I traded some email with the Maps team and I saw something in a link they sent me that I wasn't familiar with. To best explain this, first load this map from Berkeley to Google in a separate browser window. Note in the "End Address" section, the Google. Now load this map of Sydney and note the label inside the callout.

If you look at the urls, you'll see a (text) argument appended to the url. This is a lightweight way of linking to Google maps without touching on the maps API. As you can see, you can arbitrary labels to your links like this chocolate shop or this restaurant. Have fun!