Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Bert-Jan Schilthuis-Ihrig
So, you think you’ve been mistakenly caught by the Pinterest spam block? You’re in good company *gestures to the entire Pinterest creator base.* The Pinterest spam filter has caught SO many accounts for no particular reason, but you’re not helpless.
My scripts have helped set tons of accounts free. Let’s get out the jaws of life and pull your Pinterest account back into the light.
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Some Pinterest Spam Block Backstory
In true 2020 style, it was sometime during 2020 that the spam filter began plaguing creators. Many of us simply woke up one morning to see our Pinterest accounts falling out of the sky.
Some people lost millions of viewers within a week.
The Pinterest spam block is like the Instagram shadowban: there’s no indication of a problem on your end, but your content stops being shown to viewers.
The real kicker is that you will still see spam on Pinterest constantly! *shakes fists at sky*
If you’re frustrated with Pinterest, you’re in good company. Take a gander at their Trustpilot reviews if you want to commiserate.
What is the Pinterest spam block?
The Pinterest spam block is a shadowban on the content from your account. Your pins will be removed from the home feed and search results, making your content virtually invisible to users unless they’ve already saved your pin to one of their boards.
It can go by a few different names:
- Spam block
- Spam blocker
- Spam filter
The Pinterest spam filter is NOT to be mistaken for these other terms:
- Pinterest rate limit blocks. This is a temporary block and will go away on its own. Learn more in my Pinterest troubleshooting guide.
- Pinterest account suspension. In the event that your account is suspended, you will lose all access to it. You won’t be able to log in or publish pins.
You may also like: Pinterest Account Setup Checklist
How To Tell If You’ve Been Caught In The Pinterest Spam Block
In order to rectify the Pinterest spam block on your account, you first have to identify it and then get Pinterest to admit and remove the spam blocker from your account. Let’s start with the diagnosis stage.
Prefer to watch instead? Here’s an interview where I answer FAQs about the Pinterest spam block:
You may also like: How To Get Pinterest Followers
Step 1. Diagnosing Your Pinterest Account
Here are the telltale signs that your Pinterest account has been caught in the Pinterest spam block:
- Your website traffic flatlines. For some creators, this looks like losing hundreds or thousands of website visitors almost immediately.
- Your average monthly viewers decline. This is an instance when your number of monthly views is really important – use it as a thermometer to check the temperature of your account. A drastic drop that seems out of step with seasonal changes or viral content that could be quietening down could be the spam blocker.
- Your rankings disappear from searches. Perhaps the most devastating symptom of being marked as spam with the Pinterest spam block is losing your rankings. When my account was mistakenly flagged spam, it took a week after my impressions flatlined for my rankings to disappear, so check back in on this symptom
This is how my analytics looke after being marked as spam through the Pinterest spam filter:
You may also like: How To Get More Pinterest Exposure
When Declining Stats Are Normal
There are times when your account stats will decline and it’s not the Pinterest spam blocker. A few of those scenarios are:
- After viral content. What goes up must come down! Viral content will balance out and come down from orbit at some point.
- After seasonal content has died down. Very similar to viral content is seasonal content. These are the “ebbs and flows” Pinterest sometimes talks about in their help emails. It’s natural and predictable.
- If you’re using an outdated strategy. No platform stays the same forever. If you haven’t educated yourself and stayed current on how to actually use the platform *now* then an outdated strategy would certainly wreak havoc.
For example, one of my clients reached out for a Pinterest audit after her account’s reach has slowly dwindled over the course of months.
After I audited her account and Pinterest strategy, she sent me this screenshot of her Pinterest analytics:
When in doubt about the Pinterest spam block, contact Pinterest.
And when in doubt about your strategy, get a Pinterest audit 🙂 I’ll help you with your optimization, strategy and pin design:
You can also try to audit your account yourself: Pinterest Self-Audit Checklist
The next step after diagnosing the Pinterest spam block on your account is getting Pinterest to acknowledge it and mark your account as safe.
Recovering Your Account After Being Incorrectly Marked As Spam
Time to get Pinterest to confess! You may have to pester them and email them more than once. Pinterest customer support has declined in quality over the past 3 years. They also sometimes deny that the spam blocker has affected accounts, only to later confess (a few tricks for handling that below).
Don’t be shy or rude, just express what you’re concerned about. I’ll give you my exact message below to make it as easy as possible.
Step 2. Get Pinterest To Confirm You’re In The Spam Block
If you think you’ve been caught in the Pinterest spam block, you should put in a help ticket right away. You can follow this link, or navigate to the help center from your Pinterest account by clicking the question mark bottom in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen:
When putting in your help ticket, let Pinterest know that you haven’t committed spammy practices and deflect their common Band-Aid responses.
You can use this text below:
Hello Pinterest team, I believe my account has been mistakenly caught in the spam block. My website visitors from Pinterest have essentially disappeared, my impressions have flatlined and my new fresh content is not being seen by viewers. This is not just “ebbs and flows” – I need a human to look at my account please and mark it as safe. Thank you so much for helping me handle this quickly.
Customize this to fit your account’s symptoms, but I do recommend keeping the “ebbs and flows” comment because this will usually be their initial reply. Also, keep it friendly! There’s no reason to be rude, and it never helps anyway.
You may also like: 30 Pinterest Marketing Ideas
What Pinterest Will Say
There’s a handful of canned responses that Pinterest commonly shoots off in response to the Pinterest spam block help tickets. Here’s what you can expect.
The “Spam Filter Is Removed” response from Pinterest:
This is the email that you need to get to verify that Pinterest has marked your account as safe:
“We apologize for the inconvenience, we’ve looked into this and have found a bug in our spam blocker that was mistakenly flagging safe content as spam. We’re working on this now to get everything back to normal – it may take several days. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. We work hard to keep spammy links off Pinterest and sometimes the system flags false positives.”
Ironically, it seems like there’s never been more spam on Pinterest, despite the spam blocker. But hey, that’s the point here!
Getting them to admit to the Pinterest spam block on your account and remove it is a success. But expect it to take weeks, not days, for your account to rebalance.
The Canned Denial Response from Pinterest:
If you get this response from Pinterest, then your spam filter problems are not over:
“Like other online organic distribution platforms, Pinterest experiences natural ebbs and flows with its content distribution, which therefore results in variations in viewership and impression volume. Oftentimes, fluctuations are results of changes in engagement rates, seasonality, format type, related interests for content, or updates that Pinterest makes to the system so we can better deliver valuable ideas to our Pinners. Just as our users’ interests evolve, we expect the distribution of creators’ content to experience natural ups and downs as well.
“We encourage all creators to continue to post inspiring, high-quality ideas to see what is resonating with their audience on Pinterest.
“Sometimes, recent changes in creators’ stats may be the result of updates we’re making to prioritize new Pins over other already-Pinned content.
“We encourage creators to publish new, original content regularly as the best way to build your audience on Pinterest itself. We encourage you to publish new content over Saving already-pinned content from yourself or others. Pinners come to Pinterest to discover new ideas and as we continue to update, we’ll prioritize new original content over Saves. This is true whether you publish content through Pinterest directly or through a third-party scheduling tool.”
This is not the response that you want.
After reading many threads in Facebook groups dedicated to Pinterest, I’ve seen that It’s not unheard of for Pinterest to deny the spam blocker at first before ultimately acknowledging it and removing the block.
Once caught by the spam blocker, your account will not go back to normal until the Pinterest spam block is waved and your account is marked as safe.
The Spam Block Hail Mary
If your account continues to plummet, submit more help tickets. You will get a different customer support person with each ticket. Here is a hail Mary customer support ticket:
“Hello there Pinterest team, my account has plummeted and I believe it was caught in the spam blocker. These are not seasonal ebbs and flows, and I’ve never committed any spammy behavior. Can you please see if my account is caught in the spam filter? I’m planning an ads campaign but will not proceed until I know my account is marked as safe. Thank you for helping me resolve this quickly!”
I’m not normally a liar, but when it comes to being ignored by the help desk, my nose grows. Yours should too.
I wish it didn’t come to this, but sometimes it’s the only way to get a help ticket addressed. I had a client whose account was completely suspended by Pinterest’s mistake and after *months* of submitting help tickets telling them that it was an error, they only brought it back from the dead and let her back on the platform after we said we were planning an ads campaign.
In the event that your tickets are being completely ignored, put in a ticket every single day until you talk to a human.
Be nice and be persistent. It’s vital that you talk to a Pinterest representative so that they can mark your account as safe. Your account won’t recover without them removing the block.
How Long Does The Pinterest Spam Block Last?
Once the Pinterest spam blocker is lifted from your account, it takes at least 6 weeks to see your account analytics start to recover. Some of your ranking pins will never return. You’ll have to focus on generating new pins (AKA fresh content) to recover lost ground in search results.
Some articles say that it takes 24 hours to see an account rebound, but based on my experience with the Pinterest spam filter, that’s completely untrue.
To check if your search rankings have recovered from the Pinterest spam filter, search for a keyword that you used to rank for. Look for your pins in search results.
Need help with Pinterest SEO on your new pins moving forward? Use my plug-and-play pin description templates to make description writing a breeze.
3 Tips To Avoid The Pinterest Spam Block
While the Pinterest spam block is somewhat random, you can take steps to minimize your risk of being flagged.
1. Check Your Pinning Practices For Errors (Spammy Behavior)
Never commit spam. That’s a golden rule of Pinterest. That may sound straightforward, but familiarize yourself with what constitutes spam on Pinterest if you’re worried your pinning has been caught in the Pinterest spam block.
You should also any spammy behavior that can unknowingly risk your Pinterest account.
Spammy behavior can take a few innocent forms:
Repinning On Pinterest
Minimize re-pinning other creators’ content (or stop altogether). There’s no reason to re-pin other creators’ content. If you do re-pin, check each and every link to make sure that it’s not spam. Re-pinning a spam link can flag you as spam, too.
That’s how my aforementioned client’s account was incorrectly suspended. *shivers*
Pinterest doesn’t say that re-pinning will mark you as spam on Pinterest, but yet they kind of do. This insight came directly from Pinterest’s customer support:
“I checked the back end and saw that there are a comparatively high number of re-pins on your Pinterest account. Please know that ultimately, we make edits to our algorithm to improve the pinner experience, which results in more quality traffic (people who are interested in your business content and will more likely convert).”
Here’s the whole email:
Your energy is best spent making new pins given this feedback. An easy Pinterest strategy is to create new pins every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Making Many Pins For 1 URL At Once
Don’t pin the same URL repeatedly.
If you make multiple pins for each of your blog posts, never upload them all in a row.
This spammy behavior is easily avoided: space them out with at least 7 days in between, and even more if you can.
You may also like: How To Safely Create Many Pins For 1 URL
Your Location Doesn’t Match Your Pinterest Account
This is a totally innocent mistake that can come across as spammy behavior on Pinterest: your current location doesn’t match your account’s location.
To Pinterest, this can look like suspicious activity.
This is a really common problem for Pinterest managers who manage accounts from all over the world.
It’s easy to fix though: use a VPN and choose a connection that matches the account’s country.
I use and can highly recommend NordVPN:
Making Pins For Your Homepage
This spammy behavior can actually get your Pinterest account suspended.
Why? Because every single pin from your website has the homepage link in it.
It makes it look like you’re spammy Pinterest with the same link over and over again.
Rule of thumb? Never create links to your homepage.
Want feedback on your pinning strategy? Let me give you a Pinterest audit:
For example, did you know that you can no longer claim your Instagram account on Pinterest? Pinterest rolled this back in 2021. If you’re still resharing your IG stuff on Pinterest, you have to do it the right way or you risk getting flagged.
You may also like: Instagram To Pinterest How-To
2. Use The Idea Pins Feature
Idea pins (previously called story pins) do not bring you website traffic, but they get excellent reach that’s much more immediate than the typical slow-burn of optimizing on Pinterest.
Publishing idea pins will grow your brand reach and follower count. This didn’t use to matter on Pinterest, but they’re pushing creators more and more to grow their following on the app and engage with users within the Pinterest interface specifically.
This is actually less a point about the Pinterest spam block and more about succeeding on Pinterest in 2023. If Pinterest is a priority platform for you, then you have to play the game!
And the game keeps changing; it’s an honest disadvantage to Pinterest (and all digital platforms).
3. Beef Up Your Google Referrals
In the world of online business, it’s never safe to keep all of your eggs in one basket. Don’t wait to be struck by the Pinterest spam block to focus on getting referrals from Google.
Split your time between Google and Pinterest; I have some easy ideas that will help you here. If writing well-optimized content is still intimidating or a struggle for you, consider using an SEO checklist.
Pinterest Is A Mess, But We Still Need It
Pinterest changed drastically in 2020 – Pinterest themselves even described it as the “start of a new Pinterest” at the October 2020 Pinterest Creator Festival.
On your smart feed now, you’ll see an overload of ads, video pins that you can’t intuitively click on and idea pins, which have no click-through whatsoever.
Creators are encouraged to publish fresh content daily, which has led to many creators creating massive amounts of pin covers for their pieces (the highest number I’ve heard is 50 – 100 pin covers for a single piece of content; my word that’s not the Pinterest I want to be scrolling through).
As frustrated as I am with Pinterest, these annoyances do not outweigh the opportunity. Keep your Pinterest account active and healthy. Keep optimizing your content to the best of your ability and creating content that people want to read, and remember that this is a long game we’re playing.
Final Comments On The Pinterest Spam Block
Were you marked as spam on Pinterest? Have you had any success getting in touch with Pinterest support?
Getting caught in the Pinterest spam block is not as devastating in the long run as it feels in real-time. Follow these steps to resolve your Pinterest account and protect yourself from future damage.
Focus on creating new pins and getting that fresh content onto Pinterest. Don’t expect to see things go back to normal in 24 hours (or eve 24 days) but stay true to the path of rebuilding your acocunt. You CAN recover.
If your account was caught by the Pinterest spam block, do you have any insight to add to help other creators out? I’d love to hear in the comments!