- By Colleen McNamara
Improvements to the platform will come — but at what cost?
Better! Faster! Stronger!
We’re not going to lie — we’re thrilled to see that Google has invested time and resources towards improving its offering for developers on the Google Maps API platform after 13 years on the market. On May 2nd, the search giant unveiled its reimagined and simplified maps entity to the world: the Google Maps Platform.
The new Google Maps Platform includes three new essential benefits for businesses: simplified pricing, scalable solutions, and streamlined products.
Whereas Google Maps previously encompassed a whopping 18 individual APIs — the platform is now distilled into three centralized features: Maps, Routes and Places. This change was built to improve usability for devs, making it easy to add Google Maps features to apps and websites.
As for the simplified pricing and scalability, both changes can be symbolized by one thing: a dollar sign. Initially, businesses will receive $200 of monthly usage on the house — but after that, every user will be rolled into a “pay as you go” program. Google has made this change as part of their promise that businesses can “scale without thinking about capacity, reliability or performance.” However, the $200 of monthly usage on the house remains the same for all companies–regardless of size.
So what’s the catch?
If money matters — (and it always does) — the catch is pretty significant.
For multi-location businesses, this change will lead to a massive spike in pricing. Developers are debating on the exact amount, but you’re looking at a minimum increase of 3x to 4x each month. This great reddit thread offers in-depth explanation and healthy debate from devs and mapping experts around the world.
Ok. Where do we go from here?
Your best bet is to go with a provider that will handle everything for you, especially if you have multiple locations. Countering this increase will require a robust Local Search and Local Marketing strategy. The good news is that this pricing surge will have no effect on the pricing of SweetIQ’s Store Locator Software, which you can learn about on our website.