Using Hashtags with Pinterest’s New Look

Since this article was written, new rules about hashtags on Pinterest have come out. Learn more about why you should not use hashtags on Pinterest.

Using Hashtags with Pinterest's New Look

Prior to the rise of Twitter the # symbol led a life of innocence and simplicity. You could find it on coffee mugs and t-shirts letting you know exactly who was number one.

Every now and then, you’d hear the automated voice on the other side of the telephone telling you to “push the pound sign” to continue.  It was a very useful little symbol that didn’t receive much consideration.

Boy, how things have changed. This is the Cinderella story of symbols, moving from complete obscurity to celebrity all because of social media. In the social world it isn’t known as the number symbol or pound sign, no sir, this is a hashtag!

Hashtags and Pinterest

For a short time, while Pinterest was making the big transition from the old look to the new look, hashtags stopped functioning but now they’re back.

Within Pinterest, as in other social sites such as Twitter and Instagram, hashtags serve as a shortcut to performing a search for other pieces of content.

There are several places that I have seen hashtags used in Pinterest including, board titles, board descriptions, account descriptions and profile names. Sorry to disappoint Pinterest users who have used them in these places in hopes of making their accounts or boards easier to find but, hashtags DON’T work in these areas, they are not clickable.


Where not to use hashtags in Pinterest


In Pinterest, hashtags are only clickable and searchable in pin descriptions and they work a bit differently than they do in Twitter or Instagram. Clicking on a hashtag in a pin’s description will not only result in pins that include that hashtag but also in pins that include the same word or phrase in the description.

For example, when clicking on #motivationalquote,  pins with the exact same hashtag in the description and some with the same phrase with the words separated by a hyphen appeared.


Pinterest description words separated by hyphen


Clicking on a hashtag can also result in pins without the word or phrase in the description at all. I came across the hashtag, #babyclothes and when clicked on, some of the pins didn’t contain the phrase or any of the words in the description.

For example, when I clicked on #babyclothes, one of the pins that came up in the search was of a rubber duck. Duck was the only word in the description but the reason this pin appeared was because of the link attached to this pin.

The URL tied to this pin had the phrase babyclothes in it. This is something to keep in mind when naming your images, blog posts and product pages. Even though Pinterest is an image based, search results are still based on words.


Pinterest image link keywords


While hashtags are not directly clickable in account or board descriptions, individual boards and accounts can be searched for with them.  After clicking on a hashtag, the word or phrase will appear in the search box. Underneath your profile image on the top right corner of the search results page, you have the option to search for boards pins or pinners.

Pinterest search options

Prior to the change to the new look, if the words in the hashtag were capitalized, that would have impact on the search results. Now capitalization does not matter, the results are the same.

To make the most of hashtags the best approach would be to make one that is unique. This technique is often used in Pinterest contest where participants must pin items with a specific hashtag as part of the entry process. However, it may take a while for you hashtag to be searchable.

As a test, I included #pinterestingtips in a few of my pins and after 2 days they are not searchable. It’s unclear why.  To maximize your pins’ chances for being found be sure to include more than just a hashtag in the description, use common descriptive keywords too. For an extra boost, include key words in the link attached to the pin.

Hashtags have come a long way and in Twitter and Instagram they have definitely made their mark. Will you be using hashtags in Pinterest?


Thanks for stopping by. If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for free updates in the box on the sidebar. I’m planning a special Pinterest packed event soon and invites will be sent out by email. Thanks!



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About ohsopinteresting

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:

73 thoughts on “Using Hashtags with Pinterest’s New Look

  1. April 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Great post, Cynthia. Even though it’s hard to keep up with all the changes in social media, including the evolution of the hashtag, I so appreciate you keeping up to date. I always know I can head over to your site for a quick refresh on the most recent changes on Pinterest and how it can help marketing efforts. Thanks so much again!

    1. April 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      My pleasure Laura! Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment. I really do appreciate it 🙂

      1. Graham
        July 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        Would be great if you added the date to your posts. When you talk about “New changes” its difficult to find relevance without a date.

        1. July 31, 2014 at 7:42 am

          Thanks for the feedback Graham, I’ll keep this in mind 🙂

  2. May 4, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I love this article! It was so well written and so helpful that I immediately stumbled it and subscribed to your e-mail list! I had thought that hashtags were abandoned with the new look and stopped using them. Now I know different. Thank you! I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say!

    1. May 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Kimber, thanks so much for subscribing! I’m so happy to hear you found this helpful. Best of luck with your hashtags.

  3. May 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for posting this – it would have taken me months to figure out the ins and outs on my own. Plus, there is some conflicting info out there about using hashtags for Pinterest. However, you’re a trusted source so I believe you!

  4. Abbey
    May 9, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Do you know if using hashtags on Pinterest has any effect on over SEO?

    1. May 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Abbey! Within Pinterest I don’t think it really matters if you use a hashtag or not if it is a common term or phrase. For example if you do a search for “socialmedia”, you’ll see pins with the hashtag and with the phrase in the pins description’s. But, if you do a search for a not so common phrase like “pinuplive” you will see more hashtag results.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. May 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Found your blog while looking for information on the use of hashtags on Pinterest – what luck for me! So much great information. I just started work with a company that places a big emphasis on social media so this is perfect timing. The interweb goods were smiling on me today for sure.

    1. May 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Hi Kay,

      Thank you!. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Gotta love it when the interweb gods smile upon us!

  6. May 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Hi Cynthia,
    I created the hashtag #feedthechallenge for one of my pinterest boards, which is going to be a group board for my blog readers to participate in a challenge I’ve set up. After 24 hours the tag isn’t findable. How long did it take before your #pinterestingtips became findable? Keep me posted, thanks.

    1. May 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Jessica I posted mine weeks ago and still have yet to see it. It might be that I needed to use it more often, I only tried one. One interesting thing I did find was that Google had indexed it. When I Googled #pinterestingtips it showed up as #1 on the results page. I hope it works for you soon.

  7. June 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the clarity. So glad I found your blog.


    1. June 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Theresa!

  8. June 10, 2013 at 3:40 am

    I’ve been trying to decipher social media for weeks now and this is the first piece of information I’ve found that is written in plain and simple English. Thank you very very much.

  9. August 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for the great advice. So much of it is contradictory out there. Will have another go at re-trying the #hash tags!

    1. August 7, 2013 at 9:15 am


      Hashtags are tricky on Pinterest. Right now, they seem to be working as shortcuts to do a search and the results will give you pins with and without hashtags used. Some people are finding their hashtags in searches, others are not. I hope they work well for you.

  10. September 2, 2013 at 1:53 am

    This is a good tip in using Pininterest.. In our website we have many images that we can share through Pin Interest but only few people notice it. But this article had help us learn how to make it more known to other people.

  11. kim
    September 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

    my hashtag on a pinterest contest isn’t coming up in the search.. any idea why? it’s unique and in the description.

    1. September 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Hi Kim,

      Sometimes hashtags take a while to index. For some accounts they don’t seem to work at all. I haven’t been able to figure out why, sorry.

  12. Lynn
    September 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks so much for this information. It was the second article I read about #’s, the first did not make sense. This will definitely be my first and only stop for information on Pinterest from now on.

    1. September 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Lynn, so glad to hear you fond this article helpful. Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

      1. Lynn
        September 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        This weekend I ran into something on pinterest that was interesting. Some people are not only putting every single imaginable word with #’s, they are also duplicating words. For example they may have #craft #diy #project #halloween #craft #diy #october #halloween #diy #craft. Putting the same word in the same entry multiple times will not help them be recognized more quickly will it? Thanks!

        1. October 1, 2013 at 9:48 am

          I’ve noticed this too I and I really don’t think that it will help their content get noticed any more. Not sure why people think this would be a good idea? Remember # aren’t indexed the same way on Pinterest as they are on on other platforms, basically they are a search shortcut.

          Thanks so much for your question 🙂

  13. October 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I did stop using hashtags in Pinterest when they announced a change but it looks like I should start using it again. Whew, they keep on changing things.

    Thanks for this very detailed info!

    1. October 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Things do change quickly Ruby! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  14. November 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for the interesting article. Is it more beneficial to combine two works in a hashtag or to separate them?

  15. December 26, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Interesante artículo Cynthia Sanchez. Me suscribo. Saludos.

    1. December 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Gracias Agustin 🙂

  16. January 15, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Cynthia, I came across your article through a Google search looking for information on how hashtags work with Pinterest (You’ll be happy to know yours was the top search result!). I learned a lot from your article, but have a question: If “clicking on a hashtag in a pin’s description will not only result in pins that include that hashtag but also in pins that include the same word or phrase in the description,” is it necessary or important to use a hashtag if you make sure to have a really good description for your pin using keywords and phrases? I’m just wondering if I need to do both?

    1. January 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Carrie thats great news, thanks! I don’t recommend doing both. If you can naturally fit a keyword into your pin description then there’s no need to use the hashtag. If someone clicks on it, that will take them away from your pins or board, not a good thing.

      Thanks for the question 🙂

      1. January 16, 2014 at 6:06 am

        Thanks for the response, Cynthia. That makes great sense. Next question: Is it worthwhile to go back and update the description on old pins to include better/more keywords and phrases? Thinking of Pinterest like a search engine, I’m wondering if it regularly re-indexes all pins or just new ones? Right now I think most of my pin descriptions are just the title of the blog post, but could be spruced up if it helps make them more searchable. Before I take the time to do so, though, I want to make sure it’s worthwhile. Do you know? Thank you for all your help!

        1. January 16, 2014 at 1:48 pm

          Hi Carrie, if this is for pins for your own content I would go back and change them as you have time. If it has been a while since you originally pinned them like months, you could always repin them with new descriptions that have better SEO. You new followers will get to see your great content 😉

          1. January 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm

            Hi Cynthia, I’m just thinking of the pins for my own content. We just launched our site a few months ago, so all of our posts have been pinned in the last six week or so. What is the recommended amount of time before we re-pin them? Does it look bad if the same pin is on a board multiple times? Or do people not really notice that? HUGE thanks for all your advice!

          2. January 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm


            I really depends on how much content you have on your boards rather than time. For example, if you have a board with 10 pins and you begin to repin, that could keep some people form following that board but if you have a board that you started with your content 6 weeks ago and have since pinned 100 pins to that board repinning would probably be ok and not be noticed. Hope this make sense 🙂

  17. January 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    That makes perfect sense. Thank you for ALL your help and great advice!

  18. January 23, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Thank you. This is very helpful. #goodadvice 🙂

  19. Dee
    January 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I love this article it was very informative. But as you said some of my hashtags didn’t show up in the search. So, I went to the help center to find out why.
    Below was Pinterest reply:
    Right now, our search does not support hashtags (ex: #hashtag). It’s a feature we know would be useful for pinners and businesses and that we may add in the future.

    If you’d also like to see hashtag searches on Pinterest, vote for it using the Me too! button below.

  20. March 9, 2014 at 4:20 am

    If Pinterest says they are thinking of adding hashtags as a search feature in the future or that they’re “thinking of it” (do social media platforms “think”?), do you think it makes sense to start using them now so as not to have to go back and add them later? (I also found your article with a Google search. Yay for you!)

    1. March 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks so much for your question. I think using hashtags can be a good idea if there’s a strategy with them. You might want to check out this article for some tips


  21. March 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks for the best Pinterest hashtag article I’ve seen! Easy to read and also helps me avoid the pitfalls so I don’t use # where it is supposed to be used! I have bookmarked your site…I like the way you provide so much information in a very concise and entertaining way!

    1. March 18, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Doctor Matt. I really appreciate you leaving a comment. Best of luck with the hashtags.


  22. March 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hi Cynthia, I have only recently been getting active on Pinterest and I’ve been enjoying your podcast. I would like to take your 3 week workshop but I’m not sure if I’m ready or if I should wait. I have a small business hand making hair accessories with vintage rhinestone jewelry. I’m currently working on a website with a designer (using Shopify) and I’m selling my items at just one boutique in Florida. I am waiting to approach other boutiques til my website is up and running. In the meantime, I thought it would be good to get started with Pinterest. What do you think: should I take your workshop now or wait until my products are available online on my new website? (I had been selling on Etsy but recently stopped, so the ONLY place right now to buy my pieces is locally in Palm Beach Florida).

    1. April 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      HI Rachel,

      So sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I’ve been out of town for a conference and am just getting back on track. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast 🙂

      I would recommend starting off with my free video training that you can get by filling in you name and email in the box on the sidebar of any blog post. This will help you get your account profile set up. Then begin creating boards that will appeal to the people you’re trying to attract. Get used to how Pinterest works and begin building a following. Get your site up with your products and and get it refined. I know when I first started, I was always tweaking things with my site.

      I think the workshop will be more helpful for you a bit later. Vincent and I will be offering it again this summer.

      Best of luck with your new site!

  23. May 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I’m really confused with hashtags, when I click my own hashtags, words that are not even popular show other pins but now my own.

    For example this pin here of mine if you click on the #illustrationBear hashtag, there are only two items that appear and mine doesn’t even show up!

    I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with my account? Thoughts?

    1. May 19, 2014 at 7:50 am

      Hi Simone. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with your account. Sometimes hashtags are never indexed by Pinterest others get picked up right away. I have yet to figure out why. How long have you been using the hashtag? I would give it at least a few weeks of use before trying another. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  24. June 3, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Thank you for an interesting read. Im also confused about hashtags. Don´really know if I should use them. Totally new on Pinterest. So If I have good natural keyword descriptions in my pins then I don´t need to use hashtags ?

    1. June 16, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Hi Linda,

      Hashtags really aren’t necessary at this time if your descriptions have keywords. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  25. June 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you for this article! I too stumbled upon but found it very informative and well written. Much appreciated!!

    1. June 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      My pleasure Angelica 🙂

  26. June 27, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Thanks for the tips, but i guess it takes time and effort to be popular on pinterest,

  27. July 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Hashtags have been unclear to me, until now! Thank you so much for the great information. It really helps! Happy Pinning!

    1. July 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Cindy, I’m so glad you found it helpful 🙂

  28. July 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

    It was hard to find your website in google search results.
    I found it on 19 position, you have to build some quality backlinks , it will help
    you to increase traffic. I know how to help you, just search in google – k2 seo

  29. August 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Hello Cynthia, nice article on using hashtags. I have a question for you. Is there such a thing as hashtag stuffing? I remember quite a few years ago when the internet started out or should I say google had not really got its act together at this stage and keyword stuffing for SEO was everywhere. The reason for my question is that I have seen a few boards on pinterest that use ONLY hashtags in the description, ie #janechurchill #decoracioninfantil #decoracion #infantil #telas #papelpintado

    Is this not hashtag stuffing and could you maybe be penalized for it by pinterest? I would have thought that a well written description of what is being sold with a hashtag to end it would be better?
    Kind Regards

    1. August 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Lawrence, you’re right, that is hashtag stuffing and a well written description of what is being sold would be a better choice. I cant say for sure that Pinterest penalizes pins with hashtag stuffed pin descriptions but I will say that I don’t often see them in Pinterest search results.

      Thanks for your question 🙂

      1. August 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

        Thank you Cynthia !

  30. August 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Thank you for the useful info!

  31. August 14, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Thank you for explaining this! I see hashtags occasionally on Pinterest and wasn’t sure if it was worth my effort or not. It seems that Pinterest is probably the best place to use hashtags after reading this.

  32. April 16, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Hi, I have been asked recently about hashtags and Pinterest by one of our team members. Does Pinterest still support the use of hashtags against boards and Pins? Can we still use these and are they successful?

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