Pinterest Shopping, Social Media Search Engine & Revenge of the Nerds

rtowe December 11, 2015

My Name Is Laura and I Am a Nerd…

How to dress a nerd
Courtesy: Revenge of the Nerds Wikia

So as many people know, I am and will always be a nerd.  I love all things technical and mechanical.  I love taking things apart and putting them back together again to see if they work.  Sometimes they do and most of the time, they don’t.  When they don’t, it is not necessarily a failure, because at some point, I know I will wake up in the middle of the night with a miraculously dreamt solution.

“Not working,” as mentioned above, is the case with my wardrobe and me.  (Yes, I have somehow turned my nerdiness into a discussion about clothing.) Stay with me.  “Nerds” will work tirelessly until a solution is presented…and that is what I did with my wardrobe solution.

The Pinterest Search Engine

Last Tuesday, I conducted a webinar on International SEO in 2016 for industry leader, SEMrush.  During my topic, I mentioned that there are thousands of search engines and there are now search engines that would not have been classified as such a year or two ago. Case in point, Pinterest.

Pinterest has always been slotted in the “social media category,” but think about it, you log into your Pinterest account, type in a search query like “spring outfits 2016,” a bunch of pictures come up, you click on a picture, and click off to an externally-hosted website.

If your company, your SEO team, or your SEO AoR is not thinking about social media like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and so on, as a new form of SEO; you will want to have clear communication to review these “SEO-cial-Media” outlets are applicable to your online offerings.

What is Pinterest Shopping?

Now, back to my closet conundrum.  As I stated above, Pinterest is a form of organic search engine.  Companies can setup their business account, send Pinterest users directly to their “pinned” website page, create buyable pins, as well as process the transaction through their hosted platform’s partnership with Pinterest – for free, thus organic searching.

Revenge of the Nerds
Courtesy of Revenge of the Nerds Wikia

In my quest for looking my best and not like a member of the Omega Mu sorority in the movie, Revenge of the Nerds, I started what I call “Pinterest Shopping.” It is quite simple and actually saves my wonderful husband lots of money because I am shopping with “intent” and not aimlessly purchasing going “well, this looks cute; I bet I can find something in my closet to wear with it.”

Window Pane Skirt
Courtesy: Pinterest

I go to my search query field and type in “winter outfits 2015.” I scroll through the thousands of pictures and when one catches my eye like the one to the right; I will chirp to myself, “Oooo, that is cute!  I have those shoes, a similar top,

definitely the bag, and the leather jacket, so I just need to look for the window pane skirt.”

During my next online or in-store shopping excursion, I know I can find something comparable or hopefully the exact item (in this case, comparable).  I now have a complete outfit that I would have never thought of.  The great thing is that when it is time to get ready in the morning, I go back to my applicable board and pick an outfit to wear.

The ultimate hope when Pinterest shopping is that the link attached to the image will take me to an eCommerce website or to a blog that talks about where the item can be purchased.  Sadly, at times, this is not the case.  The link is either broken and results in a 404-error page on the website or the image has been compromised by a spam site or the blog post makes no mention of item(s)’s product information.  This can be a fun mystery to solve or it can really suck if you don’t like puzzles.

Hey eCommerce Businesses, Sometimes Your Merchandising Sucks

Going back to my quest for the window pane skirt above, here is an example of what NOT TO DO!

So, in Pinterest like with Google, you can add quotes to your query to return specific examples that include the exact match of your query or you can leave off the quotes and get anything with the term “window,” the term “pane” and the term “skirt” in your results.  Unless your query is unique or it is incredibly long-tailed, deriving only a few results, the returned images are endless with everything from tops to pants to sweaters to all color choices of each.

Window Pane Sweater
Courtesy: Nordstrom and Theory

On your eCommerce website, do not describe a window pane sweater as “Grid-work sketchings pattern a loose, longer-length sweater knit from extra-soft merino wool yarns” as seen here on the website:  Regardless of which search engine we are referencing, Google or Pinterest, no eCommerce shopper is going to query “grid work sketchings pattern sweater.”  They will query “white window pane sweater” or “window pane check sweater” or some similar variation.

Yes, I Am a Subject Matter Expert

First and foremost, my role, day in and day out, is to work with national and international online retailers at SearchDex. I have witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly. Our company strictly works on SEO-related activities, so it is imperative for us to understand all things organic on every level.  I love the fact that, if tasked, my company gets to discover improvements for our clients and make the recommendations in hopes that they implement.

Second, I have mastered the art of Pinterest shopping over the past several years. If the Pin doesn’t directly link to an item, web-be-damned, I will find it or something similar (our bank account balance is a direct reflection of this). It is not difficult and it makes dressing in the morning or on business trips much simpler.  Almost daily, I have people stop me and say, “your outfit is so cute” or “where did you get that <insert article of clothing>, or “every time I see you, you have on the cutest outfits…” For me, those are wonderful compliments because putting together an outfit to wear is NOT in my wheelhouse.

The Social Media Search Engine

Social media has now become another type of search engine that must be considered. As an online retailer, consider the user’s intent. Understand what they might search for, not what is sent over by the manufacturer or at least pair them together. In no way is “grid work sketchings” like “window pane” when describing a blouse or sweater with that pattern. Even the Hummingbird algorithm can’t figure out the intent. Finally, stay on top of your social media. Billions of queries are conducted daily.  Now, mobile has surpassed desktop in 10 countries including Japan and the US.  Your Pinterest boards and other social media outlets should be frequently reviewed for accuracy and if possible, update links back to your website pages for potentially higher growth in revenue.



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