Will Google will soon start charging a fee to use Google Maps?
The truth is: Google will begin charging to use the map services, but only for businesses that use the Google Maps link on their websites.
It is speculated that the charge will be introduced only to websites who get 25,000 Google Map clicks within one day. Now…once the 25,000 clicks quota is reached, there is a $4 charge for every 1,000 clicks generated!
The fee, which will be charged starting in January 2012, will affect roughly .35% of Google Maps users. Real estate agents and travel companies typically use Google Maps to show locations to customers, and will be affected most by these upcoming changes. Companies such as Apple who use Google Maps features on devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPads will also be highly impacted by the new fees. Apple may soon circumvent this issue as they are currently engineering their own maps systems.
Google Maps is an “API” – a script that allows webmasters to integrate Google Maps into a website or application. Currently, over 1 million websites use Google Maps, and over 75,000 of those sites have the highest amount of Internet traffic, meaning Google can earn large sums of money from this decision, especially if competitors such as Bing decide to charge a premium for their map services as well.
Looking for an alternative to Google Maps?
There are several alternatives to using Google’s services, for those that do not want to pay a premium for exceeding the usage quota. Microsoft released their Bing maps (developer) service in 2009, and it has been used as a viable alternative as opposed to having a website with Google Maps.
Nokia has an offering known as OVI SDK/API, that can be integrated by a webmaster with HTML and Java-script programming knowledge, which can be integrated into any capable mobile application or web application.
Currently, more than 18% of websites using Google Maps are news sites, nearly 15% are business-related sites, and nearly 10% of the sites are travel related. Time will tell how this change will affect websites and businesses as we move into the year 2012. Will YOUR website with Google Maps be affected? Leave a comment if you think it will, as well as how this might affect your business (or your employer’s). ;-)
See ya next time,
Ray Mackie – TekTime