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API Keys and Pricing Increases - Recent Changes to Google Maps API
Did you know about the most recent updates regarding Google Maps API? Google has introduced API keys and a new pricing scheme for those embedding Maps on their site.
In the past, Google Maps API was totally free for businesses and individuals to use in order to embed a map of their location on their website. However, in May, Google announced their plans to scrap free usage limits and the introduction of API keys, commencing June 11th 2018.
API Keys have already come into effect, however, the new pricing scheme, which sees an inflation of up to 1400%, has been pushed back to July 16th “to provide you with an additional month of lead time.”
Why are the updates important?
Embedding a Google Map of your location has become incredibly popular and now most websites employ the feature. This means that the majority of business website owners will be affected by these changes for the Google Maps API and will need to consider them carefully.
What is a Google Maps API Key?
In order to continue using an embedded Google Map on your website, you will require an API key. In order to obtain this, you will need to create a Google Cloud Platform account, complete with credit card details and billing address.
The API key is proof that you have a valid payment account and without one, your embedded map will not function correctly.
What are the details of the price changes?
Whilst before there was the option of Standard (free) use and Premium, these options are now being condensed into a single pay-as-you-go plan. This means that using the software unlimited for free is off the table commencing 16th July.
However, you will get the first $200 of use free every month. This covers approximately 28,000 page loads per month, which should be enough for the majority of small to medium sized businesses with only a single embedded map on their contact page. Google estimates that 98% of users will fall into this category, however, you will still need to set up a billing account to use your embedded map.
Compared with the 25,000 page loads users were allowed per day before, this is a dramatic drop and will certainly affect certain demographics. Larger companies with Dynamic Maps are expected to be hit the most by the pricing changes, including transport providers, retail chains and real estate agents, which rely heavily on the software to provide their services.
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