Faster Pinterest Pinning Through Site Search

Posted by , March 6th, 2012 at 5:02 pm PST
Categories: Site Search, Site Search Tips, Social Media | 2 Comments »

With the skyrocketing growth of Pinterest I’ve been on the hunt to identify all of the ways online retailers can use Pinterest to grow their business.  I found countless articles and blogs with dozens of great tips.  As I thought about why people use Pinterest, the idea of Speed Pinning came to me.

For those who don’t yet know about Pinterest, it’s a social sharing service that gives you the ability to create virtual bulletin boards or “pinboards” of the things you are interested in.  These boards are made up of images and videos that you have “pinned” and can include your comments.  As an added benefit, the images link back to the site where the content was found.

As I looked at this from the retailers perspective, I felt that getting customers to pin my products to their pinboards would be one of my first objectives.  Pinterest does help you do this by providing an easy way to generate Pinterest button code for your site.  The thought then occurred to me that customers might like a way to pin their favorite products even more quickly than they could by visiting every product page.

The tool that seemed best suited for this task was site search.  By incorporating a Pin it button with every product on the site search results page, customers would be able to quickly assemble highly refined pinboards.  To my knowledge, nobody has incorporate Pin it buttons into site search yet.

Since crafters and hobbyists were among the early Pinterest adopters, I reached out to and suggested the idea to them.  Their CEO, Devin Kimura had this to say, “When Steve called to suggest we put Pinterest buttons on our site search pages, I jumped at the opportunity. This is a great idea to get more of our items curated onto Pin boards, and leverages the work we have done to boost Artbeads brand awareness among Pinterest users, particularly those with an interest in beaded jewelry and fashion.”  With Devin’s go ahead, the SLI site search engineers went to work and in about 24-hours they had the Pin it buttons up and completely functional on the site search development environment.

With Pin it buttons working, the next question to address is what is the best place for them to live.  Since “pinning” is a popular activity for customers, the best place may be up front just under the info buttons as shown above.  Other retailers may want to place these in a more subtle location such as on an overlay when customers mouse over a product image.

Mockup showing Pin it buttons on mouse over

Mockup showing Pin it buttons on mouse over

Another location for Pin it buttons would be to incorporate them into a Quick Look window as in this example below.

Mockup with Pin it buttons in a quick look window.

Mockup with Pin it buttons in a quick look window. will be making their final decision on the location of the Pin it buttons and expects to launch this new functionality to their customers in the next few days.



2 Responses to “Faster Pinterest Pinning Through Site Search”

  1. Elizabeth Gross Says:

    Hi Steve,

    Just wondering if you’ve seen any of the articles about the copyright issues with Pinterest and if you think that retailers should be concerned about that. We have invested a ton of money into taking superior photos than our competition and I would hate to see our copyright on them erode because of encouraging pinning.

  2. steveg Says:

    That is a great question Elizabeth. At, we invested significant time and expense in creating our images and were very protective of their use by others. Our primary concern was with competitors taking our images which happened quite frequently.

    I have read about copyright questions relating to Pinterest and there has been a fair amount of this discussion recently. Most of the chatter suggests that Pinterest users are violating copyright laws through their pinning of images that they do not own the copyright on. On one article, I did find a comment for concerned copyright owners that said you cannot loose your rights to a copyrighted picture just because someone pinned it on their Pinterest inboard. Ultimately, this is a question for the lawyers and I suspect we will not see much change until it is challenged in court.

    I’m not sure if adding a Pin it button to your site impacts your rights but it does seem to me that it would be a clear signal to your customers that you approve of their sharing of your images on Pinterest. Perhaps retailers should be updating their terms of service to indicate they allow the sharing of images on Pinterest and be clear about what they don’t allow their images to be used for.

    For sites that do not want their images pinned (copied), Pinterest has developed a means for site owners to block their images by placing in their site’s header.

    Here is a great article about the copyright issues by Josh Davis on

    I would love to hear more guidance on this question from IP lawyers and hear what other retailers are thinking.

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