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Get your map working again with a Google Maps API key after the 2018 update

By 25th September 2018 No Comments
Google map locations

Google Maps have been a staple of good web design for some time now, allowing savvy business owners to share their exact location with potential customers online. Often nestled on a contact page or beneath a call-to-action, Google Maps have long served as a companion to a company’s contact details, building trust with users in a way that’s both visually pleasing and informative.

Not all is well in the world of Google Maps, however, as site owners and web developers alike struggle to adapt to the changes made in the June 2018 update. Unfortunately, these changes were poorly communicated to the public, with many people waking up to discover their once-functioning map replaced with a dark block and an error code.

The 2018 Google Maps Update

Few things look as bad on a website than a broken link or map, so it makes sense that you’d want to see the problem fixed as soon as possible. The good news is that your map can be fixed with some professional know-how, and doesn’t represent an error in your site’s internal workings. Instead, the issue stems entirely from Google’s questionable change to its pricing plans, courtesy of the new and slightly confusing Google Maps Platform. It’s worth asking a developer to help in this regard, as the platform’s terms aren’t immediately clear.

It’s generally known that websites require a Google Maps API Key in order to include an interactive map, but you might have missed that both a Google Maps API Key and a billing account are now required for continued use. Besides the demand for your bank account details, your map may no longer be shown free of charge to visitors in their droves, with Google’s new pay-as-you go model looking to charge based on the number of hits as well as the degree of interactivity used.

What options do you have?

For small business owners with a modest online presence, this model shouldn’t cause further issues once the Google Maps API Key and billing account have been added. Your site will still display your map to thousands of users a month free of charge, at least for as long as Google maintains its current plan. If you don’t wish to pay for the privilege, map usage can be capped at the complimentary £154 worth of usage that Google provides.

Websites using Google Maps in more advanced ways are likely to experience a considerable price hike under the new system, especially if they represent larger companies and are subject to a higher hit rate. Business owners in this position can choose to cap usage, comply fully with the new plan and spend as needed, or they can contact Google directly to discuss the enterprise plan, which offers high-volume price discounts and 24/7 support.

Are you still confused? We’re here to help

Reactive Graphics is experienced in the embedding and styling of Google Maps, providing those all-important Google Maps API keys to ensure visitors can find location-based businesses in and around the London area.

Contact Reactive Graphics to discuss your requirements today.

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