This week we’re deploying a change to search autocomplete feature – a drop down with address suggestions that appears when you start typing in the search field.
Following Google Maps Platform announcement after analyzing the impact, we found that exactly this feature might potentially bring unexpected costs to our clients and here’s why.
Autocomplete is offered within Google Places API and set up in a way that each time you press a key in the search field it sends a request to Google to get a list of predictions. For example: if you type 10012 in the search field it will do 5 calls to Google and if you do a mistake and press backspace at some point , it will also cause a call. Google says that in average one search does around 8 calls to Places API. They count each of these calls using your Google API Key and if you have a large number of searches on your map you may start paying to Google if you overcome free quota. You can read detailed explanation on Google APIs usage and billing here.
We’re rolling out a change to optimize it a bit and decrease the number of calls to Google done by user manual searches. Autocomplete feature will now start giving you predictions after specific number of characters typed (at the moment 4), so don’t be surprised if you don’t see predictions straight away and continue typing.
It’s not a silver bullet and just eliminates a number of non-necessary calls, decreasing your Places API usage in half. You may still want to disable Autocomplete completely. You can do this from your account settings – ‘Enable autocomplete on search box’ set to ‘No’
Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org in case you have any questions.