You may need to pay to use Google Maps for your website in 2012

By Christopher How | Business

Nov 11

If your website is using Google Maps API to embed maps, these maps may no longer be free if the traffic to your website is high. Google will charge you $4 per 1,000 map views after the first 25,000 map views per day (which is still free), starting 1st January 2012, according to Daily Mail.

Google Maps API product manager, Thor Mitchell commented that

“We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning. However, with continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable.”

Okay, I may be making a big deal about this especially if your website doesn’t generate that kind of traffic.

So what are the websites that will be affected by the new Google Map charging mechanism? First off, I could think of travel and real estate websites that will be hit the hardest where 80% of the website would contain an embedded Google Map.

Alternatively, large websites can partner with Google to use Google Maps Premium which costs around $10,000 per year. Websites using the premium service would be able to have branded maps and custom uses of Google Maps.

Personally, I see two directions that large websites can go.

  1. Partner with Google to use Google Maps Premium and pay for the use of Google Maps
  2. Transfer this cost to paid users of the website
Either way, it’s going to generate revenue for Google.
If you have any thoughts on Google Map’s plan to charge high volume websites, please post them in the comments below.

About the Author

Christopher How is a digital marketing specialist helping organisations complement their business strategies with digital marketing techniques since 2006. Currently working in Philips Lighting as Senior Digital Marketing Manager (ASEAN Pacific), Christopher manages the end to end digital marketing from generating leads to converting them into contacts for the sales team. He is also involved in proposing and implementing digital marketing solutions that improve marketing efforts and processes for businesses.