As all massively popular sites discover, there’s a price to pay for popularity. Today it’s Pinterest’s turn to feel the growing pains of their success.
Spammers are eating up Pinterest at alarming rates.
It’s become so prevalent, so profitable for spammer’s in the know, there’s even a WSO sellingaspambot. Word to the wise – when bots show up in public forums they’re most likely on their last legs in terms of effectiveness.
Here’s how the spammers are doing it
1. Acquire an account (Pinterest acct’s are invite-only)
2. Generate invites to create new accounts (lots of ‘em)
3. Auto-confirm accounts
4. Implement auto-following based on keywords (to create a “human” looking account)
5. Post Pins of product images with affiliate links built in by the hundreds, if not thousands per day
a. The most popular bot does this by searching Amazon rss feeds by keyword. Enter “mp3 player” and you’ll be creating pins of ipods and zunes in no time.
6. Re-post the most popular pins
a. The bot simply looks at what’s been most popular on Pinterest and re-pins that in your account inserting your affiliate link.
7. Repeat indefinitely…
Pretty simple concept really.
Simple and deadly effective (at least until now). Check out this quote from an interview done with a prolific Pinterest spammer
As the days came my earnings increased and increased and increased. First week of doing this I made around $2,000 which was Feb. 20-29. I stepped my game up and changed the way I was doing some things, and I saw a dramatic increase in my earnings. Went up to $500-800 a day. Kept at it and for the past two weeks I have made over $1,000 a day with the highest earnings being around $1,900.
That’s a lot of cash. Pretty hard to ignore that kind of money for a lot of folks. Especially for those with the technical skill to make it happen.
And for those of you who are salivating thinking you’re going to go buy the bot and make a million dollars. Hear this.
Pinterest knows what’s going on… They’ve been informed and even toldaboutthebotsforsale. It’s only a matter of time before they pay a skilled technician to reverse engineer the bots and shut them down for good. And, believe it or not, there are actually ETHICAL ways to profit from Pinterest traffic. But that’s for another day, another blog post.
On a bright note…Not everyone with the skill is a spammer. In fact I was just talking with a talented programmer friend last night. Here’s what he conversation looked like:
Me : “Can you build something like this?”
Mr. S: “not going there even if I could, not my taste”
You can bet your butt he can do it. I wouldn’t doubt it for a second. But, as Yoda would say, the ethical fiber is strong with him.
So there you have it. Which side are you on? Would you take advantage of Pinterest’s growing pains to make a few bucks? Or does just the thought of it leave a bad taste in your mouth? Hit the comments and let me know.
This article was brought to you by: Dustin Bow
Dustin Bow is on the cutting edge of Internet Marketing. His 8 years of experience in SEO, affiliate marketing, teaching, and consulting combines to create a unique voice in our industry. He writes from an “in the trenches” perspective any level of marketer could find useful in their own campaigns.