Google Places Removes Print Your Own QR Code

Mar 30, 2011 • 8:50 am | comments (18) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Maps

Google QR CodeIn December 2009, Google began this big Google Maps business push to get businesses to start using QR codes. It was fairly popular, many businesses who did not get a QR code decal wanted them but Google couldn't easily send them out. So in April 2010, Google added a way for business owner to print their own Google QR code decals.

But now, they are gone. You can no longer print your Google Places decal and QR code from your edit business listings within Google Places. It is gone.

Mike Blumenthal noted an official statement from Google saying:

Users will no longer find unique QR codes in their Places accounts. We're exploring new ways to enable customers to quickly and easily find information about local businesses from their mobile phones.

Is that the end of QR codes? Will you miss them? Have you ever even used them?

Forum discussion at Google Places Help.

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03/30/2011 01:43 pm

I very much doubt if this means the end of QR codes. I have used them. Would I miss them? Maybe. But I don't think they're going away. (1) There is so much impetus behind the increased use of QR codes that Google is probably telling the truth -- they are rethinking their approach rather than dropping them altogether. (2) This is an emerging technology with a lot of unknowns. Many other services allow users to produce their own QR codes. Alternatives are available (such as Microsoft's Tag). So Google is probably looking for a game-changing idea rather than just jumping on the bandwagon.

QR Code Marketing

03/30/2011 02:10 pm

I sure hope not! Like Roger said I don't see any reason why QR Codes would disappear just because Google stopped promoting them. The technology is still widely unknown to the general public, but once it finds a way to reach a larger audience there will be no stopping it. After that happens I guarantee Google will revisit their decision.


03/30/2011 02:14 pm

Bad timing Google!!! I'm just starting to see more local businesses using QR Codes.

Web Strategy

03/30/2011 02:14 pm

I wonder if it was a quality control issue? QR Codes were not reading properly on bubble jet printers?


03/30/2011 02:17 pm

I was recently shopping for a new desktop computer. Best Buy had a QR code on a tag near every desktop in the store. I was able to scan them on an Android device with Google Goggles, and get all the information I was looking for. In retrospect, this seems to be a strong point for QR codes in light of its many weaknesses. In this case, QR codes are being used to sell technology to the technologically inclined clients who want to know more about what is "under the hood" for a desktop computer. Even those computers are falling out of favor with casual users. QR Codes for local shopping? Foursquare has done away with that in theory. The GPS location search - while at times wildly inaccurate - still may have this contest. There is no need to take any pictures that you don't want to take, and one even gets the appearance of texting an important message rather than looking like a vapid tourist with their camera out. I think the end user may have come out ahead here. Hopefully with a less confusing array of options for their users, the businesses can narrow their focus to the fewer services being used by their clients as well.

Bill Slawski

03/30/2011 03:42 pm

While I think there's potentially some life left in QR Codes, I'm wondering if Google would rather focus upon something like Near Field Communications (NFC). I believe they were testing NFC-enabled Google Places Stickers in Portland starting this past December.

Mike Blumenthal

03/30/2011 05:50 pm

@bill slawski I was in Portland in February and had access to a new Nexus and tested it with their NFC enabled stickers. It was necessary to hold the phone immediately adjacent to the sticker (within 1/4-1/2" or so) and it only worked when you were on the same side of the glass as the sticker. In a business, the stickers were typically pasted on the inside of the glass. Thus they didn't work when standing outside the business. They really provided little value. QR Codes have a life... just not one that can easily sell ads. Nor can they easily insert themselves into the payment process the way that NFC can...

Rick Schwartz

03/30/2011 08:11 pm

Google's QR creator isn't one of my favs anyway. They tie it to their link shortening. So the code does not contain the destination domain. It still gets the scanner to the place that the scannee wants There is one drawback however. Since the better QR reader apps allow you to save your scans in a library file structure they store the url - not the domain name so when the user looks through his library of stored scans, he will not know which link is which if it is a shortened url. As for Google dropping this foreshadowing the death of QR, I don't think so. Google's attempt at this so far has been similar to most of the very early adopters of QR - to use it to drive traffic to your home page. Having a code online which is just a link to your site really isn't exciting and that application did more harm than good for the reputation of the QR code. There are literally hundreds of unique ways that business can us QR codes - interactive ways, such as an auto-dealer using a code to allow a consumer to request a test drive without having to interact with a salesperson. A Real Estate broker using codes on rider signs to allow drive-by's to access a virtual tour of the house (and send to to someone else) without even getting out of their car. Or a retail store to put codes on individual items linking the buyer to a "if you liked this, you''l also like..." program. So QR will die for those folks who don't look a little bit deeper than just another way to publicize their home page. For those who dig in and look for creative applications the profit potential for QRs is wide open.


03/30/2011 08:31 pm

I agree that this would not spell the end of QR codes at all. There are lots of uses for this nifty things. Just take a look at these:


03/30/2011 08:36 pm

Last time I flew on American, I was able to check in without paper, because my cell phone used the image of a QR code. Gotta love that!


03/31/2011 12:16 am

Other comments have noted that Google ran a trial NFC campaign in Portland, OR -- I now see Google/Places stickers on nearly every business window -- but, rarely a Facebook or Twitter (or anything else). The Google signage has been adopted big time. Google have long hinted at their short-term view of QR...both from the NFC division and Goggles. If you look to Japan as a leading indicator, they are well on their way to location-based NFC engagement in places QR used to be. QR is, technically, an old technology at this point, even if it's just coming to market in the States. Google have money, weight and a legitimacy that translate into: if they want to impose a new standard for retail-level engagement, they can probably gain a pretty big market share quickly. Think of how Google Maps pretty much rendered everyone elses' map solutions obsolete (or valued at near-zero)? I believe, if anyone is really honest, that Google undertook a very large experiment with QR and found that consumers simply don't use them in any great numbers. They may be the first to abandon QR, but, they won't be the last.


03/31/2011 12:04 pm

We offer creation of QR codes for Google Places :)

Bill Slawski

03/31/2011 03:44 pm

@ Mike Blumenthal Shame that the use of NFC with Google Place Stickers failed in that situation. I'm surprised that Google didn't anticipate that in their testing - the results probably weren't as good as they may have hoped because of it.


03/31/2011 05:07 pm

There are still several ways to generate qr codes for free. Check out for free dynamic qr code generator with free analytics.


04/04/2011 07:14 am

And what about QR Code Tshirt with a personalized message?

Will Whitt

04/06/2011 01:44 pm

Adobe Acrobat has a bar code feature that works. You have to create a new PDF, add a Barcode field, and add a text field. From the barcode field you want make sure to uncheck "Compress Data Before Encoding" as that messes up the barcode for some reason. Under the value tab, you "Pick..." the text field you created. Then add whatever URL you want to encode in the barcode in the text field. I haven't figured out how to do SSID and passwords yet.


05/14/2013 08:06 am

Has anyone used this QR code generator?


06/25/2013 02:50 am

to generate qr code, you can try this barcode generator.

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