I have a site with Google Maps on most of the pages. When inspecting content keywords in Google Webmaster tools, content keywords identified by Google-bot for the site include "imagery", "sorry" and "here". These turn out to be part of an error message returned by Google Maps: "Sorry, we have no imagery here". I cannot reproduce this error with normal clients, nor does "fetch as Google" show it. The problem is presumably that Google-bot tries to execute some of the Google Maps Javascript but then shoots itself on the foot and records the error message.

A Google search for "Sorry, we have no imagery here" shows that this problem is endemic to sites across the internet, including Yelp and many others.

I'd like to convince Google that my site is not about imagery and being sorry, but I'd also like to keep the maps in place. I guess one option would be to transition to static maps, but that's not a great alternative.

There's some related discussion on Webmaster World, no resolution.

2 Answers 2


I think that this is against the rules of google but till they fix their own bug i am going to use the following javascript in order to disable the map functionality for google indexer bots.

        var isGoogleBot = navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase().indexOf('googlebot') > -1;
        if (isGoogleBot)
            return; // "Sorry, we have no imagery here" BUG
  • I know this is OOT, but let me also ask the following since no one answered it in StackOverflow. The Google maps app does not show this completely unhelpful message. Instead, it shows the lower resolution image zoomed in. Same if you are online using the map in the cache: it shows you the best lower resolution image in the cache. This should be the normal behavior... Do you know any way to tell the app to do as google maps do? Thanks a lot. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 23:52

My assumption is that googlebot won't fully evaluate all code on page, but will use heuristics as well. Base on this assumption I did the following:

  1. Create a div with a "random" ID (for the map) and style="display: none;"

  2. Create a noscript tag with an img tag in it with the SAME "random" ID (i used a static map image as fallback here)

  3. Create a (custom) javascript function where the unique ID must be passed to initialize your map AND toggle the display on the map-element.

So far, none of the maps "sorry we have no imagery" gets indexed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.