Never Upload Pins to Pinterest. Ever.

Pinterest Board

Yesterday, I found myself utterly mortified. I caught a Pinterest page that my team was managing uploading images to Pinterest. After several deep breaths, I talked to my teammate and corrected this for the future.

Pinterest has an image upload feature. I wish they didn’t. There’s absolutely no reason to pin an image directly to Pinterest. I won’t even use the mobile app for this reason.

As a traffic-driving social force, Pinterest is close to the top. As a social signal for search engines, it’s an important component. When you upload an image directly to Pinterest, you lose both opportunities. It’s not like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Tumblr where direct uploads have benefits over linked posts. There’s zero difference between uploading directly to Pinterest or pinning an image from another site other than the loss of the two benefits the social network offers.

If you have an image that you want to Pin, put it somewhere else first. Post it to your blog. Put it on Tumblr, Upload it to Google+. Do something, anything other than uploading it to Pinterest itself. It’s an extra few seconds of work but yields an actual benefit other than simple exposure of that great image of the Ferrari you saw at dinner last night. When you pin from a different source, you’re getting the full value from Pinterest.

Leave a Reply


  1. If you upload a pin, you can’t add a link straight away. However, once it’s added, you can edit the pin and add a link, so if anyone clicks on it, they’re taken to the webpage. Not perfect, but ideal for people who can not easily update their website, or images are saved as flash so you can’t actually pin this content…. A lot of pins ive seen are collages too which look great on pinterest but which you wouldnt necessarily want on your website. Definitely think it’s a useful feature from Pinterest.

  2. Kelly Lieberman

    You can edit the source link for images that you upload so you can actually have the image click through to any where you would like the Pinner to arrive. Being able to add an image via upload and send people to a particular post on Facebook can be beneficial for cross channel promotions since you cannot directly Pin from Facebook (there are a few apps that allow it). It can be a really useful feature for brands that like to add content from Instagram as well.

  3. I upload the image to my private board and then I go back later and repin from the private board and add the URL.

    I work with a brand that does not have images on some of their older posts and at the moment we can’t fix that. I can create an image, upload the image to Pinterest and then link it to a post that does not have an image.

  4. I agree with the two previous comments, you can add the source link once an image is uploaded. I use 300px images on my blog optimized for faster page loads. In many cases, I want larger images with better resolution on sites like Pinterest and Flickr because I’m offering them in exchange for credit links. Never say never. 😉

  5. It doesn’t matter where the image comes from — they still get stored on Pinterest. Check the image URLs — they’re all something like…

    And yes, of course you need to edit the URL afterwards…the backlink / social signal is certainly one of the major benefits. But that can be done no matter where the image comes from.

  6. Query

    What are you a Pintrest Nazi? Pintrest is a great way for collecting resources for others even with uploads. I only upload relevant pins to my boards but seriously?! Besides like everyone else said, you can always plug in a source once you find it. I have some ancient stuff that is untraceable today because it had gotten deleted.

  7. I think that if your solely using Pinterest as a social media platform – not including businesses – then you shldnt have a Pinterest page. That’s why they have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Pinterest is a way of expressing yourself, not abt seeing how many friends/fans you can aquire. Images aside, if you want to get your name out there, then link your pages in the “about me” section. Or start following people with similar taste as yourself.

  8. actually I still confuse using pinterest for my clothing business? I think if they add e-commerce features will be more effective…

  9. We run a number of campaigns where we use comic strips and other interesting ways to get people to look at our products. We don’t want these images on our site or blog. Using that edit pin feature and changing the source url is invaluable to our marketing efforts.

  10. I’m not sure what your source is for the basis of this article or what your experience is to lead you to this conclusion (I’d love to hear it, if you do in fact have data to back this up, would be very helpful), but as many of the other commenters have said uploading pins and adding a URL does the exact same thing as pinning from a website. It would be helpful to our community as social media strategists to edit this article or remove it as it’s offering incorrect advice for people that come to this post and do not read the comments. We all make mistakes or have outdated info due to things changing so quickly within our landscape…so let’s help each other out and make sure were supplying our community with relevant, correct info.

  11. David H

    The title of this artcle is deliberately extreme and alarmist, designed to attract readers, just like sensational news headlines. It got me to read it! While I see the reasoning behind the imperative “Never Upload Pins to Pinterest. Ever,” I don’t need to be commanded on how I should or should not use Pinterest. I’ll follow Pinterest’s own rules and guidelines for that, thank you.