Updated on March 22, 2023
There’s been a lot of confusion in the Pinterest marketing community lately about #hashtags.
Heck, even I was confused…
I mean, it was obvious that something was going on when hashtags lost their functionality way back in August/September 2020.
But we all thought it was fine to keep using them for keywords. 🤷♀️
Pinterest did say they were no longer a “thing” but they never said to stop using them altogether.
So, I kept using them…
Until I was chatting with a Pinterest manager friend about her client’s account back in early 2021.
And here’s what the help desk person told her:
“As mentioned earlier we do not have any block/flag on your account and website. In addition to the information I have provided in my last email, I also see you have been using hashtags on the description of the pins. Kindly note that Hashtags were often abused by spammers to gain distribution and have not been proven to be a valuable tool hence we do not recommend using them.”
Creative Best Practices Page Updated
In February 2022, Pinterest updated their official Creative Best Practices page and removed the suggestion to use hashtags from the “Optimize your Pin copy” section.
When hashtags were removed from this page, reality set in, and most Pinterest marketers and bloggers finally accepted that hashtags were no longer a good idea to use on our pins.
Or so I thought…
Pinterest Representative Speaks Out About Hashtags
Despite all the proof that using hashtags on Pinterest was no longer recommended, there’s bound to be old ideas and old information floating around the internet about “How to use hashtags on Pinterest” and such. So, some creators were still curious about whether using them was advisable.
On June 15, 2022, the Pinterest for Business YouTube channel posted their Idea Ads Webinar which included a question and answers portion after the presentation.
During the Q&A, one creator asked: “Are hashtags out of from recommended best practices?”
One of the presenters, Amy (not me), answered and said,
“Hashtags aren’t really a prevalent thing on Pinterest… So, if hashtags are part of your larger campaign strategy or campaign message, include them, but they are not going to drive anywhere. So, stay away from hashtags because it’s not an authentic functionality or feature on Pinterest.”
When she says hashtags as a part of your campaign message, I believe she’s referring to branded hashtags (like #brandsummersale, or #brand2022). Even if you have those types of hashtags, I wouldn’t bother using them on Pinterest…
Here is the clip from the webinar:
We now have an updated Creative Best Practices page and TWO official statements from Pinterest that hashtags are no longer recommended on the platform.
What Does this Mean for You?
Well, this means that the Pinterest algorithm could supress pins that contain hashtags in the descriptions since they are now associated with the spammer mcspammy faces.
If you’re still using hashtags on Pinterest, it’s time to stop!
Play it safe and remove hashtags from your strategy.
Here’s What to Do Instead
Instead of adding hashtags to the end of your pin descriptions, simply add more keywords into your pin descriptions in sentence form. For example:
Learn more about (__keyword 1__), (__keyword 2__), and (__keyword 3__), plus see how it can help you (__keyword 4__) in this post.
As long as the sentence is readable, you can list out as many keywords as you like. But I generally add 3-4 keywords per sentence, like the example above.
Historically, Pinterest has always had trouble making up its mind about hashtags. So, if we use keywords in sentence-form, we won’t have to worry about our pins getting suppressed because of hashtags or keyword stuffing!
For more sample sentences and prompts to help your write keyword-rich pin descriptions FAST, check out my Pin Description Prompts Swipe File to save you tons of time.
I actually used to HATE writing pin descriptions! I would often hire a VA just to write pin descriptions for me. 😬
So when hashtags were taken away, I knew I had to come up with a better system.
With prompts and sentence starters, writing keyword-filled descriptions is actually really easy. I just grab my list of keywords and start cranking out loads of pin descriptions (while using very few brain cells). 🙌
Get my fill-in-the-blank formula below to become a pin description master!
Pin Description Prompts Swipe File
Write high quality, keyword-rich pin descriptions FAST with easy-to-use prompts! Prompts are the secret to writing high quality descriptions that help your pins rank higher in search results. Ready to dramatically speed up your pin description process?
Hopefully Pinterest will stick to their decision to remove hashtag functionality this time. But we’ll see. 🤪
At least we can rest easy knowing OUR pins won’t be suppressed because we ignored their recommendations!
How to Stay Up-to-Date on Pinterest Changes
I’ve added this information to the Free Pinterest Strategy Guide linked below to make sure everyone knows about this change. If you’ve never gone through the Guide, there’s no better time then now!
I mean, you’re just chillin’ reading a blog post, right? Might as well get the deets on what’s going on in Pinterestland, right?
Once you sign up, you’ll be added to my newsletter where I send out regular emails about Pinterest updates and algorithm news. I’ve been told it’s the best newsletter for staying up-to-date on Pinterest news. 🥰
Ready to Get Ahead of all the Algorithm Changes on Pinterest?
Learn what’s changed and start getting results with our most popular download — the FREE 2023 Pinterest Strategy Guide! This guide is hosted on Podia so I can quickly keep it updated (updates happen ALL the time!). Once you sign up, you’ll have forever access to future updates. 🙂