By Durk Price

For a little over six months there has been a lot of buzz around Pinterest, a social sharing site that allows people to create boards of things they like and “pin them”.  I see a lot of boards from brides-to-be pinning things they might like to include in their wedding arrangements.  But you can pin almost anything – pictures of your favorite sports players, shoes you’d like to buy, your favorite pillows. Basically, whatever you want.  You can share them with friends and see popular items get “re-pinned.”

I got an invite to the beta (as did tens of thousands of others) and I haven’t done much so far. But I have noticed that I have a decent amount of followers – some I know and some I don’t. I’m really not sure why people are currently following me since I have done anything yet, although I plan to.

I also keep hearing about how Pinterest might be a way for marketers – merchants or affiliates or both – to benefit. Several affiliates have recently written blogs n the topic as they explore ways to use Pinterest.

Affiliate Eric Nagel noted that there are SEO benefits to pinning a product. “…it gives you a backlink to the deep-linked product page (anchor text is the main domain name). This is a followed-link.  There’s also a no-follow link wrapped around the image. Unfortunately, the alt text of every image is “Pinned image” so that’s not giving you much value.”

Affiliate Kim Rowley mentioned in a blog post that she’s seen “some of my website traffic increase in three-folds from referral links!”

That’s because if the final destination URL has your affiliate tracking information in it, you can pin your affiliate link and use Pinterest as your publisher’s site. Not all merchants are allowing this. In fact, another affiliate, Joe Sousa, wrote that earlier in January that he received his first notice from a merchant that he promotes that adding links on Pinterest wouldn’t be allowed.

In order to get that benefit merchants and affiliates to be aware that SkimLinks is working with Pinterest and doesn’t work to include an affiliate link on the initial pin through the normal pin methods. Affiliates must go in and edit the URL after pinning something to include the affiliate link.

We are still exploring how interest might be of use to our merchants and keeping up with affiliates who are currently figuring out ways to leverage Pinterest. We think that Pinterest hold some great marketing potential and could provide yet another way for marketers to reach out.

I can’t wait to see the innovative ways people will use this platform.