With the rising importance of local searches, more and more companies are taking advantage of free listings on Google Places and Maps.
But Google aren’t in the habit of passing up the chance to make a tidy profit, so starting from January 1st 2012, ‘heavy users’ of the Google Maps API will be asked to pay for their listings.
Before you panic about Google sending you a bill, there are a few things you need to know about who’s going to be billed:
- This applies to all services using the Google Maps API, such as Google Places
- The limit for free access is going to be set at 25,000 hits per day
- For every 1,000 hits over this limit, you’ll be charged about $4 (that’s about £2.50)
- Only 0.35% of businesses currently listed will be affected
Google have also moved to assure people that these charges are only being brought in to ensure that the service remains viable:
“We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning.
However, with the 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. ”
Thor Mitchell – Google Maps API Product Manager
We don’t think it’s likely that many UK businesses will be affected, but we’ll obviously be keeping a very close eye on developments to see if charges will be introduced for users who receive less traffic from Places and Maps.
If you’re a FirstFound customer looking for more information on Google’s local listings, ask your consultant for a copy of our Google Places PDF Guide by calling 0161 909 3411.