Google Maps API No Longer FreeNovember 6, 2018
Beginning in June of this year, Google changed the structure for their Maps API. This has significantly impacted our clients that have maps on their websites. The increase was ridiculously high, over 1,400 percent, and many homebuilders are now seeing an increase in the cost to operate their site.
In the past, Google allowed 25,000 page loads per day for free to anyone using their program. Users did not have to create an account with a credit card if they did not want to; and if you used all of your impressions, the app simply stopped working until you purchased more.
Now, you must create an account backed by a credit card. Once you have done that, the new Maps API will only provide you with 28,000 free impressions PER MONTH. This is less than 1,000 a day. After that, you are paying to have access to the maps on your website.
For builders who often have several maps on their websites providing directions to their different neighborhoods, showcase homes, or homes for sale, the free impressions are quickly depleted. The work you do in the CMS (content management system) updating the website also counts towards your total impressions.
We are hoping that other Internet mapping companies will quickly develop and provide a different service for us to use to help control costs for all of our clients. Regardless of the outrage that has been sweeping the Internet over these insane rate hikes, Google has not responded.
Maps are a very important part of your home builder website. In fact, they are one of the most used features of the website and should not be removed. People who are visiting your site and are interested in your product are going to click on the map to see how to get to the desired home or neighborhood from their current location.
We encourage you to make the changes in your marketing and website budget to accommodate this rate increase by Google. We will continue to look for other options to help you maintain the cost of the website and the marketing features. However, we will not change the product at any time if we feel your website will not receive the same quality of service it currently has with Google Maps.
Your website has now become the leading marketing piece of your company. More people will visit your website as the first contact than any other marketing tool. Having everything in place for a great impression is crucial to securing the sale. Mapping to your properties is part of that impression and we hope you continue to use this service until a better option is found.
If you have further questions or want to know more about the services we offer our clients, contact Meredith Communications today.