By now you’ve probably been bombarded with enough Pinterest How-Tos and Guides. Suddenly the marketing world has realized that Pinterest is a viable tool for referring traffic and brand management. Way to catch up guys.

I’m not going to write a basic ‘How to Pin’ guide, instead I’m going to vent a little.

Pinterest isn’t hard. Spend an hour on the site and you should have it down. There are a few more technical aspects to it (add a Pin It button to your site, searching for Pins from your own URL, etc.), but for the most part, it is a very intuitive user interface. Of course, there are improvements to be had, but right now – it’s evolving in a healthy, adaptive way.

However, in the recent weeks I’ve seen two different types of self-serving spam attacks on my Pinterest feed that makes my skin crawl.

1) Linking to the Original Source

Unless you created that recipe, styled that outfit, or DIY that home improvement project – do not link to your own website or blog. This goes back to the basics of image sourcing. You do not own that image, quit trying to profit (through traffic or ad sales) from something that isn’t your own.

2) Affiliate Links

Really? People are really adding their own personal affiliate links to clothing and products? Pinterest had enough backlash related to affiliate links when they went down this road. Do you really expect this to work? According to Forbes, it’s still possible for users to add their own personal affiliate URL, but don’t expect it to last long. Go ahead and make your extra change now, then when Pinterest changes it’s policy, you can just feel silly about trying manipulating the system.  The most egregious examples of affiliate links I’ve seen have been through Pinners using their personal Net-A-Porter and ShopStyle referral URLs.

If you need a refresh of what appropriate Pinning, please reference the Pinterest Copyright Policy.