Updated May 2021

The Pinterest visual search tool is a nifty little tool Pinterest introduced to help you with your pin template design. This blog will tell you exactly what the visual search tool is and how to use it. 

We all know that Pinterest favours fresh content  and seeing Pinterest is a visual search engine your strategy should start with the image you are going to use for your pin template because what you want to avoid at ALL times is to use the same image as thousands of other pinners! This is where the visual search tool comes in!

Learn more:

What is Pinterest and how can I use it for my business

7 Pinterest Services you should outsource to a Pinterest Marketing Specialist

How to create beautiful pins

What is the visual search tool?

The visual search tool is that little button that you can see in the bottom right corner of a pin template when you look at it in close up. The tool is two-fold. When you click it Pinterest will show similar images on the platform. It is therefore a great little tool to find out if the image you want to use for your pin template, has been used before on Pinterest. These are images you want to avoid using. 

The second function of the Pinterest visual search tool is that it will also give you great insights into who sells similar products to yours!

How do you use the visual search tool?

To start using the tool go to the bottom right corner and click the search tool icon. Depending on if you are working on desktop or mobile, the icon will have a different colour:

Pin template with Pinterest visual search tool icon on desktop

(On Desktop)



Pin template with Pinterest Visual Search Tool

(On Mobile)

When you click on the icon, Pinterest will show you a selection of images that are similar to yours which are currently being used on the platform. You can adjust the search area of an image by dragging the box. This gives you the option to select just a certain area of your image. Again Pinterest will show you similar images on the platform that match your search criteria. 

Wide search with Pinterest Visual Search Tool

(Wide search)

Narrow search with Pinterest Visual Search Tool

(Narrow search)


Especially when you are using free stock photos it can happen that your photo has been used before. In this case I would strongly advise you to go and look for an alternative because remember Pinterest is always looking for fresh content. By consistently posting fresh pins Pinterest will favour your content and push it out more.

Obviously it is always best to either use your own photos, if you are a good photographer, or to use a subscription site for stock photos

Final Thoughts

Always remember that Pinterest is a visual search engine. Your image needs to be of a high quality and ‘fresh’ as this will make it more likely pinners will click through to your website, which is the ultimate goal of being on Pinterest! So part of your Pinterest marketing strategy is to use the visual search tool to find images that have not been used on the platform before! 

The other little bonus is that the tool helps with keyword research as Pinterest shows you similar images and content. You might be able to pick up some more keywords! And one more little tip, do not put your logo in the bottom right corner, as obviously your audience won’t be able to see it and this can hinder your brand awareness. 

If you want to stay up to date with the latest Pinterest news to help you with your Pinterest marketing then sign up for the Clever Pins Newsletter. It comes out several times a month and is chock-a-block full of Pinterest and Clever Pins news. You will get the Clever Pins Perfect Pinterest Size Guide for FREE!!

Or if you are finding Pinterest hard to navigate, if you need some professional help then get in touch. Clever Pins offers a whole range of services. Let’s talk Pinterest and see what I can do for you! 

Other helpful resources:

Perfect Pin Guide – How to create the perfect pin image!

Perfect Pinterest Planner – Know what to pin when!

Happy pinning!