Why You Should Check If Your Website Uses Google Maps
The Sprocket Report
If your website was built some time ago and you are no longer in contact with your web tech, you should check to see if you have a Google Map and if it’s working correctly.
When your nose is to the grindstone, you probably don’t get around to looking at your own website much, but recent changes by Google may have had an unfortunate effect on your online map. Brick-and-mortar businesses obviously want people to find them and like to include a map on their website to make it easier. Many developers utilized Google Maps.
In mid-June, Google announced a new Maps, Routes, and Places functionality, along with a new pay-as-you-go pricing plan. These updates may have made your old Google Map malfunction, which means your customers will have a poor website experience.
The reason for the malfunction is that Google is fine-tuning how the service works. Web developers used to be able to add the Map function for free and only asked for payment if a website had really high traffic. But now Google is requiring everyone using Maps to provide billing information before they add the function to their website.
To understand why your map may not be working any longer, here’s a brief explanation of how this all works: To use a Google Map on a website, Google provides an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows their code to talk the individual website’s code. So when your customers look at the map to your business on your website, they are actually seeing Google’s map.
Previously, that API was “keyless,” but as of mid-June, Google is requiring an API key to use the Map. To get the key, billing information must be supplied. They allowed a grace period for folks to figure out what they wanted to do next, but as of mid-July, the new pricing plan is now in effect.
If you see that the Google Map on your website isn’t working any longer, it’s because your website isn’t using the correct API key. You will probably want some tech assistance to fix this, although there are online directions available.
You may also be wondering what this is going to cost you. The way things stand now, it probably won’t cost you any more than it did before – it’ll be free. Google is allowing a $200 monthly credit toward the service which covers the first 100,000 pageviews per month of common map functionality. That will probably cover most businesses, but if you do get a lot of web traffic, there is a pricing sheet that tells how much you can expect to pay if you go over 100,000.
If you have lost track of your web tech but need your Google Map updated, just give us a call. We’d be happy to help you get your map working again so your customers can easily find you.