Since 2007 Google allowed you to embed their maps feature onto your own site using its embed code snippets. But recently Google announced that whilst its maps will still work as they had done previously and retain all of its functionality – when embedding a Google map, you will be required to use an API key.
Failure to undertake the required update will result in your website users encountering the likes of this error:
“As of June 22, 2016 we are making the following changes to the Google Maps APIs Standard Plan: We no longer support keyless access (any request that doesn’t include an API key). Future product updates are only available for requests made with an API key. API keys allow us to contact developers when required and help us identify misbehaving implementations.”
Thankfully Google have allowed 90 day period – from the 22nd of June 2016 – where their API will work up until without a key. But after the 20 of September 2016 – if the embedded map was not created before the 22nd of June 2016 – it will cease to work.
Impact on Maps Plugins
Restrictions on Usage
Google has also introduced two new restrictions on the use of their API:
The SME’s out there with a couple of thousand website hits a month have nothing to fear from this change as these will only have bearing on larger websites. Although as Google Maps becomes ever more integral and integrated onto sites, who knows if this monetisation approach will trickle down to the lower end users?