Pinterest recently launched a new website verification feature as part of its ongoing fight against spam. As the name suggests, website verification lets you verify that you own the website listed on your Pinterest Profile.

Many businesses, especially larger brands, have had to deal with fake profiles or fake followers on social networks. Although unlikely, some tricksters are so good that you run the risk of a community forming around an impostor. While website verification won’t rid the Internet of spammers, it will help visitors distinguish between real accounts and the fakes.

Similar to Twitter’s Verified Accounts, once verified on Pinterest, a red checkmark will appear next to your domain in search results, as well as on your profile. It’s a fairly quick and painless process, but it can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with or don’t have access to your website’s server files. Here’s how to get started.

Access Your Settings

While logged in to your Pinterest profile, click on your name along the top navigation bar to access your settings. From there, scroll down the page a bit until you find the section for your website. Next to your URL you should see a button that says, “Verify Website.” Click it.

Download Your HTML File

After clicking on “Verify Website,” a new page will open with further instructions. The next step is to download your HTML verification file. To do so, just click on step one of the instructions (on Pinterest) — it’s hyperlinked and your download will automatically start.

We should note that Pinterest only supports top-level domains right now, such as sproutsocial.com or companyxyz.biz. The reason for this is that blogging platforms (like Blogger and WordPress) and e-commerce sites (like Etsy and eBay) don’t allow you to upload HTML files. There is, however, a workaround for Tumblr with a few more steps than this tutorial provides.

Upload the File to Your Web Server

This is the tricky part. Once your HTML file has downloaded, you have to upload it to your web server at the root folder. Don’t upload it to a subfolder or else Pinterest won’t be able to find it. This process might differ depending on your hosting provider. Uploading through FTP is quicker, but not everyone has access to this feature. Instead, (as in the image above) we logged in to our cPanel and used the File Manager through our web hosting provider.

Once logged in, locate your root/top-level directory and upload your file. Then, return to Pinterest and click on step three to complete the process. If you uploaded the file correctly, Pinterest will notify you of your success directly on the page. You can also double-check by visiting your profile and looking for the red checkmark next to your URL.

If your business is using a sub-domain, then you’ll have to wait to verify your website. Pinterest is currently working on adding more options. In the meantime, if you know of additional methods, or want to be notified when more options are available, you should use this form to contact Pinterest.

[Image credit: theilr]