Blogs, Solar

Google Cracks Down on Earth4Energy and Other Build Your Own Solar Panels Info Sites.

 I’m a solar enthusiast that decided to go solar and put 7 kilowatts of solar on my house a little over a year ago.  Besides working a day job as an IT project manager, I most recently got into affiliate marketing as a side business.   I decided to build a website that would help others get started with solar energy because after I got 40 panels installed people asked me a lot of questions about what was involved, how did I approach it, what did it cost, what was the rebate,  and how much was I saving.

One of the things about affiliate marketing that can be a bit frustrating is to find good quality products that aren’t just a lot of hype that you can get behind.  Upon finding all the DIY Solar panel offers on Clickbank, and because solar energy was something I had some rudimentary knowledge of, I decided that I would try to promote them since they fit within the focus of my website.

After my experience with getting my PV system up and running, I admit I was very skeptical when I would navigate to the offer pages for Earth4Energy, Power4home, Homemade Energy, and Energy2green to name a few.  The claims seemed too good to be true, but since there are very few solar affiliate marketing programs available I decided that I would promote them under the premise that the products must work if people are buying them and that who am I to judge the motivation of the demographic that is really interested in building their own solar panels.

To make a long story short, I got my site up and running, I was advertising through Google, traffic was increasing, I started to get conversions and then Google stepped in… Google has made changes over the last few years because their whole thing is the user experience.  They don’t want a lot of “thin sites”.  They want rich content.  Since my site was new they were eventually were going to get around to reviewing it to see if it met their criteria.  Upon doing so they cited me for a very minor bridge page violation that I corrected immediately and asked for a re-review. 

Upon re-review they informed me that Earth4Energy, GreenDIYEnergy, Power4Home, Homemade Energy and Energy2Green are some of the sites that are violating their Acceptable Business Practices Policy by “making misleading claims about the product being promoted.” Further they go on to say in regards to Earth4Energy: ”In response to multiple complaints received from users and publishers about this category of ads, it’s Google’s policy to not accept these types of products which are scientifically impossible to achieve and because of this the website http://www.earth4energy.com/ has been disabled.”   If I wanted to advertise with Google I would need to remove all of the affiliate offers for these companies from my site.

This changed the whole picture for me.  I now had some validation that my suspicions were correct so I have since removed all these offers from my site.   I have decided to only push offers that drive leads to legitimate solar system sellers/installers and solar e-commerce sites such as Solar Sphere which is run by Kriss Bergethon who is a regular blogger here.   

My goal is to drive as many leads as possible to solar professionals that do this business the “right way” to get more homeowners and maybe later businesses to go solar and also make some money doing it.  

I’m so glad to have found this site because this is where the “real” solar professionals and experts live.  Besides a few old pages where Earth4Energy was mentioned I noticed that there is no reference to these products and it’s very refreshing.