Pinterest Becomes More Search Engine-Like With The Launch Of Guided Search On The Web

In April, Pinterest introduced a new way to narrow down what you’re looking for on mobile with the addition of a feature called “Guided Search,” which pops up related terms at the top of the screen after you enter in a keyword to start a search. Today, Guided Search is making its way to the web, with a few improvements in store as well.

The addition makes Pinterest on the web feel more like the visual search engine it’s becoming.

As a reminder, Guided Search is a feature that Pinterest built using its understanding of how various search terms are linked together. For instance, if you were to type in “Plants,” Pinterest might suggest other words to better filter your search, like “potted” or “for shade.” Or, in the example provided today, a search for “BBQ” might have you zeroing in on subcategories like “chicken,” “baked,” “recipes,” “marinade” and more.

These additional keywords appear at the top of the webpage, and you can click on one or more terms to filter your search.


More Like A Real Search Engine

With the launch of Guided Search on the web, Pinterest has also made a significant, though under-hyped change to its interface: the search bar is much more prominent on the site. It’s been moved “front and center for speedier finds,” the Pinterest blog post notes. Another way of putting it is that Pinterest now more closely resembles a visual search engine, rather than a social-sharing site.

The search bar stretches across the page, while the “Categories” option has been moved off to the right side. Before the change, Categories were often one of the key means for browsing Pinterest’s sections, and were found under the “hamburger” menu (the mobile app-like menu with the three lines) at the top-left of the page next to a very small search box. (Here’s a shot that shows the earlier version.)

Of course, users would often just scroll through their Home Feed to see what’s new.

Meanwhile, with the addition of “Interests,” Pinterest tried to better personalize the experience, and today with Guided Search, the company is subtly suggesting to users that the website is not just a collection of content to scroll through passively, but can actually function as an alternative to Google for the topics you care about – many of which are related to online shopping or other branded content, such as fashion, decor, wedding, kids’ toys, gardening, art, and more.

You may not see the new Guided Search option just yet, the company notes in today’s announcement. The change is rolling out to English users over the next few weeks, with more languages to follow.