Broken Links from Pinterest Can Ruin Your Relationship with Google

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If you have an online presence, one of the most coveted things for your site, aside from a large Pinterest following 😉  is a strong relationship with Google and other search engines. As we saw last year as a result of Google’s updates, Google rankings can make or break an online business. It’s in our best interest to stay in Google’s good graces, right?

You might be wondering what this has to do with Pinterest. Many of us have been so inspired or moved by the things we find on Pinterest that we have shared some of those pins on our blogs.  Some bloggers even publish ‘pins of the week’ posts where several pins are embedded directly into the post. I don’t mean to scare anyone but this can be dangerous.



Google is a Fickle Friend

Most relationships have a give and take quality to them and the same can be said with a blog’s or website’s relationship with Google. I’m not an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert, but from what I understand, to improve your site’s rankings in  search engines including Google, there are many things to keep in mind including:

  • Keywords used
  • Site structure
  • Content quality
  • How recent and relavant the content is

In Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, one of the sections is titled “Offer quality content and services.” Quality is a term that I’ve heard repeated often in SEO circles. If your site lacks in quality, it could lead to a rocky romance with Google. Google will reward you with higher rankings if you put your best foot forward. To be impressive, there will be no sweats and T-shirts for dates with Google, it’s black tie only.

Pinterest has made it very easy to embed pins into blog posts. My Virtual Vacation With Pinterest is a blog post comprised mostly of embedded pins. I have tried to keep Oh So Pintersting in top form so, you can imagine my surprise when I found 2 of the pins in that post were broken. GASP!

To embed a Pinterest pin in your blog post simply click the Embed box located on the right side of each pin. A box with the HTML code will appear that you can then copy and paste. 


I can’t have a “high quality” site if I don’t maintain it and keep up with the links I provide readers. It was like having spinach in my teeth when trying to get the attention of prince charming.

The pin’s links could have broken for several reasons:

  • The Pinterest account was closed
  • The pin was deleted from the board by Pinterest or the account owner
  • The pin was to another board by repinning

As you can see, some of these actions are out of your control especially if you embed a pin that is located on someone else’s board.

How to Avoid Embarrassment

Thank goodness I use WordPress and there are all sorts of handy dandy plug-ins to help with the embarrassing condition of broken link syndrome. The one I chose and installed is simply called Broken Link Checker. (Click here for more details about the plug-in)



There are several ways to customize the broken link checker plug-in including where to check for broken links, how often to check and what kinds of links to check. I chose the option to be notified by email when a broken link is found. Now, I can fix the link when it is found and hopefully my blog will continue to be attractive to Google.  😉



Notice in the image above it says I have 3 broken links but 5 are listed. A link to someone’s Gravatar profile is broken and they left 3 sperate comments. So, don’t be surprised if you get a long list in the email. The first time I ran the link checker, it found over 50 broken links and several were from embedded Pinterest pins. Not black tie quality at all.


Embedding pins into your content is a good way to share the content and beautiful images you’ve found on Pinterest with your readers and in turn, it can help build your Pinterest following. I will continue to embed pins and feel more secure about doing so now that I have a broken link checker running. Do you embed Pinterest pins on your blog?

If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it using one of the buttons below. Thanks!





Cynthia Sanchez is a Pinterest marketing consultant and expert. Cynthia created, one of the early leaders in Pinterest education for businesses. Contact Cynthia on LinkedIn:

45 thoughts on “Broken Links from Pinterest Can Ruin Your Relationship with Google

  1. Hey, Cynthia! Good piece of advice you’ve provided! I admit that I knew broken links were bad, but I hadn’t gotten around (er–forgotten) to install the plugin to check. You’ve just reminded me! Thanks for that!! 🙂

    Thrift Diving

  2. This was a great post Cynthia and very good for me to keep in mind as I begin to think about putting in some embedded pins. Yes that is why we love WordPress!

  3. Oh, so,
    dear Cynthia, I use Broken Link Checker wordpress plugin each time, (while new installation). It’s pretty good to kicks google panda and penguin update.

    Milan Pique

  4. Love the plug-in Cynthia, I had a different one that didn’t work with my theme and could not use it. This one is awesome, thanks for sharing it!

  5. Thank you so much for writing this post, it is extremely helpful! Looks like I have a lot of clean up work to do. Hope I haven’t done too much damage by not fixing these broken links.

    1. Heather, Thanks so much for leaving a comment 🙂

      When it comes to blogging, there’s sooo much to try and keep up with. I’m sure Google will show forgiveness once things are cleaned up.

      It would be great to catch up with you at Bissdom.

  6. Hi Cynthia,
    I have a client who has a Blogger blog – and she just noticed that ALL of her embedded Pinterest images are broken! She hasn’t repinned or moved them so we’re baffled as to how/why this happened. When I compare the embedded code from her blog to the embed code on the Pinterest pin, the source of the image has changed. Any ideas on how or why they all would have changed?

    1. Hi Kelly!

      With the recent updates to Pinterest, they have changed the way pins can be embedded. They now require a bit of Java code to be used with the link to make them appear. They are not as easy to use as they used to be. Unfortunately, for your client and many others, it doesn’t seem like there’s an easy fix. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  7. Hi Cynthia – This article was very helpful! I too discovered that all of my embedded Pinterest links were broken and I have quite a few of them. I started searching Google to figure out what to do about it and found this article. So now – thanks to you – I have an automatic link checker plug-in installed and the problem was bigger than just the Pins. There were tons of broken links that are now fixed. I noticed my site stats were dropping. I’ll be anxious to see if fixing the links help me move back up in ranking. Thanks for this great information!

    1. Hi Karen,

      I’m so glad you found the article helpful. It must have taken you a while to fix the links. I hope your ranking improves, Google has made some big changes lately.

      By the way I love your blog’s name!

  8. Thanks this is great information. But does anyone know what code I should use to relink the pins that I embedded to my site that are now broken.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Jo,

      Thanks for stopping by. Are the links broken because the pin has been deleted or the pin has been moved to a different board or because of the new way to embed Pins form Pinterest?

      1. Hi Cynthia, I think it’s because Pinterest has changed the ‘source of the link’, the pins are still there in the same place. There seems to be quote a few sites with the same issue but as yet no fix that I can find. Then again if you don’t have the broken link checker then you may not find out for some time.

        1. Jo,

          Yes, this has been a big problem for lots of bloggers. Unfortunately there is no easy fix that I have been able to find.

          I do have a tip for you though. If you like the look of the old way to embed pins you can still have it. Simply copy the URL of the pin you want to embed then log out of Pinterest. Paste the copied URL into the search bar and the old embed box with the HTML code will be back on the right side of the pin.

          Of course, Pinterest can change this at any time so proceed with caution 😉

          1. Thanks so much for the heads up Jo! When the change was first rolled out I checked everything and they were fine, I guess it didn’t happen to all the pins at once.

          2. Unfortunately, I just tried this trick and it didn’t work for me. Too bad, because I loved the old embed! The new one is just too small to be featured in blog posts. It’s too bad they don’t offer a way to customize the embed size like YouTube does with the player embed code.

          3. Danielle, there have been lots of problems with the new embed code. Hopefully, Pinterest is listening to their users and they change things soon. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, they make my day 🙂

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  10. Hi Cynthia!
    I have a question. If I move my blog (and keep the same name) but the links from the pins change, and I change it on mine (the original one) will it change for all of them? Or do I have to start from scratch?

    1. Hi Meg,

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if you change the links on your pins, previous repins will not have their links updated, they will still be linked to your old blog. 🙁 Only new repins will link to your new blog after you change the links.

      The only potential work around for this would be to have a redirect from your old blog to your new blog. Kind of a online forwarding address BUT Pinterest tags pins with links to a redirect as spam. I have heard of some businesses that have been able to get their redirects on an “approved” list. The Pinterest help center might be able to work with you on this

      Keep me updated.

  11. I moved my WordPress hosted site to a self-hosted site several months ago. Since then, all Pinterest pins created by my website readers on my WordPress hosted site are broken links. I’ve tested them myself, and they link back to my new website but to a 404 error message. ANY idea how to fix these broken links to my site??

    1. So sorry but I don’t have an answer for that. You might need to contact someone more familiar with WordPress. It looks like you’re using Genesis, maybe their support team can help you out.

      Wonderful photography by the way. Your pumpkin bread looks delicious!

    2. I can answer that!! When you moved to self-hosting, you took your files/posts,etc, which WordPress then assigned new links as those files were migrated and published. So you pins ARE linking to your site, but they are linking to the old link addresses.

      I am dealing with that rather ENORMOUS hassle right now. The only way I can think of fixing it is to go edit all your pins, and put in the NEW WordPress-generated address for your posts. Although its a pain, I don’t see anyway around it; Pinterest drives a huge amount of my traffic, I can’t have dead links sitting out there. What is keeping me up worrying is the answer to this: If someone pinned my pin which I linked to a post, when I update my original pin link, does it update all the other pins of that link as well? I have an support ticket to pinterest awaiting response to this.
      I wish a year ago when I started blogging “for fun” I had just gone self-hosted. I’m two weeks in, with no end of things to do to get my blog and social media straightened out!
      Good luck,

  12. Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your
    content. Please let me know. Thanks

  13. Cynthia,

    I recently moved from Elegant Themes to Genesis and changed my URL post format to be a non-dated format. I paid a designer to go in and add some code to my htaccess file to redirect google from the dated URL post format to the non-dated (or just the post title) format and it seems to work for google. The only problem is that it appears my pins are now broken! Pins with the date format are going to a 404 page. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Monica,

      Pinterest does not work well with redirects. Google will index your new URLS but Pinterest links won’t change. Pinterest usually tags pins with redirects as suspicious links. Your best bet would be to repin your content or change the links of each one of you pins. Wish I had better news for you.


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