Pinterest is currently one of the leading social media platforms for small and medium blogs, and probably the best chance for them to attract interest in their work (audience) without paying for ads or content promotion.
In fact, I believe Pinterest is now what Facebook was 4-5 years ago. Take our blog – with 80k followers on our Pinterest account and 215k on our Facebook account, Pinterest brings us 87 percent more traffic than Facebook does, each month.
In one word, Pinterest is essential for the wellbeing of our and many similar smaller blogs that do not have budget for content marketing.
So, you can imagine my shock when, on a cold morning this January, instead of taking me to my blog, my Pinterest pin displayed a pop-up message saying:
After the initial shock, I quickly recovered knowing that it must be some mistake on Pinterest’s part. After all, I haven’t changed anything on my blog recently and I know full well that we don’t have spammy content.
At this point my Pinterest account is still active, I can see my boards and pins – yet my domain was blocked on all the pins. I spoke with my site admin and my writers explaining the situation, and we decided to contact Pinterest support.
Contacting Pinterest Support
Expecting the issue to be resolved easily, we wrote to Pinterest support explaining what happened and asking for help. Soon we got the automated response:
Your question is a top priority for us and someone on our team will respond as soon as they can. While this can sometimes take a few days, we typically respond within a few hours.
Again, expecting all to end well, we continued with our usual daily routine, until 3 days later, when we received the first human answer:
We’ve suspended your account because we noticed spammy activity that goes against our Acceptable Use Policy… Unfortunately, we won’t be reactivating your account.
I quickly went on Pinterest only to realize, in horror, that our account is indeed suspended. It was gone! ALL was gone: boards, pins, nothing left! Four years of work, of painstakingly creating pins and growing our followers, gone in an instant.
The worst part was that I still strongly felt that there must be some mistake, we aren’t a spammy page. We all quickly went through the Acceptable Use Policy and couldn’t identify a single reason why our domain would be blocked, or our account suspended.
I have to admit, this was probably the lowest point in my career as a work-from-home blogger mom. The future of my blog is suddenly in the balance. And that “Unfortunately, we won’t be reactivating your account” is a hope killer, as sure as any.
Second Pinterest Support Contact
During a quick meeting, my website admin recalled that we changed hosting services a few days prior to the domain block and though it might be connected as the new host uses Amazon’s AWS cloud. The change might have raised some alarms with the mechanism employed by Pinterest.
With that in mind, it was time to reply to Pinterest Support. I elaborated the change in hosting provider and the use of AWS services as a possible issue, and noted that we have an active AdSense account (which would not be the case if our blog was spam). We have articles written by MDs, university professors and government officials. I explained that we have worked hard for four years on developing our Pinterest account, which contains more than 500 original pins. I also noted that we went through the Use Policy and Community Guidelines and that we fully respect them.
Now, we are human after all, and even if there was some misstep on our part, I begged for them to point it out and promised to have it sorted out with my team, ASAP.
The next day we received the reply:
This is an automated reminder that we’ve closed your support request. We won’t be able to provide any further support regarding your account deactivation…
Five days after our account was suspended, I contacted Ezoic support. Ezoic is a Google certified ad platform we’ve started using a few years back that mediates and tests multivariate ad positions to optimize ad earnings for each user.
Already resigned to losing our account, we hoped we can at least unblock our domain. Our pins might be gone, but we still wanted the option to be able to start from scratch (and with the domain remaining blocked even that was taken away from us).
Morgan from Ezoic answered within the hour and suggested I also write to Creators Support at Pinterest. She also said that she has a contact at Pinterest that she’ll try to reach. I thanked her and sent her all the info we had on our ticket and issues.
I talked again with Morgan the next day and she let me know that she managed to get through to her contact, sent them our ticket and explained that we are a serious page without spammy content. Her contact said they look into our ticket again.
After a week of sending info through Ezoic to Pinterest, and two weeks after it was initially blocked, our domain was again reachable from Pinterest.
I wrote Morgan right away to tell her the happy news and thank her for all her help. Also, since our domain is not blocked anymore, we regained some hope that we might be able to recover some portion of our account and our followers.
Well, the very next day Morgan wrote me back letting me know that her contact said they decided to reactivate our account since our initial issue has been resolved. At that moment I cried a little, I have to admit. The thought that we don’t have to start from beginning, that the work we did the last four years was again returned to us, overwhelmed me.
At the end, some two weeks after domain blocking and account suspension, our domain was greenlit again and our account fully restored.
Reasons for the Block and Suspension
The final message from the Pinterest contact included a recommendation to:
…be methodical when uploading pins to ensure they adhere to our spam policies. Use high-quality content and avoid uploading the same image numerous times.
We never learned of the specific issue that blocked our domain in the first place, though we have our suspicions (blacklisted IPs after the host change).
What is somewhat safe to assume is that after we contacted Pinterest support, they went to our account and realized all of our pins lead to a blocked domain (our domain) and decided to also suspend our account, in addition to blocking our domain.
Of course, the biggest clue to why our account was not quickly reactivated again should be searched in their recommendation above. While I only found 2 duplicate pins (leading to two different articles) on our account, we also have a lot of pins with stretching and exercise poses, which on first glance are very similar to one another (yet picture different exercises/poses).
Anyhow, I would surely take heed of their recommendation and so should you.
Now, do I feel bitter that 4 years of Monday-to-Friday work can be taken away in an instant with some vague excuse of possible spam? Sure, I do and I think that Pinterest has some way to go to bring their customer service and conflict resolution to an acceptable level.
On the other hand, they have been experiencing a rapid growth in the last few years and I do understand the workload increase of their support staff. I even appreciate their ultimate goal, which is to keep Pinterest secure and spam free.
What to Do When Your Account/Domain Get Blocked by Pinterest
Having learned a thing or two from this experience, I also want to share with our readers how to approach a block or account suspension from Pinterest.
First, make sure you thoroughly read Pinterest’s Community Guidelines. The rules are adhered to strictly, so if you are in violation, understand it will likely be very difficult to restore your account/domain. Please only proceed to the steps below if you are certain that you have followed the guidelines and you believe that your domain/account was blocked by mistake.
Next, if you still have access to your account, please again make sure you follow the guidelines BEFORE you contact support. For example, if you have duplicate pins or low-quality content, clean up your account first.
Also, before we proceed further, it’s very important to differentiate between:
- domain block, and
- account suspension.
Domain block means the pins leading to your website are not allowed to go through by Pinterest (there will be a pop-up stating the reason). This is a more serious reprimand by Pinterest and means that all the traffic you were getting from Pinterest is effectively cut off.
Most of the times, even though your domain is blocked, you still might have access to your Pinterest account and can see your board and pins. A domain block also means that the issue is most likely connected to your website, rather than some account misuse.
On the other hand, an account suspension means you aren’t able to reach your Pinterest account, including your boards and pins. It just isn’t there.
Once you identify your problem (domain block or account suspension) and clean up your account (if you still have access), it’s time for the next steps:
- Step 1: Contact Pinterest support here: https://help.pinterest.com/en/contact. Under Appeals, make sure to select the right issue (either “Appeal account suspension” or “Pinterest blocked my site”).
- Step 2: In the tabs that follow you’ll post some info including links from your account and domain. Then try to honestly explain the problem in an apologetic manner and provide details, including screenshots (where necessary). Make sure to mention that you have read through the Community Guidelines and that you are in compliance. Also, if you pay for Pinterest ads, mention that as well.
- Step 3: Next, send an email to Pinterest Creators Support at email@example.com. It’s a special part of Pinterest dedicated to content creators and they can sometimes help with certain issues.
- Step 4: Wait for several business days if you do not receive a reply the same day. Keep in mind that Pinterest support doesn’t work during weekends and holidays.
- Step 5: At this point Pinterest support has either solved your issue, or you are told that, unfortunately, your issue won’t be resolved/your account won’t be reactivated. Don’t lose hope even if they say their decision is “final”. Keep replying to the same email, try to provide some new info if you have missed to mention it before, until you get a reply signed by a human, instead of the usual “Pinterest Team”.
- Step 6: If after your reply to their email there is still no resolution and they close your ticket, it’s time to either move on, or check the last chance saloon below.
Last Chance Saloon
If you are absolutely convinced that you have followed Pinterest’s Community Guidelines and were blocked/suspended by mistake and Pinterest Support didn’t resolve your issue, the next step is finding a third-party that can contact and mediate with Pinterest on your behalf.
You see, once your first ticket is closed by Support, it becomes very, very difficult to reach them again for the same issue.
First, check among your partners, coworkers, business/blog associates if you can find some third-party contact with Pinterest.
In our case, that third party happened to be Ezoic. If you are unfamiliar, they are essentially a platform that uses A.I. and machine learning to help with ad optimization, site speed, analytics, SEO and more. We started using them two years back and can warmly recommend them.
For you it might be some other third-party. Go through the list and explore your options. It might be a long shot, but it worked for us.
Conclusion and Thank You
Mistakes can happen and Pinterest is no exception. If you have followed their guidelines and still find your domain blocked/account suspended, contact their support and follow the steps in this article.
Even if your issue is not resolved after the first 5 steps, there is still some chance that you can recover your account. If you are using Ezoic, contact their support and ask for Morgan. If not, contact your partners, associates and service providers and check if they have a contact with Pinterest.
If you are curious about Ezoic or need their help with Pinterest, you can write us and I can connect you with Morgan. Otherwise, if you’d like to set up a free account with Ezoic yourself, you can do so here.
At the end I would like to send a huge thank you to Morgan and the team at Ezoic for all their help! Cheers folks!
If you’ve found this article helpful let us know in the comments below. Or just let us know how it went for you.