Google are now charging for using Google Maps. Will your business be affected?

by | Aug 4, 2018

After launching their new Google Maps Platform recently they’re changing the way they charge companies using their Google Maps API. Here’s an overview of what has changed, what charges are coming into place and who is likely to be most affected.

First Thing is First

If your website displays a simple dynamic map with a pin to your office location, and nothing else; then no charges will apply…

Sigh of relief to many people, however you are now required to have a valid credit / debit card on file when using the Google Maps platform, even though the service remains free.

Your web agency might even have done this on your behalf, so you might not need to worry at all.

The New Pricing Structure

The newly relaunched Google Maps Platform brings together Maps including the dynamic maps, Streetview and also 360 degrees, with Google Routes (Directions) as well as Google Places (for reviews, locations on business pages).

Although Maps has always been Free, there has been paid option for heavy users of the system for quite a few years, however it is only in July that Google have introduced the new pay as you go pricing structure.

You Can View The New Google Maps Pricing Here

Who Can Use Maps for Free?

A majority of Google maps users can continue to use maps for free, whether they use more than just the simple map or not, as Google are providing a $200 monthly credit which will more than cater for most business’ use of the service.

How Far will the $200 Credit Stretch?

If using the simple dynamic maps showing the location of your business with a pin, this will be completely free and not part of your credit, therefore the map can be served an unlimited number of times.

1. Styled Maps

If you customise the look or use ‘styled’ maps (for example nightmode) then this is where the credit will begin to be used.

If you use styled maps on your website then expect your $200 to obtain 100,000 loads.

2. Dynamic Maps – Streetview

If your website uses the Streetview feature then you this will be chargeable. Expect your $200 to obtain 28,000 loads.

3. Routes & Directions

If your website provides a resource for your customers to work out the best route to visit your business, you can expect this to happen 40,000 times before using up your $200 credit.

4. GeoLocation

If your website uses locations of places nearby i.e. an estate agent showcasing local schools or shops, then expect the $200 to stretch as far as delivering 11,500 api calls.
Monthly Renewal and Creating a Spend Limit

Lastly just discussing the credit, as mentioned this is renewed monthly, but at the same time you can also put a limit on the account for the money you spend, so if you didn’t want any additional costs for your website, you can automatically halt any API calls the website makes to the Google Maps platform after the $200 free credit has been used.

What businesses may incur charges for using Google Maps?

In a nutshell, high traffic websites or websites that will not doubt use much of the Google maps platform such as the routes to help plan journeys or streetview to investigate the local area.

Estate agents showcasing the neighborhood or a travel business showcasing travel routes. Ultimately, the more traffic your website receives, the more chance your business will need to pay for using the service.

Remember though you only pay after your credit has been used, and the credit renews every month.

If you use more than one service, you will need to take a look at the pricing table to see how a combination of these fees could impact your business.

Summary

If you are unsure on anything from this post, then please free to get in touch. If you have recently noticed errors on your maps on your website, then it might be that your agency has not yet added card details for pulling the Google Maps API, get them to look at this first, before investigating other issues.

UPDATE

Google now practically want businesses to have their own accounts as to being under their agency’s account. Some issues have appeared recently stopping agencies with more than 5 clients within a single account.

If you are using maps you may need to setup your own account and enter your payment details (even if you will not exceed the monthly request limit) and then provide access to your agency for them to update the API keys.

Google do love a change up, but we all use the maps service most days, so we shouldn’t grumble too much, this is just a token way to show our gratitude for providing a very helpful and low cost service.

Impact still love you Google.

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