Hey guys! It’s been a while since I last posted.
I’m back with good stuff, I promise!
Last month, Pinterest accidentally blocked my website as spam… The best part? I did not realize it for a whole week.
As you probably can guess, I have learned a ton from this experience, and have also gathered enough data to measure the negative impact of this Pinterest block on my website.
So in this post, I will be covering:
- How I discovered that Pinterest blocked my website (it was an accident on their part)
- What happened to my business… seeing that I did not realize this for one entire week *the horror*
- What I did to fix the situation to get my website unblocked when I actually found out
- How I got my site unblocked within 10 hours
- Has my traffic recovered after the block?
- What I have learned from this entire experience about Pinterest
How I discovered that Pinterest had blocked my website & marked my URL as spam (erroneously, of course)
I was checking my blog traffic on Google Analytics when I noticed a slight drop in traffic.
Naturally, I started digging into why that was so. That was when I realized that I had almost no website traffic coming from Pinterest… and it had already been a week!
Needless to say, I started panicking.
I am used to Pinterest changing their game and algorithm every few days, but to have traffic drop to near-zero? I’ve never had that happen to me.
As you can see, at that point, my site had been blocked for a week, and I had failed to realize that it had happened!
My first instinct was to assume that my Pinterest account was blocked. But I could log into my Pinterest account just fine. In fact, I have been logging into my Pinterest account periodically throughout the week!
That was when I realized, to my horror, that it was actually my entire website that had been blocked by Pinterest.
Why I did not realize that my Pinterest blocked my website
If you are wondering why I had failed to notice that Pinterest had blocked my site for an entire week, the answer is simple.
I simply do not spend much time on Pinterest clicking on my own pins, or clicking on any pins, for that matter.
I automate almost everything with Tailwind (*get 15 days of credit if you go through my affiliate link) and focus on other parts of my business.
Of course, I regret that now. There is no need to spend hours on Pinterest, and it works really well if your website isn’t blocked, I promise!
Pro tip: Make sure you check Google Analytics regularly. I always find interesting things that are happening to my website. Had I checked my traffic earlier, I would have fixed this Pinterest issue much quicker and my traffic would probably not have been affected as much.
Here’s what not to do: Not checking your traffic stats regularly. Do not do this because weeks may have passed before you discover something has gone awry on your website. I recommend Google Analytics because it really gives you a ton of details which other tools may not show.
How to unblock your website if Pinterest marks your website as spam
After a while, I realized that my drop in traffic was because Pinterest had blocked my website and marked it as spam. When you attempt to click on any pin leading to my blog, you end up with a pop up that says, “Sorry, we blocked this link because it may lead to spam”.
Goodness! Here is a screenshot. The blogger in me knew I would eventually blog about this, so I made sure to take a screenshot of it.
Here’s how it looked like:
After panicking for a full minute, I got to work to actually get my website unblocked.
Here is what you should do to get your website unblocked by Pinterest:
1. Send an email to Pinterest Creator’s Support
I sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – this will get your request looked at faster because the people manning this email are in it to support creators like yourself.
This was the email I sent them:
Pinterest Creator’s Support should get back to you in 1 – 3 days and your website should be unblocked in no time.
If you’re wondering how fast they replied to my email, I sent the email at 1am and someone replied to me at 9pm on the same day.
This means I got a reply in less than 24 hours since my email to them – phenomenal!
2. Submit a Pinterest support request
Just in case, we should also submit a Pinterest support request as well. Why not, right?
Better to cover all bases in case one replies faster than the other.
To do this, head over to Pinterest’s Contact Page.
Under “Appeals”, click on “Pinterest blocked my site”.
Then, click on “A pin from my website is blocked for spam.”
Well technically all the pins on my website were blocked for spam, but this is the closest option available.
You want to fill in all the details and explain that your website has been incorrectly blocked for spam, along with a screenshot of an example pin that has been blocked for spam.
This was what I sent in my support request to Pinterest:
A week ago, my website (add your own URL here) has been blocked for spam. My blog has been around since ___ and we’ve never engaged in any spam practices, I make all my own pins. Please help!
I also added the URL of an example pin that has been blocked along with an accompanying screenshot of what happens when I try to access my website via a link on Pinterest.
Pinterest will send you an automated reply saying that they will reply in a few hours.
I sent the support request at around 1am, and at 5.16pm on the same day, Pinterest replied to me to tell me that my website has been unblocked:
3. Pinterest Advertising Representative
In reality though, at 5PM, my website had already been unblocked before Pinterest’s support got back to me.
This was because out of panic, I contacted my Pinterest Ad rep to tell them about my problem.
My Pinterest Ad Rep very kindly helped me to get the Pinterest team to look at it and got my website unblocked within 10 hours. Imagine my relief when I woke up in the morning to find out that my site had been unblocked!
Thank God for my Pinterest ad rep! So in the end, my Pinterest ad rep got my site unblocked the fastest.
But as we have discovered, methods 1 and 2 work well too!
What happened after the Pinterest block
Needless to say, my Pinterest traffic tanked big time during and after the block.
It has yet to fully recover, to be honest. I am not sure if it ever will. Currently, my Pinterest traffic is still down about 20%, and it has been almost a month since I discovered that my site was blocked!
However, do note that my URL was blocked for one entire week, so you most likely will not see much changes to your traffic as compared to me.
A painful lesson, I guess!
Something else I learned!
I also learned that I am now becoming less and less reliant on Pinterest to get organic traffic. I knew this at the back of my mind before the Pinterest block, but the fact that my site got blocked for an entire week without me noticing anything further highlighted to me how little my business relies on Pinterest organic traffic now. Thankfully, I also focus heavily on getting SEO traffic!
This is how it should be as well – I do not want to rely solely on any one traffic source too much. Things can change anytime and safeguards should be in place to prevent over-reliance on any one platform.
This is what I tell all my students and clients as well: Always diversify your traffic sources.
This was unlike in the earlier days of this blog (think: 2016), when everyone was having a whale of a time on Pinterest getting lots of free traffic from it.
I barely noticed any changes to my email list growth or income.
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!
Now, go and get your website unblocked!
There is no need to worry, if your website is not a spammy website, it will be unblocked in no time.
I hope that you have found this useful. Thank you!