Feb 212012

Facebook's New Ad Character Limit and Pinterest's Nofollow Updates

New Facebook Ad Copy Limitations

It has been announced that after years of a consistent character limit for Facebook ad body copy, Facebook will be changing that limit from 135 characters to 90. This change will be enforced on new ads beginning February 29, with retroactive enforcement beginning in May. While new ad types have been designed around this length, this new limit will apply to every ad type on Facebook. These changes will limit new ads created through the Facebook user interface, Facebook Power Editor and the API.

More information on how the new character limit will affect ads is expected to be released at fMC in New York City on February 29th.

While some bloggers have speculated that the change in character limit might make room for more ads on the page, it should be noted that other factors such as default advertising image dimensions would also have to change. Rather than speculate, we will be tuning in to the keynote address. The event will be streamed on the Facebook site from 12 pm - 6 pm on February 29th.

Pinterest Changes Followed Links

Pinterest is the hot new kid in town, referring more traffic for many sites than Google + (crazy!) and almost as much as Twitter. Since its inception, SEOs and link builders were excited about the do follow links Pinterest allowed -- until now.

The images that can be “pinned” link out to the source URL and were once followed, flowing equity from the strong Pinterest.com domain.  Those links are now nofollow. The rel=”nofollow” attribute tells search engines to not follow a link, preventing search engines from passing link equity and anchor text to the targeted URL.


Not all is lost however. There are a few places on Pinterest where links are still followed. One of them being within the description of a pin, with the caveat being that the anchor text is the rootdomain.   Or, if a user inserts a link pointed to a deeper URL, Pinterest shows the following as anchor text: rootdomain.com/...


Additionally, links found within a “board” are still followed and these links can point to deeper pages of a site as well (still Pinterest limits the anchor text to only the root domain):


Example code:

The website button found on a Pinterest user profile is also followed:


Example code:

Although Pinterest removed some of the followed links, it is still a viable platform for link building and social interaction. Brands are seeing incredible referring traffic from Pinterest, proving it to be worth the time and resources to build out Pinterest profiles and become active within the community.

Sign up and get pinning!


12 Responses to "Facebook's New Ad Character Limit and Pinterest's Nofollow Updates"
It was only a matter of time until this Pinterest change took place. Still, direct traffic is the end goal anyway, and some link "juice" will pass, so all is not lost!
Confused says:
I am confused. I read about the upcoming change in ad length, and held off on starting a campaign for 2 weeks to see if would be announced. Today I checked the Ad FAQ for Facebook, and it does indeed state the that character limit is 90. However, when I open the form to create a Marketplace ad, the character limit is still 135. Which is it? When will this actually change?
Confused, That is a good point. We first heard about the change from Facebook as a marketing API change: "The ads API will limit ad body copy to 90 characters for newly-created ads on February 29, 2012. Unmodified ads with body copy exceeding 90 characters that were created before this date will still run; however, we will disable all ads over 90 characters after May 15, 2012." I'm not sure as to why Facebook has not also updated the character limit in the user interface and Facebook Power Editor, but I expect it to happen soon, especially since they have updated the limit in the FAQ. We haven't received any more information from Facebook with an updated effective date.
Todd says:
Thank you for the excellent explanation regarding the change within Pinterest's link policy, I have read a few articles on this subject today and this is the first one which explained the issue thoroughly and provided valid methods for working around the issue.
Jordan Foutz says:
The shorter FB copy areas won't be a factor, as those ads are only as effective as the images used to place those ads. Pinterest, while effective for certain types of products seems to be less of an opportunity for things that are "for men". Most of Pinterest's users are women, so working in a practical application for selling tactical gear via Pinterest remains to be a challenge.
Jason says:
I wish Facebook would do a better job of notifying its customers farther in advance of making such changes. A simple message sent to all administrators would have been ideal. I have to go through a 30+ day process of getting all ads approved. Unfortunately, I didn't find out about this change until I just tried to build my new ad. My campaign will be far behind schedule now.
Thanks so much for this great info about the Pinterest changes. I apparently missed that memo, and have been becoming increasingly frustrated that I was not seeing any of my pins show up as backlinks to my new site though I am seeing a little bit of traffic. I finally decided to look into it, and found this post! I am having trouble using your example code in the description area, however. For some reason it is ignoring all the code and when I save the pin the anchor text is correct - as the root domain - but the underlying specific link I was attempting to attach it to is not connected. That is to say, the link goes directly to the homepage, not the post. I guess that's still something though! Thanks again. JB


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