Not all that glitters is gold. In the same vein, not all that lacks luster is cheap. It’s funny, isn’t it? There’s an incredible treasure in earthen vessels, and many times we just breeze by them unnoticing.
Nothing drives this point home like the Google Maps situation.
Did you know there’s more to Google Maps than showing shorter routes to your place of work? How can you have this application on your phone, and still lack a steady source of passive income?
Hop on, and let me take you on a ride of amazing discovery. I’ll show you how to make money on Google Maps!
What’s Google Maps All About?
It’s no longer the 1800s. Nobody uses compasses anymore. One thing is sure, however: everyone needs direction in life, even when they don’t know they do.
Google Maps is a Google-based web mapping service. It was launched on February 8, 2005. It has since grown to rank most popular on the entire Internet in the Maps category.
Its competitors are no match whatsoever because a significant percentage of digitally literate humans know only Google Maps.
Name only three more related services from off the top of your head! Yeah, right. I didn’t think so either.
Here are some of the things those one billion monthly users use Google Maps for.
- Google Street View: Who says you must visit a city to get there? Google Street View on Google Maps gives you an overwhelming 3-D experience of whatever location you desire. It does this by showing you both horizontal and vertical panoramic street-level images.
- Route planning: With Google Maps, all you need to know is the location of your destination. It’ll show you how to get there. It offers seamless directions for drivers, walkers, bikers, and even users of public transport.
- Application Program Interface (API): This is a branch of the Google Maps Platform. With Google Maps API, users (particularly website administrators) can create custom maps. They can embed Google Maps into community service pages, mobile apps, or real estate guides.
- Global Positioning System: While Google Maps is available on laptops and desktops, more than 80% of users use it on their mobile phones. According to statistics, 67% of mobile phone users use Google Maps. Here, it leverages the GPS location if it’s available to provide location and route planning services.
- Google Maps offers extra services that baby astronomers find thrilling. It offers exciting images of the sky, moon, and even other planets like Mars.
Why Is Google Maps the Most Preferred?
That Google Maps is the most popular is neither rocket science nor mere chance.
Here are two major reasons why:
1. It’s the biggest around
Google Maps covers the whole earth’s scope and even has some footing on other planets! In essence, so long as you have a phone, Google Maps, and a reliable internet connection, you can navigate your way, regardless of where you are on earth.
With Google Maps, you’re never really moving blind, and this is particularly a blessing when you’re making trips to the world’s most obscure places. You have a feel of where you’re going even before you get there.
These include transportation options, medical services, sites of attraction, clubs, and gas stations, to name a few.
2. Enormous Data
Google has invested billions of dollars into the accumulation of data to provide users with the most accurate results. You owe features like traffic information, street numbers, transit schedules, and city layout changes to this impressive data collection.
There’s so much information at your fingertips; you can barely go wrong. The latest versions of Google Maps are even beginning to include the density of certain areas. No other online-based map service gets this good.
Not only does it have the most monumental data collection, but it also uses it in the smartest ways.
Did you know that when in traffic, your smartphone serves as a sensor, sending unknown bits of data back to other Google Maps users?
This way, other users know to take another route to avoid ending up in the same mess. Nothing, after all, is as frustrating as being held up in traffic.
Making Money on Google Maps
We’ll tell you upfront that Google Maps does not pay users in cash for whatever contributions they make. The best you’d get from consistent contribution to Google Maps is points, increased levels, and shinier badges.
Upon reaching this stage, you get quite impressive perks from Google, which include some of the following:
- Access to related workshops and hangouts.
- Early access to Google Maps-related applications
- Up to extra free 100Gb in a year on Google Drive.
- You can submit requests to enlist in the annual Local Guides Summit.
- Gifts from Google. The most common is a colorful local guide sock.
- Discounts on Google Music and Movie Rentals.
- Coupon codes for RedBus rides.
Perks vary, and benefits increase as your level increases. In the long run, Google perks help you save money by gifting the packages you’d have otherwise purchased.
Some of the contributions you can make to Google Maps to enjoy such benefits include the following:
1. Be an answer provider.
How many supermarkets are in the area? I’m coming to X with my asthmatic son; how far is the nearest clinic in the event of a medical emergency? What’s the weather like around this time of the year? What’s the security of the area like?
At some point, almost everyone will encounter a question on Google Maps from another user. This could be from an intending tourist planning to visit a new location for the holidays, or from someone hoping to relocate altogether.
You could do one of two things: ignore, like another unconcerned human being; or you could provide answers when you can, and earn some points while contributing good to the world.
If you’re a local in the area a curious foreigner is planning to visit; you could build a life-long relationship by providing answers and earn Google points for doing so!
Actively ransack the Google Maps space for similar questions. Well tell you what; you don’t even need to be a local!
You can give equally informed answers to the questions people ask by carrying out some research on the Internet. This attracts 3 points.
2. Talk—a lot.
Some people love food to a fault. They’ve made it a life mission to taste every meal at every restaurant in their area, and beyond. Some other people love to globetrot.
You can earn points on Google Maps by making a habit of writing quality reviews of the places that you visit when you do.
Sacrificially visit places of high interest and write about your experience in hopes of helping other aspiring visitors know whether a visit is worth it or not.
It’s the same way you check Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb for movie ratings to decide if a movie is worth your time.
With continued writing, you’ll keep getting better and better. Before you know it, folks are waiting for you to visit places before they do.
You’ll make a name for yourself in the Google Maps space and continue earning more points. Heck, business owners may reach out to you and fund your trip to their hotels or restaurants to write reviews about them. Each review is worth 5 points.
3. Complete the jigsaw if you have the pieces
As efficient as Google Maps is, it’s not all-knowing. There are still so many places around the world that Google has only shallow knowledge of.
Such sites have locations that are not listed, and it could be a missing piece in the big picture. Technically, the picture is only incomplete if you know there are more pieces than Google Maps shows.
Sometimes, however, you know something’s off when you’re in a place, and the location doesn’t show on Google.
If you’re a local in a relatively hidden corner of the world, you have higher chances of earning more points by adding new places on the map.
Be a contributor to something bigger than you, and earn the most points for it. Each new place you add is worth 15 points!
We have unequivocally stated that the best you’d get from Google Maps contributions are perks. Nonetheless, all hopes of monetary benefits are not lost.
You can earn money on Google Maps indirectly. This has nothing to do with any direct contribution, but by leveraging on its benefits for people and businesses.
You can do this in two significant ways. Here’s how to indirectly harness the power of Google Maps to make significant extra dollars for yourself.
1a. Claim wandering Businesses on the Internet!
This has to be one of the most lucrative ways to make money on Google Maps.
Though it’s the 21st century, you’d be shocked at the number of older adults who have little to no idea of how the Internet works, and its importance in the growth of their businesses.
Since you do, choose to offer your services to them, and make as much as $1000 per month! The key to making money anywhere anytime is looking for a round hole, and being a round peg.
In essence, seek to add value, and money won’t be a problem.
In seeking to make money on Google Maps, search for local businesses in or outside your area that is yet to set up their map listing.
Now, many business owners don’t even know what this is and how it affects business patronage. Stop reading this article for a moment and Google any random business in any area.
“Scrapyard near me” is a perfect example. Notice that the page’s initial results are a list of businesses with their respective locations on Google Maps.
Organic content comes much later on the page. To this end, Google Maps listings have significantly more publicity than SEO-related searches.
Imagine how much traffic they are missing out on if a local business hasn’t set up their internet listings with Google. It’s even more than you think! Refusal to set up your listing, or ‘claim your business’ leaves Google confused.
This could signal a message of business closure, the death of the business owner, or just about any other terrible news. Frankly, they don’t exist in the Internet space anymore.
Most times, it’s these businesses you find after you’ve clicked the ‘click more’ about one, two, or three times! They are at the bottom of the chain, and other competitors are feasting on all the customers that could be theirs!
The moment you scout and find a business that is yet to be claimed, it is your duty to reach out to them through e-mail or a phone call.
Tell them who you are, what you do, and why you’re calling. Let them tell you what their customer strength looks like, and how much more it could be the moment they allow you to offer them your services.
They’ll hire you for three reasons:
(1) They don’t have the time to do it themselves
(2) They don’t know how to do it themselves
(3) They want to make increased profits like any other business wants to.
Claiming people’s businesses has to be one of the simplest things to do on the Internet. Yet, this is what you’d be doing and getting paid for.
Simply click on the ‘claim my business’ icon, and follow through with all the subsequent instructions. Schedule a time with your client, since you’d need some information that Google will send to their phone number or e-mail.
You’d also need information like their opening and closing hours, and some photos, maybe. Upon successfully claiming their business, they can almost notice a significant improvement in business traffic.
They’ll call to thank you for offering such great service at a little price. You’ve gained yourself some goodwill already, and now, you can take it even a step further.
1b. Help Businesses increase their ranking.
This is not directly related to Google Maps, but it’s good to ensure that you finish strongly whatever you start. Once you secure a business listing on Google Maps, you can offer to improve their ranking on Google.
When you do this well, they’d appear in the first 5 or 10 businesses that potential clients will see. The influx of customers this will bring will make the previous increase in sales seem like a trickle. A lot goes into this. You may have to:
- Run Facebook Ads for them.
- Create listings on relevant websites. There are different relevant links, depending on the kind of business. A Dental Clinic, for instance, will benefit from being listed on a website like yelp.com. Find out more about such websites on motz.com, by searching for “citations by category.” All of this is for free.
- Build websites for local businesses that do not have one. Even if you don’t know how to do this, you could close the deal, and outsource the job to a website designer and make your profit.
Improving business ranking is a serious business, and people pay thousands of dollars for it. Read more about it here.
You don’t have to be skilled in any of the above listed, you can outsource the services to freelancers that specialize in such tasks.
If you take this seriously, you just may start your local marketing agency, and be a testimony of how to earn money from Google at home.
4. Build services using Map APIs
Have you ever used an application on your mobile device that can detect your location? How do applications that don’t work in some countries know the country’s specific users?
All these and more related services are functions of APIs.
A Map API is an interface that provides location intelligence for software developers. You can use these features to create location-based services and products.
Developers utilize the power of Google Maps APIs, build applications around them, and put them up for sale.
Understand again, that Google Maps is not an infallible or perfect system. Developers find Google Maps money loopholes, and they exploit them.
APIs have an extensive range of applications, and this is clearly above our pay grade! If you have a fetish for programming and related stuff, check out some applications you can build using APIs.
Having come to the end of this article, I hope you’ve come to see one thing: you’ve most likely been under-utilizing Google Maps. It could be so much more.
Direct contributions on the platform to help fellow users will, in the long run, reduce some expenses. This, in itself, is enough motivation to be a good human being.
If that’s not good enough for you, learn the other indirect ways to make money on Google Maps.