Advanced LinkedIn Searching With Google

Here is a quick tip for individuals who wish to conduct a more exhaustive search for potential contacts on LinkedIn.

Although the business social network has over 175 million contacts in its database (as of August 2012), its internal search is not always reliable to find a contact that you have a hunch that he or she is on the platform.  Here is an example.

While creating a profile for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, I attempting to discover the LinkedIn profile for the agency’s President and CEO, George W. Jackson, Jr.   Using the advanced search interface on  LinkedIn, I was given a page of without any hits as seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Results For People Search For DEGC President and CEO, George W. Jackson, Jr

Based on the page of results, can one assume that Mr. Jackson does not have a LinkedIn profile?  Not exactly.

According to  Google and the site: function, Mr. Jackson does indeed have a profile.  Figure 2 is a screen capture of the search syntax and the results given by Google.

Figure 2: Search Syntax and Results Using "site:" For George W. Jackson Jr.'s Profile

In the search box, you can see that along with the individual’s name and, I added the keyword, “Detroit” to filter some of the irrelevant hits.  The first hit leads to LinkedIn’s directory of contacts with the name, “George Jackson”.    With the list of contacts, I selected to sort by location (i.e. Greater Detroit) and received the results as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Sorted Results For "George Jackson" by Location

The second hit on the list seems to be the profile  that fits the bill for my needs as it belongs to the President and the CEO of the agency.

Using social media as a source of competitive intelligence information entails going beyond basic search tools and results.  Performing exhaustive queries may mean questioning results that are given by reliable tools and digging a little further with other online search applications.

Need to improve your social media searching skills? Contact Isabelle Poirier for more details.

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About The Author:

Ian is a content strategist and the competitive intelligence researcher at Intelegia. With his knowledge of social media tools and an understanding of branding on the web, Ian formulates content marketing strategies for clients’ needs. As co-author of the Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© and chief blogger at Intelegia, Ian documents and assesses global best practices of organizations’ approaches to social media marketing in terms of integrating their branding and communications strategies to obtain their marketing objectives. Follow Ian on Twitter @citweetz. __________________________________________________________________


About Intelegia

Intelegia is a social marketing firm in Montreal, Canada. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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