In this post I am going to explain what happened when I somehow managed to get my Pinterest account suspended for spam. I’ll outline:
- The circumstances around my suspension.
- How I found out my account was suspended.
- How I managed to get my account reactivated within 10 hours.
It’s not a pleasant experience, but you can learn from my what happened to me and follow the steps I took if Pinterest suspends your account for spam too.
Of course… this assumes you haven’t actually knowingly spammed Pinterest!
The Background to my Pinterest Account Being Suspended
Recently, I read a blog post about what to do when Pinterest’s spam detectors ban your account. By some ironic quirk of fate, the following day I checked my emails and saw the following email notification from firstname.lastname@example.org, advising that my Pinterest account was suspended for spam!
Why the $@*^ Would Pinterest Suspend My Account for Spam?
I’m not an expert in Pinterest (yet 🙂 ), and I know right now I’m not especially good at creating highly pinspiring (did you see what I did there!) graphics to incite the Pinterest hoi-polloi to hop up and down in a re-pinning frenzy.
I create all my own images for Pinterest and at up to two pins per day (yes, I know the gurus say you need to pin much more than this), I wouldn’t say with any degree of confidence I’m the most prolific of pinners the social media world has ever seen!
On the other hand I feel pretty confident that my pinning volume isn’t even remotely spammy.
Before I vent(ure) any further though, I’ll tell you that an account suspension for spam is the latest in a fairly confusing series of Pinterest experiences, which have seriously irritated me. Not just irritated me… but frustrated, annoyed and discombobulated all at the same time!
Did I mention I’m irritated?
Allow me to explain.
The SideGains Pinterest Account History
I created the SideGains Pinterest account (@SideGains, if you’re interested) around July 2019 and:
- Claimed my domain.
- Linked it to my Instagram and YouTube channels.
- Updated my profile with a pic and optimized biography.
- Created some boards and added descriptions to them.
- Started pinning 1-2 pins per day.
Things rolled along pretty nicely considering I was only pinning my own images to my own boards and didn’t have oodles of time to devote to Pinterest marketing. By the end of October 2019, I had around 80 followers and was seeing monthly impressions of around 6k, which was growing on a daily basis. I was reasonably happy with this at the time, since I was just starting out.
Sometime at the beginning of September, I decided it was time for me to step up my Pinterest game and so I…
- Started researching a proper Pinterest strategy.
- Stopped pinning for around a week (while I researched).
- Joined 3 group boards.
After my week’s pinning hiatus, I’d created a new template for my images, started making new images based upon my new template and began pinning them to my boards. I also posted 3 images to the group boards I was now a member of (1 image in each).
This is where my problems seemed to start. No sooner had I started pinning images again, my impressions plummeted. I expected to see a dip in impressions when I stopped pinning, however I didn’t expect an immediate and huge drop when I began posting again!
And so it went on over several weeks until my impressions were running at double figures per day, sometimes less.
My Pinterest Account Stats
I had around 150 images pinned to my boards, which I wouldn’t say were especially good or bad… probably a bit mediocre on reflection, but by no means awful. I’ve seen a lot worse in other accounts and some of these have huge numbers of comments, repins and likes.
So… I stopped pinning images again: the definition of madness is repeating the same actions over and over and expecting a different result, right? It made no sense to try to bluster through it when something wasn’t working.
I read Pinterest’s help guides and even raised support tickets to try to get some inkling of an idea of what had caused the huge drop in impressions and why. Additionally, I searched online to look for others Pinterest accounts that had suffered the same issue.
In my research I heard about shadow bans, suspensions of specific pins and outright banning of accounts. However, nothing concrete to explain why I had experienced such a sudden downturn.
In truth I suspected Pinterest had hamstrung my account with some kind of penalty, but I could see no tangible evidence to prove this.
My Account Suspension
On the day my account was suspended, I logged into Pinterest as usual, around 08:15. I looked at my analytics reports and then decided I’d browse some of the accounts of people who follow me.
I clicked on one account, browsed around a few of the boards and then “close-upped” one of the pins I liked the look of.
The moment I clicked on the pinned image, my screen refreshed and up popped the following image:
My first reaction… WTF! As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never (knowingly) done anything spammy. I’m not even a minor pinner! The only thing I’m really guilty of is curating my own pins and not really engaging with others… which may or may not be a spamming signal.
At 08:35 (GMT) email@example.com sent me an email explaining in a little more detail (but no specifics) why my Pinterest account was suspended.
It’s not a big account, but the posts I’d created up to that point had likely taken me many days of work over the months I’d been pinning. I was pretty flummoxed to say the least.
I decided to research to see if there was anything I could do. The following are the steps I took that resulted in my account being reinstated within 10 hours.
What to do if Your Pinterest Account is Suspended for Spam
The first thing I did was to click the link in the email firstname.lastname@example.org sent me.
This auto-submitted my appeal at around 08:40.
Having hurriedly looked around for anything else I might do I came across the Pinterest Business Support email (email@example.com) and thought… what the heck, I might as well send them a direct message too.
So at 08:44 I forwarded the Pinterest account suspension email along with the following message.
Almost immediately after I sent my email, I received the following auto-reply from firstname.lastname@example.org.
My first thoughts? There’s not a lot of love in the creation of this Zendesk mail template for such a big social media player… but thanks for sending me a link to best practices!
At 08:44 I also received the following email from email@example.com.
My first thoughts? There’s not a lot of love in the creation of this mail template either! But I was glad to have heard something back from the Business Support team.
All went quiet… and I went about my business until…
The Final Part of the Suspended Account Saga
At 17:12 I received this mail.
My first thoughts? Wow… and Pristine is a really lovely name.
That was that it seems. An over-zealous spam filter had picked up something about my account or my activity it didn’t like. No detailed explanation as to what specifically triggered my Pinterest account suspension so I can ensure it doesn’t happen again… which is a pity.
However, taking a positive view, I only had a small account I’d been working on for a few months and I managed to get my account unsuspended within 10 hours. I’ve heard of cases where people have lost their accounts after many years building them up. Some have lost thousands of followers and pins in the process.
How would you feel about that? Knowing how I felt when as site I worked on suffered a Google manual penalty and the devastation that caused… I’d feel completely floored.
In terms of my account, without any detailed explanation from Pinterest the only reasons I can think of as to why I was suspended for spam are that I left a spammy footprint:
- Only pinning my own images.
- Not actively involving myself in the Pinterest community and this might be a spam signal.
- Joining a group board where perhaps someone or something has been penalized?
So… I’ve begun pinning my own posts tentatively at a rate of two a day again and I’m going to be more active within the Pinterest community!
- Make sure you read and understand the Pinterest Community Guidelines.
- Pinterest spam bots get it wrong!
- If you manage to get your Pinterest account suspended for spam, you CAN get it reinstated… as long as you are not actively spamming!
- Click the link in the suspension notification email to auto appeal the decision.
- Forward the suspension notification email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a polite request for them to reconsider, explaining your case.
I guess the one big takeaway for me is that none of us can rely on one channel for traffic. We have very little recourse if our only source of traffic disappears suddenly, so it’s vital to diversify and work across the board to look for traffic in many places.
That’s it from me for now. I’ll update this post in a week or two, with details about how my account is performing and whether I am receiving impressions again!
Thanks for visiting.
Have you had your Pinterest account suspended for spam? What was your experience. Drop me a comment and let me know.
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