Google Drastically Cuts Prices On Maps API Usage

Google is dramatically cutting prices for the heaviest developer-users of of its Maps API to keep them from defecting to other platforms. The company has slashed prices “from US $4 per 1,000 map loads to 50¢ per 1,000 map loads.”

Since the new fees policy was instituted last Fall, there have been several high profile departures from Google Maps, including Foursquare and Wikipedia. (Apple bounced Google from iPhone Maps for a range of reasons, the least of which were fees.)

There were rumblings about the fees and expressions of interest in alternatives throughout the developer community, especially in OpenStreetMap. There were also concerns expressed about the “predictability and stability” of Google Maps.

In response — and just ahead of Google I/O next week — the company has simplified its limits policy and reduced its API prices for its highest volume Google Maps developer-users, as stated above. Google says fees “will only apply to the top 0.35% of sites regularly exceeding the published limits of 25,000 map loads every day for 90 consecutive days.” Most other users of the Maps API will continue to access it for free.

Below are the new prices and limits:

To determine whether your site is impacted by the limits and fees (you probably already know), Google recommends the following:

  • To monitor whether your site might be affected by the Maps API usage limits, use a Google APIs Console key with your applications. Daily usage reports will then be generated in the console.
  • Non-profit organizations aren’t affected by the Maps API usage limits and can also apply for a free Maps API for Business license through the Google Earth Outreach grants program.

The look and feel of Google Maps became a kind of standard for third party websites using maps. However the emergence of Apple Maps, the increasing legitimacy of OpenStreetMap, as well as a more aggressive push by Nokia and other independent mapping providers such as deCarta, has introduced more developer options into the market.

Google’s price-cut move aims to preempt and prevent additional erosion of the Google Maps brand and its position within the developer community.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://twitter.com/askppc Cleofe Betancourt

    I think it might be a bit too late for Google on this issue.  They played their hand and lost quite a few big map API users.  They tried to strong arm their customers and, instead, created a new market of competition.  Bing should take heed…

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    “However the emergence of Apple Maps, the increasing legitimacy of OpenStreetMap, as well as a more aggressive push by Nokia and other independent mapping providers such as deCarta, has introduced more developer options into the market.”
    I haven’t heard of any of these except Apple maps, and as far as I know those aren’t even live yet. How many different ways can you show the same geographic area? Terrible business to try and break into.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide