Google Places APIs: Implementing and Optimizing Autocomplete

by Josh Biggs in Digital Marketing, Software on 6th July 2020

Who doesn’t love saving time when performing online searches? And this is particularly true when going around news, products, and other types of information online? Well, with the Autocomplete feature things have now been made easier. It offers a quick way for you to access information without overthinking. Designed to optimize your Google searches, Autocomplete predicts what you want to search, gives you an extended dropdown list of options, and displays trending queries.

Autocompletion with Google Places API

The Google Places API service often returns place predictions using HTTP requests. It provides autocomplete functionality for text-based location searches by returning addresses, businesses, as well as, other points of interest as you type. Google utilizes the Maps Javascript API to deliver a dynamic Places library. 

Autocomplete with Widgets

As the user enters text on your web page, the autocomplete feature returns a dropdown list of place predictions. And when the user chooses a place from the list, location data is returned in response to their request. Each entry in the list corresponds to a specific location as defined by the Places API.

The SearchBox Widget

SerarchBox works just like the Autocomplete feature. But the only difference is that SearchBox provides a broader list of predictions that can include places and suggested search terms. However, it’s important to note that SearchBox supplies fewer options than Autocomplete.

When utilizing the Autocomplete widget, you won’t need to implement sessions since the widget handles the sessions automatically.

Geocoding API

If your application focuses on user-typed addresses, there’ll be instances when the addresses will be ambiguous. You can always correct this with the Autocomplete feature. You can then utilize the place IDs to determine the place locations. But if you have got a more accurate address, you can minimize costs by utilizing geocoding instead of Autocomplete. Once you execute a geocoding request, you’ll be able to obtain the geometry, as well as, other desired fields.

The Debounce Function

The debounce function works by limiting the rate at which a particular function can fire. And this takes at least two arguments; an input function to call plus a specific time to wait before calling it.  So long as you continue invoking this method, the function passed as a parameter won’t be triggered. And it will only be called once the debounce function has stopped being called for an elapsed time.

Utilize the Per Session Billing Feature

Did you know that it’s possible to retrieve address information using a geocoder? Well, now you know. Plus, you can also use it to implement Debounce, as well as, minChars mechanisms.

Key Takeaway

Autocomplete is one of the most effective tools you can leverage to take your business to another level. It also optimizes the user experience. If you are planning to invest in autocomplete Google API Autocomplete, sign up here.

The Bottom-Line

Customers don’t like memorizing. They want features that predict what they’re looking for. They want something that simplifies their online searches. And that’s exactly what Autocomplete brings on the table. Implement and optimize this feature with Google Places API