop version, and then head on over to “Your Profile and Pins.” Now go and visit any board, and then hover your mouse on any pin that’s in the board’s collections. You should see something like a pencil popup, just like the one below of a pin I repinned from Melissa Taylor’s article about 8 types of Pinterest descriptions.

Tricky, Tricky. URL's in Pin Descriptions are Clickable but... by Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing. #Pintalysis

Once you click on the pencil icon, then what happens is a screen will pop up and you’ll see the source box that’s at the bottom. You can’t see the full url, but the url is for an article about Linkedin’s publishing platform on Social Mouths.

Tricky, Tricky. URL's in Pin Descriptions are Clickable but... by Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing. #Pintalysis

That means from now on all URL’s or websites typed in a pin description will all go to the source of that pin.

So if the source of my pin leads back to this url address:
http://www.mcngmarketing.com/social-media-plan-how-to-create-one-in-9-steps
but if I put in the description the url SocialMouths.com, when I click on that link, it will automatically redirect me back to the MCNG Marketing blog post.

What Does that Mean for Your Pinterest Marketing?

To me, I think this is amazing news, and here’s why. Before we needed to add the full links of a blog post or an e-commerce product in order for it to properly redirect to the source site. But now we can just put our own main website, and it will automatically get directed to the page that the pin is linked to.

No more long and ugly urls have to live in our Pin descriptions when people view them on mobile. And since they aren’t clickable on mobile, we might as well keep the urls as short as possible. I know for me, I’ll now be putting my main website, MCNGMarketing.com into every description.

The boldness of the url in pin descriptions in the main url will help it grab more attention.

Clickable URLs in Comments Go to the Source URL

I tell you, Pinterest thought of everything. I thought I could outsmart the system by putting in a customized url in the comments and have them redirect to the site I want.

Nope, that won’t work either. Any time you leave a url in a comment on any pin, that url will ALSO be redirected to the source link.

Score one for Pinterest users, and zero for those dreaded spammers who do auto commenting.

This Applies to All Links

This is pretty much a site wide change. This means that all your previous links that you’ve put in your descriptions will be affected.

There’s One Exception to the Rule

Based on what I can see there is ONLY one exception to the rule, and that is if you put in a url that involves Pinterest then it will redirect to that site. So if in your pin’s description you decide that you want share a url that’s from Pinterest, then that works out great.

So this can be the url of a pin, a url of a board, or another Pinterest user’s url, like this one for Fundraiser Help.

http://www.pinterest.com/fundraiserhelp/

What are your thoughts, do you think? Do you like this change, or would you prefer the old way? Leave your comments below.

P.S.

Cynthia Sanchez, from Oh So Pinteresting, and I are back at it again. We’re going to be hosting an excellent live online workshop for business owners and bloggers who are looking to drive more traffic to their website. We’ve already opened up registration for the course that Starts on April 30th.

Since this class is taught live, spaces are limited to 20 people. And 12 spots have already been sold. Find out more, check out the course outline. Or you can click on the picture below.

Cynthia Sanchez and Vincent Ng's Pinterest Business Workshop Series

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Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing, and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis and the host of the Pinterest podcast, Pictures to Profits. You can grab your free e-book on How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines."
  • http://jodymurphy.me Jody Murphy

    Great article, Vincent! I thought I was losing my marbles. LOL.

    I also noticed last week that when I inserted the source link into the Pin description (instead of the root URL), they were no longer active links. I was doing that for client, so I edited all. With the new change, now they work beautifully — pointing the pinner where I want them to go AND reinforcing the brand ID at the same time. I’m happy.

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      There’s quite a few people that were wondering what was going on. It took me a while to put all the pieces together and realize it was a permanent change.

  • http://growingbookbybook.com Jodie @ Growing Book by Book

    Thanks for that information!

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      You’re welcome Jodie!

  • http://innersocialmedianess.com penneyfox

    Hi Vincent!
    This came at a great time. I just had a problem with a pinner doing something like this but 10 times worse. This account copied EVERY one of my pins in my top board over to one of their boards and then changed EVERY pin description to the same message about their company.

    The links still went back to my site BUT the issue was, their spammy salesy pin description looks like I wrote it on my pins that link back to my site. I sent the account a message and tried to report them to Pinterest. Not much has really been resolved and now a bunch of my pins are out there with this spammy message. How do you fix this issue? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  • http://www.PinningPowerProfits.com Michelle Sanchez

    There are pros and cons to this change. I sometimes use an additional link in the description to provide additional information, resources or recommendations or to give additional attribution to the person or company such as “Also be sure to check out their amazing blog at…” I also add the pin originator’s link if I see that the originator forgot to add it, which happens more often than you would think. It is sad that the spammers and the scammers of the world cause networks to constantly change their policies to prevent spam and scams and the honest people who use it correctly suffer because of it. Now if they can just figure out how to stop the duplicate fake accounts that are running rampant on Pinterest! :) Thank you for always posting the best content!

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      I agree with you Michelle. I think for the legitimate user that would like to offer a source url, or additional resources that this is a downfall. I noticed that good people like yourself really liked that feature, It is sad that spammers had to push it to this.

  • http://www.uk4business.com Dennis Brown

    Great information, we’ll be sharing with our customers – thanks Vincent :)

  • http://www.KrishnaDe.com Krishna De

    Thanks for your post Vincent. I am not finding what you report to be the case.

    See as an example this post about Pinterest from my friend and colleague (and Pinterest authority) Melissa Taylor – I pinned the image from her site and mention a site she references in the article in the Pin description and the link goes to that site, not back to the source of the Pin that you mention http://www.pinterest.com/pin/287315651201893451

    I am looking at Pinterest on FF on a desktop.

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Thanks for the update Krishna. You were right on the money, things went back to the way it used to be. I was a little surprised that it went on for days, I’m wondering if they were doing some testing. Thanks again for all your help.

  • http://pinalerts.com Paul

    Great article and video Vincent! It is an interesting solution to pin hijacking. Also, great catch on what happens when linking to Pinterest. I give it up to Pinterest for staying on top of the spamming!

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Thanks Paul. The changes are permanent, I don’t know if Pinterest was doing some testing for a few days, but it seems like things are back to the old way for now.

  • http://www.fundraiserhelp.com Kimberly Reynolds

    Thanks for the update Vincent. When I first read this article the other day, I though Pinterest was targeting the link spammers and had gone a little overboard.

    I sometimes add a link to one of my website category pages in my pin descriptions. For example, I might add a link to my site’s silent auction category onto some of my pins that are about silent auction baskets as a way of adding a quick source for other ideas.

    I also sometimes add a link in the description back to one of my Pinterest boards because that’s a good way to refer more pinners to your boards and get more followers.

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kimberly. I’ve noticed how divided the issue was among the Pinterest community, some people liked the feature, myself included, but others see the description as a way of providing that extra resource for their valuable followers. Thanks again Kimberly, and I’ll send you a copy of the book once it’s released!

  • http://liveintashan.com Chris flynn

    Agree with above given info. most of the time Hash tag as well as the Pinterest effect search engine ranking.. From the past 2 month i share all my post on social site and get a good organic traffic.