Monday, August 27, 2012

Three Types of Links to Avoid Using on Pinterest

Pinterest has been hailed as the next best social media platform. 

However, in its efforts to avoid spam, Pinterest has begun to disable some links, which, of course, is one of the main ways businesses can drive traffic to their sites. Pinterest is not necessarily targeting businesses, though businesses and marketers generally use these tools. No user can post the following three types of links on Pinterest.

Affiliate links
Affiliate programs, such as Amazon, offer services that allow people who post links to products to get a cut of the sales from the people who click on their link. Since April, Pinterest has been labeling these links as spam and blocking them.
Surprisingly, Pinterest once explored using affiliate programs to make money, subtly altering users’ links to include their affiliate link. 

Shortened links
With the advent of Twitter, shortened links have become popular, though not on Pinterest. If a user posts a shortened link, anyone who clicks it will see a Pinterest roadblock sign that labels it as spam or inappropriate content.

Links With Information Added at the End
Knowing how many people click a link to go to a site is a valuable tool for any business, and many people use services that generates extra information at the end of the URL in order to track click-throughs. Before allowing a pin to be made public, Pinterest strips the URL of that extra information.

A representative from Pinterest said that the current policies are simply part of an effort to circumvent spammers. There is some speculation as to why Pinterest is targeting these three kinds of links.
  • Pinterest has been blocking affiliate links because they may present their own affiliate marketing. Affiliate links are an easy way to make money organically on the site; people will pin pictures of products no matter what, so why not capitalize on it?
  • Disabling shortened links may become part of Pinterest’s policies, as the site would rather not have links that redirect users to another page. That is part of its anti-spam campaign because the process of redirection can be hacked to lead users to websites they never meant to go.
  • As far as removing extra information on the end of URLs, Pinterest claims that tags were being exploited by spammers. However, this ban is not supposed to be permanent; Pinterest wants to find ways to permit legitimate referrer information that can’t be manipulated.
Though it is important and understandable that Pinterest would want to rid its site of spamming, the site’s popularity may hinge on whether it allows those types of links. Everyone recognizes the benefits of this social media platform; it just all depends on Pinterest’s future decisions as to whether businesses can reap them.


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