Google announces changes to upgraded Maps Platform

 In API key, Blog, Chrome Update, Google maps, Online Reputation, SEO, SEO News, SSL certificate

If your business has a website with a map embedded on a contact or location page, recent changes of service with the Google Maps Platform will impact you.

This summer, Google announced Chrome browser changes, prompting users to add a SSL certification and designate sites as “secure.” Now, Google is requiring any website with a map embedded onto it acquire a customized API code to upgrade the customer experience. This customized code will enable your viewers to take advantage of Google’s improved Maps, Routes, and Places products.

When you obtain this code and embed it in your site, you will notice an upgrade to all location services, with no other changes to your site. Sounds pretty easy, right?! There is a catch. To obtain this API key, you will need to set up an account and provide a credit card for potential billing. Google is giving current Maps Platform users a credit of $200 for monthly usage and estimate most user’s activity will stay in this free tier. Activity exceeding the $200 per month is charged based on usage and consumers are able to set a budget, or daily limit, if you trend above the $200 per month level.

As we understand it, this free tier includes up to 100,000 clicks per month on your embedded map. That is a lot of clicks, just on your map feature alone. If you exceed this within a month you will be notified by Google and asked to upgrade your plan. Nothing will be automatically charged without your consent.

Compare it to a few years ago (or in technology time, five-to-six iPhones ago) when iTunes asked for your credit card to download the music services you prefer. In an effort to improve the Google Maps Platform experience, they are looking to monitor trends and charge the sites that integrate maps within their business practice.

What happens if you do not set up an API key? Your website users will receive an error code or degraded experience when they use the map or location features on your site. It could also impact your Google ranking when organically searched.

Red Technologies is able to set up this API code for you and install it on your site for a one time fee. If you are a monthly maintenance client of Red Technologies, it is included in your service program and you will contacted by your project manager to assist in setting up your account..

Contact Red Technologies with any website, security, social media, or marketing needs today. We are happy to help guide you through the ever-changing landscape of online marketing. 

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