Help, my Google Map is not working on my website!  That’s because there has been a big change with Google Maps.  If you have a map on your website then you really need to read on to see how your website will be affected if it hasn’t already!

Google Maps have been a constant presence in all types of websites since the Google maps API was first made available back in 2005. The API allowed developers to utilise the powerful Google Maps platform to customise live maps to use on their clients websites. Custom colours, markers, zooms etc. are a popular feature of website maps, especially within the property market or businesses on the High Street.

However, like most good things that are free, that has now all changed.

The access model and costs for Google Maps Platform APIs have recently been updated by Google. The API users may now have to pay for using the maps service and all API users are required to register credit/debit card details against the Google Maps API account.

You are now required to register a credit card to use the Google Maps API that is associated with your website.
Previously Google provided 25,000 free API requests per day, which was more than enough for most business websites. Google has now dramatically reduced the volume of free requests down from 25,000 requests per day to 28,000 per month! That is a massive drop of around 2500% of free requests per month. Once the 28,000 request limit is reached within a month the registered card will be charged at $7 (roughly £5.50 on todays exchange rate) per additional 1000 requests. The 28,000 free requests are applied in the form of a free $200 per month account credit.

For many developers like us and our clients, the requirement to register a payment card is worrying. The card will be charged if the number of requests exceed the free $200 worth or 28,000 API requests. However all is not bad, as Google does allow the account holder to set an upper daily threshold or limit on the volume of API requests, so any charges whatsoever are avoidable. This however means that when the upper limit is reached, your users will not see a map but a blank element or placeholder from Google.

To give you a little context, here is what the $200 free budget could get you on a monthly basis:
up to 40,000 – User location requests, OR
up to 11,000 – ‘Place’ requests, OR
up to 5000 – ‘Nearby’ searches (searching for places within a radius) , OR
up to 40,000 – Directions requests

In our view the majority of websites and apps will fall well below the $200 a month/28,000 free usage limit but the requirement to supply a credit or debit card could leave website owners feeling apprehensive to start with, change is always daunting but if it is set up correctly you shouldn’t need to worry.

If you need Google Maps API help or advice then contact us today.

If you have a map feature on your website that utilises the Google Maps API and you are unsure how this will affect you, please contact Keep It Simple Websites on 01494 370011 or use our contact form.

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