Understanding Pinterest's Algorithm: The Role of Non-Engagement Signals

Ever wondered how your Pinterest feed decides what to show you? Pinterest recently explained its algorithm, advising against relying too much on user engagement. This shift towards using non-engagement signals aims to improve the user experience. They argue that focusing solely on engagement can worsen the experience and suggest using other types of signals. To help with this, Pinterest introduced a 'Field Guide to Non-Engagement Signals' for platforms to use these signals in their decision-making.

This change reflects a wider issue in the digital world: the problem with depending too much on user engagement to rank content. This discussion is all about making the internet more inspiring, inclusive, and diverse. By the end of this post, you'll understand Pinterest's new approach and its potential effects on digital marketing.

Why should we care? 

Mastering Pinterest's algorithm is important for a successful Pinterest social media strategy, guiding brands on which metrics to prioritize for increased content visibility.

What do we mean by non-engagement signals?

Non-engagement signals come mainly from two sources:

  1. In-app surveys allow users to share their thoughts directly on the platform, such as Pinterest asking for feedback through surveys within their app.

  2. Content quality assessments typically involve manually reviewing and labeling the content's quality.

Pinterest ranks content not just by how much users engage with it, but also by how well it matches values like inclusivity. For example, if users select preferences for body type, hair pattern, or skin tone, Pinterest will display content that aligns with those choices.

Understanding the Shift

Pinterest previously ranked content based on likes, repins, and comments, favoring popular content but often overlooking valuable but less interacted with material. Recognizing this, Pinterest now employs a new approach that values not just engagement but also content relevance, such as image details, user searches, and site behavior. 

This adjustment aims to help users discover more content that truly interests them, improving their experience by avoiding an overreliance on engagement metrics, which can restrict content diversity, potentially stifling creativity and inclusivity.

The Significance of Non-Engagement Signals

Non-engagement signals give us a wider view of what content is relevant, going beyond just traditional metrics. By looking at the visuals of pins, what users search for, and how they browse without interacting, Pinterest can now show content that may not be popular but is relevant to what individual users are interested in. 

This change marks a shift in how content is ranked and found on the platform, putting the focus on the quality and relevance of content instead of just how much engagement it gets.

Implications for Content Ranking

Enhanced Content Diversity

By using non-engagement signals, Pinterest makes sure users see a wide variety of content. This method cuts down on the echo chamber effect and helps users find new and niche content, making their experience better.

Improved Personalization

The algorithm's ability to interpret non-engagement signals allows for a more personalized content discovery experience. Users are more likely to find content that matches their tastes and interests, even without directly indicating what those are.

Making Content Accessible to Everyone

This shift levels the playing field for content creators, as content ranking is no longer solely dependent on engagement metrics. High-quality, relevant content has a better chance of being discovered, regardless of the creator's popularity or follower count.

Leveraging Non-Engagement Signals for Better Ranking

To excel in pin marketing on Pinterest, content creators and marketers should focus on crafting high-quality, relevant pins. Enhance visibility by adding detailed descriptions rich in keywords, utilizing eye-catching images, and aligning content with user interests. This strategic approach ensures pins stand out, driving engagement beyond just likes or shares.


Pinterest is revamping its algorithm to focus on inclusivity, diversity, and user preferences, aiming to improve user experience and promote meaningful content creation. This move away from traditional engagement metrics may transform digital content selection, offering creators more opportunities based on content quality and relevance. 

Reach out with any questions you might have regarding how RSO can help you with your digital marketing.

268 Bush St. #3038,
San Francisco, CA 94104

Hours? Our work is not limited to set hours. Contact us and give us a try!