Google Starts Charging for Maps on your Website
On June 11, 2018, Google launched their new updated Maps platform which now has a pay-as-you-go billing structure. So what does this mean if you currently use Google maps on your own website? The picture is not so good if you are a personal blogger or have small business website and you’re using Google maps to display your location or maybe a few places of interest.
Previously it was a simple process of signing up for a free Google API key and pasting it into your WordPress plugin page or Joomla component and you were good to go. Now all users, regardless of usage, must sign-up for a Google billing account which requires entering a payment method such as a credit card, debit card, or bank account. Many users see this as a money grab by Google and are concerned with providing that type of information to them with all of the security breaches now popping up over the Internet. Google does provide a $200 monthly credit for a free tier of usage and they state that the service will still be effectively free for 98% of all users. Many users have expressed concern over the new system. People resent having to enter their credit card to receive what was and is still essentially a free service. It would have been reasonable to ask for a payment if a user exceeded the free usage limit but definitely not if they stayed within it. Additionally, business owners and personal bloggers don’t always have the time to constantly monitor their maps usage and this can create an unwanted level of stress.
Naturally, the reactions from website developers has not been positive. The price increase (from free to 1400%) shows a desperation for Google to harvest credit card details from website owners using their maps. 69% of current Google Maps users are switching. Brandesigns is currently working with both the Joomla and WordPress platform component and plugin developers to help their clients use no-cost alternatives.
Contact us for more information or if you need help in updating the maps you currently use on your website.
Happy surfing and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Disclaimer: The advice provided here are our own interpretations and opinions. We have tried to simplify the main points of this issue to create a guide for you in navigating all of the security issues and options available for your website and on the Internet itself.