Pinterest Blocking Amazon Affiliate Links?

by on April 11, 2012

The other day Nathan Smith from Zynali Marketing Solutions commented on my “When Pinterest Met Affiliate Marketing” webinar post about how Pinterest was starting to strip the tags out of Amazon affiliate links. Shawn Collins tested it out and verified it. However, he was able to go in and edit the link properly. Today Shawn reported that all of his Amazon links on Pinterest are now going to the “spam page” notification below.

Pinterest Amazon Spam

Clicking through other people’s links, it looks like Pinterest is temporarily blocking all Amazon links as spam. Interestingly, I used PrettyLinks to build a redirect for an Amazon link using my www.tricia.me domain. Pinterest still recognized the final destination (Amazon) domain as “spam” and killed the link. Although it’s possible that it is just a glitch, this raises some big flags for affiliate marketers using Pinterest.

  • Pinterest can at any time block any domain and render everything that you have pinned from that domain useless. Be careful how much time you spend pinning links to other sites because in one flip of a switch they can all go dead.
  • Pinterest is clearly watching for too many pins from one source. Don’t get your own domain flagged for spam for having too many spammy pins.
  • Use redirects for all affiliate links. You can always direct the links to another domain from the back end if the end domain does get blocked. You’ll just need to find the same product through a different merchant.
  • Although this will probably get switched back because Amazon needs to place nice with Pinterest, it is likely that Pinterest will continue to strip out the affiliate links. Pinterest is onto affiliate markets and can very easily strip our coding from naked links. It would not be hard for them to do a search and replace of our affiliate codes for any network and substitute them with their own if they want.

There isn’t any reason that we all can’t participate in Pinterest in different ways to boost our traffic and our revenue. But Pinterest is not going to allow affiliate marketers to ruin their site (and should not!). Are you an affiliate, merchant, or OPM using Pinterest to build your business? How far should Pinterest go to protect itself from us?

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Thanks for reading! I am a lawyer, blogger, affiliate marketer, and consultant most known in the industry for my cashback site, SunshineRewards.com. You can reach me on Twitter @sunshinetricia.
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