Pinterest: Who's Helping Who in Site Traffic?

Seleena Hoban| @seleenahoban Pinterest is now the 3rd largest social network site in the U.S. in terms of the amount of traffic it encounters.  More and more people are using Pinterest to entertain their minds with new ideas for the home, find a new joke to use at work or take an imaginary vacation by browsing through pictures of the world’s best vacation spots.

But where would Pinterest be without the source domains people use to pin these great ideas and entertaining thoughts?  In social media terms a “source domain” is the site that content on Pinterest links to externally.  In less nerdy terms “source domains” are the websites people pin stuff from instead of re-pinning.

Etsy is the most popular source domain people use to pin things onto their Pinterest boards. is a website that shop owners can use in order to sell their products that are usually made by the shop owners themselves.  Coming in a close second to Etsy would be Google and in third place is Flickr.  All three of these sites are great for just searching through images of pretty or interesting things and simply hitting your pin icon on your bookmark tool bar.  The answer as to where Pinterest would be without these source domains is simple.  According to the graph below Etsy, Google, Flickr and Tumblr all combined only account for a little over 10%.  So Pinterest shouldn’t have to be crediting these sites but rather the sites should be crediting Pinterest.


Why these sites? Literally seeing that Pinterest is a huge board of images that may or may not attract your attention, these sites are also full of images that are pleasing to the eyes and spark the viewers thought process.

What Etsy shops sell must always have an image to show the prospective buyer.  Etsy is generally more popular with women because why would a man be searching for a hand made painting of Audrey Hepburn? This is important because over 80% of users on Pinterest are females.  Google pins are mostly all from the Google Image search.  Lastly, Flickr and Tumblr are image based social networking sites so that would also explain the popularity in pinning.  So basically if the majority of your site’s content are images then Pinterest could play a role in the success of the traffic it receives.

So who's the abused pin cushion, Pinterest or source domains?  The moral of the blog is that Pinterest is here to entertain viewers and help other sites receive more traffic.  Source domains also help Pinterest in providing material that users actually pin.  It's a pretty even draw of who helps the other more.  #pinittowinit

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