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Wondering about Pinterest Domain Crowding in Google

     
7:18 pm on Sep 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Often I find Pinterest listed two or three times in the top 5 spots on Google SERPs. It has been this way for over a year now. It looks like the visible page rank for the domain is 9 for whatever that is worth and it is probably considered an authority for many topics but the domain crowding seems excessive.

Does anyone have any ideas about why this is so prevalent?

Here are some of my ideas but I have nothing to base it on.

Google is protecting itself from a potential search engine from Pinterest. Why go to Pinterest and then search if you get the results in Google? People know how to get to Pinterest though many would just type 'pinterest' into Google to get there.

Executives at Google have a financial interest in Pinterest? I do not believe that is the case since there would be an avalanche of lawyers trying to make money if that was easy to prove.

Google plans to purchase Pinterest? Maybe they are sending traffic to test the potential quality of purchasing the company.

Google wants to be nice to Pinterest so Pinterest will start putting AdSense on their site instead of another advertising network? I'm really starting to grasp at straws now :)

Problems with Pinterest in the SERPs
So, why be hating on the Pinterest? Well, I'm not hating. It just does not make sense. For example, I'm going to some Pinterest pages from the results today and the quality is lacking. That's what prompted this post. Without pointing fingers at anyone in particular let me explain what I see. You can try this yourself and let me know if I am way off base here and coincidentally picked the few results that are like this...

Clicking pins on pages found in top 5 of SERPs
Pictures from sites like flikr. Not what I was searching for. Just pictures of what I was searching for.

Thin pages with a link to what I was searching for. Usually a CMS with lots of ads, a big picture of what I was searching for and a link to what I originally thought I was going to. Feels kind of bait and switch-y.

Same as above but the link is an affiliate link. Usually a place that pays per lead. Or the link is hard to find and surrounded by ads that look like they are the link 'Download PDF Here'. Feels very bait and switch-y.

Foreign language pages.

Broken links.

Of the pages I checked out, the best page linked in the top 5 results had just over 1/2 of the pins not be what I listed above. It does not feel like good quality. The Pinterest page is pretty and looking at the pictures is engaging but there is little meat in the sandwich.

One Pinterest result in the top 5 is understandable but two and often three of the top 5 results for a search just doesn't make sense to me.

Pinterest is a great site and it is fun and should be in the SERPs but such domination does not make sense to me. Is there something else here that I am not aware of?
12:21 am on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Is there something else here that I am not aware of?


Cosy, cosy, let's all have breakfast/lunch/dinner together?

Ok, I'm going to openly mention a site, it just so happens to be next door to The Plex, it has multi-million Dollar funding and is similar to Pinterest, mods if you delete it you do ... houzz ... I'm totally and utterly pi$$ed-off with the way Google "promotes" this site usually as the top 3-4 results even though many of their results are totally and utterly incorrect.

It offers absolutely no value except for pretty images, not real and actual facts, absolutely nothing. Fine, I have no problems with nice images however when Joe Public is researching "a product" he/she needs more than USD $48 million in speculative funding as an answer to yet another domain-crowding Google result!
11:30 am on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I would suggest people take a moment to think before jumping to conspiracy theories or editorial comments that aren't backed up with a proper understanding of the Google algorithm.

According to Alexa, Pinterest is the 12th most popular site in the US. Compete says it is 24th most popular. That isn't Google saying it, it is outside sources saying Pinterest is a huge & powerful site. Imagine if you were the 24th most popular site or the 12th. Imagine how many usage signals you would naturally generate.

Imagine how many backlinks Pinterest gains every single day without even asking for a backlink. You don't have to imagine, let's look at MajesticSEO. Pinterest has 3,574,024,672 external backlinks. I guess that is why Pinterest has a PageRank of 9.

If I asked you how a website with a PR 9, that has over 3 billion backlinks and is one of the top 20 most used websites should rank, what would be your answer?


Let's avoid making off-topic editorial comments and keep the focus on real SEO discussions.
11:41 am on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If I asked you how a website with a PR 9, that has over 3 billion backlinks and is one of the top 20 most used websites should rank, what would be your answer?


It should rank number 1, without a shadow of doubt.
12:21 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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"Google doesn't want to make sites popular, they want to rank popular sites"
12:22 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think "pinit" and other social 1 up buttons count as dofollow links and pass pr? Its no wonder they all rank so highly, why aren't these considered a link scheme, anyone?
1:45 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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"Pinterest is a great site and it is fun..."


That pretty much sums up why it ranks so well.
7:50 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google's philosophy:

https://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy/
"Ten things we know to be true"
"4. Democracy on the web works."
"Google search works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value."

PInterest, to some extent, has achieved what Google only dreams about, democracy on the web, individuals voting on sites.

With the implementation of "rel=nofollow" Google has removed votes from individuals and only allows votes from the aristocracy; Web Masters!

Of course with PInterest Google must be selectively choosing links "to follow" because PInterest marks everything "rel=nofollow".

So who gets to vote in Google's democracy? Only Google knows!

Remember:
"Democracy on the web works"
P.S. Don't forget to remove those inorganic links you never asked for.(The only ones that aren't marked "rel=nofollow".)
8:29 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I would suggest people take a moment to think before jumping to conspiracy theories


From Businessinsider.com ..Feb 2013..

Pinterest Is Now A $2.5 Billion Company


Valiant Capital Management, a hedge fund which owns large stakes in Apple and Google, is leading the round. Valiant founder Christopher Hansen was an early investor in Facebook as well.


Copyright is a non-issue. Pinterest has drawn criticism for allowing users to post copyrighted photos. Investors think Pinterest is a strong enough company that it will figure out any legal issues it faces, and it has hired legal experts from Google, whose YouTube site dealt with similar issues early on.


[businessinsider.com...]

Pinterest may well be very popular..but it is highly connected to Google, and to those who back Google..in fact it would not exist if it were not for VC money from the same VCs who backed Google , and Google's own backing for Pinterest..

Silicon valley tech ( and in particular the ad supported companies that it produces ) is very "incestuous"..all busy funneling advertisers money to each other..

One can SEO..or one can play golf with "the right people"..the latter gives one far more chance of a good SERP position, or even of existing as a company..
8:48 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Pinterest also has the same type of potted plant in their office that is found in Google offices. Does that mean I can dominate Google rankings if I have the same potted plant as Google? I think we can all agree that the potted plant theory is not a smart idea. It might also not be a smart idea to ignore the fact that Pinterest has billions of backlinks and massive usage signals when you are trying to diagnose its SEO rankings.

We each make our own decisions. If you think that Google rankings can be significantly impacted by a round of golf - go work on your golf swing. Personally I tend to think that Google rankings are more significantly impacted by usage signals, backlinks and other signs of legitimate popularity - that is where I focus my efforts.
9:36 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you think that Google rankings can be significantly impacted by a round of golf - go work on your golf swing.

In business, It's not how one plays that counts..it is who one plays with ;)

Pinterest "exposure" is ideally suited to one of my businesses in particular, ( and thus for a group of sites I will not be "blocking pinners" ) but I have absolutely no illusions that it ( Pinterest ) was set up by the same people who help to set up Google etc , to negate the "you can always block us from using your content by using robots text" that Google claimed..

SEO could be likened to a competitive sport, but sometimes certain of the opposition were provably created by the referee and his friends specifically to try to steal the game from the little guy / webmaster ..

Pinterest is actually more democratic than Google has become in the way Pinners "vote" for images, but as the same VC backers win anyway, doesn't really matter to them if Pinterest becomes more popular than Google or Facebook..

I don't optimise for Pinterest, we just make things that appeal to a certain section of the Pinterest demographic who ( because they can remain anonymous on Pinterest, unlike G+ or Facebook ) spend a great deal of energy pinning and re-pinning the sort of things we make :)

And unlike Google, Pinterest do not ( yet ) tailor their results to individuals by GEO targeting or search history..Thus the ROI ( a subject close to all our hearts ) is better if one is in ecom and has product (s) to sell, when one attempts to please the Pinterest demographic than if one attempts to please the Google algos..

If one is in ecom with actual products, and ones products ( and similar products, if they exist , from ones competitors ) are being "outranked" on Google ( at least on the personalised pages that Google shows you ) by the pinned versions of ones images on Pinterest, that can be used to ones advantage..
10:40 pm on Sept 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Ok, Pinterest has built a massive following and the user engagement stats are unquestionable

How does that explain the original question - why does Google bunch irrelevant pages from this site
5:07 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It should rank number 1, without a shadow of doubt.


Actually, it is duplicate content. It shouldn't rank at all. Pinterest is a nice thing to collect pictures and to show REAL FRIENDS what you like. However, Pinterest pages should only be visible to people who are logged in and should not be listed on Google, similar to how Google doesn't list content of personal Facebook pages.


Its no wonder they all rank so highly, why aren't these considered a link scheme, anyone?


A lot of webmasters in my niche are already using Pinterest for link building. One day we will wake up and find out that Google has a new surprise for us after Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, ... I think it's only a matter of time.
8:49 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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How does that explain the original question - why does Google bunch irrelevant pages from this site


It’s really very simple to understand, Google replaced page authority (page relevancy - content is king mantra) with domain authority.

Pinterest's massive domain authority is used to calculate its inner page rankings allowing these scrapped inner pages to easily outrank the original source website because the original source website lacks the millions of links = domain authority that pinterest has!

Because Google now weighs internal pages (even when these internal pages have no external links) on domain authority we can expect to see more high authority spam dominate the SERPS.

Why? I have a (im sure “conspiracy”) theory..

The big commercial players are all PPC customers.......... By filling the organic SERPS with the same brands already shown in PPC why would a user scroll past the ads to reach repeated organic results below? They wouldn't, its user conditioning for commercial queries IMO
9:38 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why? I have a (im sure “conspiracy”) theory..

The big commercial players are all PPC customers.......... By filling the organic SERPS with the same brands already shown in PPC why would a user scroll past the ads to reach repeated organic results below? They wouldn't, its user conditioning for commercial queries IMO


It sounds very plausible and I actually would have believed it, except for the fact that I don’t see it in more than a few niches.
9:54 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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>>except for the fact that I don’t see it in more than a few niches.<<

Commercial or informational niches?
10:12 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Commercial...
Think in terms of outdoor activities
10:44 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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With nationwide commercial competition? If there isn't a national brand entity its still 2 small to get the domain authority these big players are coasting off.

I looked up "bike hire in London" but there isn't any national brand competing. Can you give an example where BIG business is involved?

Examples of the queries I see this happen without fail

Trademan + Service area

National commercial lead selling entities dominate organic and PPC
11:17 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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In my part of the world queries for trademan + service area (City/town) give me a few job creation sites (quantity differs from area to area) and then trademan sites. No “national commercial lead selling entities” at all.

I think it differs from country to country...
11:29 am on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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When I search “pictures” I see Break, Reuters, National Geographic, BBC, Nasa, Facebook on page 1 & 2 and Pinterest on page 3.

No small or nationwide sites whatsoever...
1:02 pm on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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How does that explain the original question - why does Google bunch irrelevant pages from this site...


I don't normally see this happening. Not in the spaces I play in. I don't see it in my "civilian" searches either.

More information please...
If Pinterest dominating, then please give additional information:

1. Is this happening on longtail queries or two to three word queries?

2. Are these "money" queries featuring words like "review" or "buy" or "cheap"?

3. Does it happen with somewhat neutral queries that related to kinds of products or objects?

4. Does it happen to you with action type queries that are modified with words like How, Why, Where

5. Does Pinterest domain crowd on queries that relate to places?
2:34 pm on Sept 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I believe answers to the above questions will help shed light on the original question.

How does that explain the original question...
 

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