This morning I got an email from Google with the subject “[Action Required] Changes to your Google Maps APIs account”, at first I thought it was another GDPR notification and was just about to hit delete when I noticed the name of a website I’m currently working on included in the email.
So what does this actually mean?
Well up until now if you wanted a Google Map on your website to show you’re customers where you business was you simply created a free account with Google and registered for a free API key. And API or Application Programmers Interface is basically a password that lets one piece of software (your website) talk to another (Google. If you have no idea what I’m talking about but still have a Google Map on your website the chances are this was all done by your web developer or somebody else.
If this is the case as of June 11th the map on your website is going to stop working.
How do you fix this?
Fixing this is fairly straight forward, you’ll need to log in to your Google Console, or create a new one and request a new Google Maps api key, the big difference now in the process is you have to provide a credit card for billing. You can however set a daily budget and as Google will give you your first $200 per month which they claim is will cover 100,000 static map loads if you set a daily budget of $6 per day you can easily cope with 3000 page views per day before billing becomes a consideration.
So all in all it sounds far scarier than it is, and for most small business websites apart from a but of administration in getting it set up it wont make any difference at all.