Pinterest search: Structure does matter!

Pinterest search: Structure does matter!

Hey there! I have seen more than a few articles lately weighing in on how native Pinterest search really works. My officially unofficial answer is, “I’m not sure!” Is that helpful or what? I can only assure you that the order of the words matters (sometimes)!

I wanted to compare Pinterest search to Google keyword matching options so I did a bunch of searches via the on-board Pinterest search box. The searches were run within a few minutes of each other. Screenshots of results are attached.

The order of the wording in a search query has been a topic of interest lately.

Example 1 : Broad match (no quotes around the search phrase)
Pinterest tutorial
tutorial Pinterest

Example 2 : Phrase match (double quotes around the phrase)
“Pinterest tutorial”
“tutorial Pinterest”

The order does matter! Google will return very similar results if the words are transposed. Pinterest returns a different group of boards and pins. So order does matter!


Example 3 : Exact match (square bracket around the search phrase)
Example: [Pinterest tutorial]


This returned the exact same result as the phrase and broad match versions in examples one and two. I ran another longer tail phrase, “funny cat photo” versus “cat photo funny” to try it with 3 words The results were were also totally different

So “funny cat photo” returns the same thing as [funny cat photo] or just funny cat photo (with no quotes or brackets).

A search for “cat photo funny” gives us a different result than the original, “funny cat photo”.



Confused? Me too! Let’s try two more combinations!

The Broad match searches for close variations of your keyword phrase. This is an requires advanced database architecture on Pinterest’s behalf. They’re just not there yet but it is something they will need to master to get their sponsored pins program off the ground.

Example 4 : Exact match (no quotes or brackets)
• Example: Pinterest +tutorial
• Searches that can match: Pinterest tutorial, Find a Pinterest tutorial


Example 5 : The negative match (uses a minus sign to exclude a certain word)
• Example: Pinterest -tutorial
• returns pins or boards that do not have the word “tutorial” in them

Pinterest search simply strips the minus sign out and the result ends up matching the “Pinterest tutorial” search!