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What Does The Google Maps API Key Update Mean For Your Business?

Google Maps is an incredibly powerful geographical tool that is used in a huge number of consumer and commercial applications.

Browse a selection of company websites and you’ll be sure to find some sort of Maps integration, whether on their contact page or in a less conventional location.

Recently, Google announced that­ – while Maps will still work as it has done previously and retain all of its functionality – businesses will now be required to enter an API key into their website’s JavaScript code in order to continue using this service moving forward.

So what does this mean for you?


90 days’ grace for existing users

Fortunately, for any business currently using Google Maps on a live site, a 90-day grace period has been provided. It started on June 22 2016.

During this time, any maps on your domain will continue to function in exactly the same way, regardless of whether or not you have applied the aforementioned key.

After September 20 2016, however, any requests made from your website will fail unless an appropriate key is used.


New Maps integration  

If you’re reading this blog and are thinking about adding Maps to your website, unfortunately, you won’t be able to benefit from the 90-day arrangement – sorry!

Companies falling into this category will need to head over to the Google Developers Console and follow the appropriate steps to receive their key.

It’s important to recognise the changes being made and ensure you take the necessary measures to keep any Google Maps-dependent features on your site working properly.


Intergage CMS

Intergage has been quick to react to the changes made by everyone’s favourite search engine through the introduction of a bespoke feature in our content management system (CMS).

This new setting allows you to easily enter a given API key which will then be automatically added to the appropriate area in your website’s JavaScript code.

Companies using in-built maps functionality such as ‘Find My Nearest’ and ‘Events List’ will be able to benefit from this feature. But any maps entered via an HTML item will need to go through the manual process.

We’ve also updated our website-go-live-to-do-list so any maps displayed on future Intergage sites will show without any hiccups. 


Why use Google Maps?

Google Maps provides an impactful, visual representation of your company’s location and this is far more powerful than simply typing in a written address.

Visitors can now see nearby locations, points of interest and other recognisable areas which can help them to discover where you are based.

Check out Damory Veterinary Clinic’s Find Us Page to see what we mean.

We’ve also added a handy ‘Get Directions’ feature which enables users to enter their postcode and view a tailored route for them to follow.

It couldn’t get much easier than that, right?

Well actually it can! Open that same link on your phone, enter your postcode and you can use the route provided in the Google Maps. It will take you all the way to your destination.

In addition, custom maps with company-specific colour schemes can also be created and embedded on to your site.

The ability to enter your desired colour codes helps maps to blend with your website by becoming compliant with brand guidelines. This also adds to their visual flair.

Google Maps is a fantastic way to convey locational information to your website’s visitors. It can be used to make sessions more productive and more enjoyable.

For more information on the Google Maps API key update, talk to a friendly member of the Intergage team by calling 01202 684 009 or contacting us online. 

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