In order to start using our Google Places Reviews plugin, you’ll need to create an API Project and enable both the Google Places Web Service API and the Maps Javascript API. This tutorial will show you how to do that in detail.

NOTE: This article was updated March 2017 to reflect Google’s latest API Console. We cannot control when they make updates, but we plan to keep this as updated as possible to benefit our users.

Our Google Places Reviews plugin allows you to both search dynamically in your widget for your Google Business page, and embed the reviews on your website directly. Starting in June of 2016 Google now requires an API key for both embedding reviews and for searching dynamically. This means that you have to have an API Key which is enabled to search (via the Maps API) and embed reviews (via the Places API). Here’s how to do that:

Video Walkthrough

Sometimes seeing the steps are the best way to understand the process. Google has updated their API Console many times since first releasing it in summer 2016, but we do our best to keep this video as updated as possible. If it doesn’t match what you see in your Console, please feel free to let us know on our contact page.

 

Create your “Google Places API Web Service” key

In short, what you need is to create a “Project” in the Google Developer Console, then enable both APIs, and create Credentials to use that API key with our plugin.

To get an API key you will need an active Google account, then follow these steps:

1. Visit the Google Places API Web Service landing page. If you are not logged into your Google Account already, you can do so there.

2. Click on the “Get a Key” button in the top-right of the screen.

3. You’ll be presented with a modal which allows you to choose an existing API Project, or create a new one. Do either, then click on “Enable API”.

4. You also will also need to enable the “Google Maps Javascript API” for this same project, so after the Places Web Service API is enabled, click on the link that says “API Console”.

5. From there you’ll see a screen like this:

The Google API Console (March 2017)
The Google API Console (as of March 2017)

To enable the Maps Javascript API, click on “Library” in the far left-hand sidebar.

6. In the search bar at the top of that screen type in “Maps” and one of the options will be “Google Maps Javascript API.” Click on that.

7. Then click on the “Enable API” button towards the top of the screen.

8. (Optional) Lastly, you can add an “HTTP Referrer” to your API Project so that only communications between your website and the Google API will be allowed. This is a preventative measure to ensure that no one is scraping your API key to use for their own purposes.

Formatting for the Google API HTTP Referrer
Formatting for the Google API HTTP Referrer

We suggest though to first try putting your API Credentials into our Google Places Reviews Settings and testing it out BEFORE adding an HTTP Referrer. Once you have the Widget and/or Shortcode working as you intend, then you can add this additional level of security to your API key.

To add an HTTP Referrer, click on “Credentials” in the left-hand sidebar of your Google API Console. Under the “Key Restrictions” section, choose “HTTP Referrers”. In the field that appears below, insert your domain with the following format: *example.com/*

Your new API key is ready to use!

Add your API Key into our Google Places Settings

Now the easy part. Click on “Credentials” in the left-hand sidebar. Highlight and copy your API key.

Now go to your website and go to “Settings > Google Places”. On that page, paste your new API key into the plugins settings page here:

Save your API key.
Save your API key.

Hit “Save” and you’re done!

Next Steps:

Next you’re going to want to either configure your widget, or use our Shortcode Builder (Pro Only):