MPORTANT Updates to Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 that marketers MUST know about. Read these new optimization guidelines to drive more traffic and avoid getting your Pinterest account blocked. #pinterestmarketing #pinterestforbusiness #pinteresttips #marylumley

February 11, 2020

Pinterest Best Practices: How to Get Results AND Stay Safe

It's official! Fresh content is likely to get a higher distribution priority!  Lucy Matthews, Partnerships Manager at Pinterest, explained at a Tailwind webinar today that fresh content is likely to get a higher distribution priority! The Pinterest algorithm has shifted towards favoring recent and relevant content. People come to the platform for new ideas and inspiration, so that's exactly what it wants to deliver. 

Pinterest marketers have seen this latest shift coming. The effectiveness of old pinning strategies and tactics has reduced. Quality over quantity is the new motto! The chances are extremely high that this change has implications for your current Pinterest content creation and distribution flow. To get more distribution and traffic and avoid the risk of being marked as spam, here are the Pinterest Best Practices that you MUST know about.

Pinterest Best Practices - What's New?

1. Pin Fresh Content to Maximize Distribution

Fresh Pins are defined by Pinterest as images or videos that haven't been seen before. You can create several images for a single blog post or for a product in your online shop. When you save each image for the first time on Pinterest, each of these initial publications will be considered as fresh. You can create new content by publishing different images or videos that lead to the same URL. 

Fresh Pins:

  • New image or video that provides value to your audience
  • The image or video must propose an entirely different experience or perspective to Pinners
  • A different image with same description and same URL is considered fresh

This is NOT "Fresh" content:

  • Same Pin image, but with modified Pin title, Pin description or Alt-text
  • An image that has been pinned before and is slightly tweaked by re-positioning the picture somewhat or moving the text or logo just a little bit

For example, for a blog article about healthy salad recipes, you could create a range of different images, each giving a slightly different spin and experience for Pinners. 

Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 - Pin Format Example 1
Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 - Pin Format Example 2
Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 - Pin Format Example 3
Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 - Pin Format Example 4

2. Put the Brakes on Duplicate Pins

Duplicate Pins are Pins with the same image/URL combination that have already been shared on Pinterest. If the bulk of Pins you share every day are duplicate pins, then pay attention! The new Pinterest pinning guidelines will impact your pinning habits.


Here's what you should and shouldn't do:


  • Re-share Duplicate Pins that lead to your website, but no more than 2x per year - to share more frequently, create new images
  • Share other Pinners’ quality content to your boards to provide value to your audience, whilst respecting the 15-25 Pins per day limit
  • Shift to sharing a majority of Fresh Pins to gain wider exposure for your own content


  • Focus on re-pinning other people’s Pins if you want to maximize distribution:
  • If a large proportion of your pins are duplicates, your Pinterest performance is likely to deteriorate over time
  • Excessive sharing of Duplicate Pins may put your account at risk of getting marked as spam. Do not exceed 15-25 Pins per day, especially if a large proportion of your Pins are duplicates

3. Share Less for More Exposure!

Less is more! In other words, quality is more important than quantity. The Pinterest algorithm will pull up the best, most relevant and recent ideas first. To get more engagement and traffic, you must invest in content creation to maximize distribution of your content. Share fewer Duplicate Pins and more Fresh content.

Pinterest Best Practices - What's Next?

Are Board Lists and SmartLoop Still Safe to Use?

If you schedule your pins with Tailwind or any other scheduling tool, you may be wondering if it's still safe to use features such as Board Lists and Looping. I must admit that I have been wondering about looping ever since Pinterest started to shift focus to Fresh content. Looping re-distributes Duplicate Pins at recurring intervals. By definition looped content is not fresh!

So, what's the answer? Tailwind works closely with Pinterest to address these questions and provides the following guidelines:

Tailwind Recommendations

Tailwind Board List

Board Lists

  • Save Pins only to your most relevant boards
  • Do not pin to every board you can think of (10-12 boards max). 
  • Don’t maintain several boards around similar themes that serve to post the same image multiple times. For example: Cookies, Chocolate Cookies, Cookies Recipes, Best Cookie Recipes, etc.

Tip: To maximize engagement, upload any new Pin to Tailwind first (NOT Pinterest). Then schedule it to the most relevant boards at optimal times.

Tailwind Intervals

Pinning Intervals

  • Do not post the same picture every single day or multiple times per day
  • Use an interval of at least several days
Tailwind SmartLoop


  • Use it in moderation. Re-scheduling older, evergreen content is fine once or twice a year, as long as it is timely and relevant.
  • Monitor your loops regularly and create fresh content for your best performing Pins

In summary: Use SmartLoop to distribute seasonal content once a year. Re-distribute your own content no more than twice a year, preferably with fresh images.

Tailwind SmartGuide

To help Pinners avoid pinning practices that may be considered spammy by Pinterest, Tailwind launched a new feature today called SmartGuide. The first version will warn you when your pinning activities reduce your overall reach or put your account at risk. It will also suggest easy fixes to maintain a healthy queue of scheduled Pins. In future versions, SmartGuide will keep you up-to-date with the latest Pinterest best practices.

SmartGuide is being rolled out in the coming weeks. Tailwind members who have this new feature enabled and are regularly publishing Pins via Tailwind will see the SmartGuide “All Clear” badge, as shown in the screenshot below. 

Tailwind SmartGuide All Clear Badge

SmartGuide's All Clear Badge will appear at the top of your Pin queue when you follow Pinterest Best Practices 

Here's a screenshot of what you might see if SmartGuide detects potentially risky behavior that might reduce your distribution or, worse, get your account blocked. You will be alerted, so that you can make the necessary adjustments before publishing. 

SmartGuide SPAM Warning

Time to Change Your Pinning Habits

This latest update to Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 may require a significant change in pinning habits, as well as a major pinning schedule overhaul for many Pinterest marketers. For a start, Duplicate Pin restrictions will drastically reduce scheduled Pin queue sizes. To maintain (or regain) momentum on Pinterest, marketers need to become more creative with images. The good news is that new images will get a wider distribution, so if you play the game right, you will see more engagement and traffic.

There are plenty of scheduling tools out there, but Tailwind is by far my favorite tool for Pinterest! Want to know what alternatives are out there? Take a look at this very extensive list of social media tools (500+!) put together by Chris Makara.

If you’re not using Tailwind yet and want to try it out for free for 1 month, click the button below (affiliate link).  

Get started today!

Grow Your E-Commerce Sales with Pinterest

IMPORTANT Updates to Pinterest Best Practices for 2020 that marketers MUST know about. Read these new optimization guidelines to drive more traffic and avoid getting your Pinterest account blocked. #pinterestmarketing #pinterestforbusiness #pinteresttips #marylumley

Mary Lumley - Conversion Focused Pinterest Marketing
Pinterest Best Practices: How to Get Results AND Stay Safe!

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