How the Google Maps Updates Could Hurt Your Business

If you’ve noticed that Google Maps and your website are no longer working harmoniously, you’re not alone. Recent Google Maps updates have caused significant technical problems for business owners.
To help get your broken Google Maps functioning again — or to help ensure that you don’t have to worry about dealing with this issue — let’s take a closer look at what’s causing the trouble and the steps you can take to fix it.

Why Google Maps is causing performance issues

With one billion monthly users and 99% worldwide coverage, the Google Maps platform is a powerful, far-reaching business tool. It allows customers to locate businesses, allows businesses to offer consumers customized, immersive experiences and provides rich location data for more than 150 million locations. By using Google Maps businesses can create 3D games with global data, improve efficiency by tracking the movement of assets in real time and develop useful applications.

Yet for some users, these benefits may be temporarily inaccessible following some recent changes implemented by Google — changes that could disrupt service and performance.

On June 11, 2018, users of the Google Maps Platform were required to enable credit card billing and have a valid API key for all projects. All 18 APIs were also streamlined into three categories: Maps, Routes, and Places.

This means that keyless usage, as of June 11, was no longer supported by the Google Maps Platform. If a keyless call is made to either the Maps Javascript API or the Street View API, a low-resolution map is returned bearing the inscription “for development purposes only.”  Keyless calls to many other APIs will simply return an error message.

Why is this a problem?

Businesses that were not aware or apprised of these changes are experiencing service interruptions to their projects. For example, if a business hires a freelance web developer to create new online properties that incorporate Google Maps, they may be unaware of the impact of these changes.

In fact, it may just appear as if their Google Maps have suddenly broken, for no obvious reason. Given the importance of the Google Maps Platform to many businesses, service interruptions are a serious risk.

Steps to take

Businesses should ensure that new accounts are created very early in the website design process, as this has a significant impact on development. It has now become impossible to develop map functionality on an existing site that includes a map without an associated API key.

It should be noted that pricing will fluctuate depending on the type and functionality of the map, the number of waypoints, usage etc.

Businesses that lack the technical resources — or simply don’t have the time — to ensure the smooth running and regular maintenance of Google Maps should consider reaching out to a qualified third party developer for more assistance.

How BIGEYE can help:

At BIGEYE, we believe that a modern agency needs to combine world-class creative with advanced technical skills. If you’re having difficulty maintaining Google Maps — or have any technical or design challenge related to your digital properties — please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help.



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