Home Advice & How-ToGuides Can You Google a Phone Number? Why is it So Hard to Google a Phone Number?
Home Advice & How-ToGuides Can You Google a Phone Number? Why is it So Hard to Google a Phone Number?

Can You Google a Phone Number? Why is it So Hard to Google a Phone Number?

by Jake Wengroff

We use Google for everything — most notably to search, shop and learn.  So how come Googling phone numbers or using Google to find someone’s phone number leaves us disappointed?  We don’t find the results we want — or we don’t receive any results at all. 

This wasn’t always the case.  Years ago, Google had a handy “Phonebook” search option, in which a user could type “phonebook: John Doe” into Google, and a list of matching phone numbers would result. However, this feature has long been phased out, leaving Google users at a loss when it comes to determining the name behind a phone number, or the phone number behind a name. 

So what can a phone number search reveal on Google? And is there a better way to find the information you’re looking for?

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What Google Searching a Phone Number Will Reveal

Sometimes Googling a phone number does lead searchers to the right information, as Google presents searchers with the information they are seeking.  

Solopreneurs: Wanting to Be Found

Solopreneurs, freelancers, consultants and those who rely on the internet to find customers want potential clients to discover them via Google search and will make their telephone number be known. 

This is why when you Google search a phone number, you might find immediate results: It belongs to an individual who has published this number on his or her personal website, portfolio site, or other locations.

This, of course, occurs because of the conscious effort of the owner to make the number and the identity of the owner public.

Business Telephone Listings

This is a different, but related, approach to searching for telephone numbers.  Like solopreneurs, businesses want to be found on the internet in hopes of getting business.

However, this is not 100 percent foolproof, as some listings might be old, the business has moved or the business actually does NOT want to be contacted by phone.  (Anyone who has tried to find the toll-free customer service phone number for a business knows how tricky this can be.)  Instead, the business prefers to be contacted by other means: email, contact form, Facebook page message or the like.

Google’s Limitations

Further to this point, phone numbers are not the only pieces of information for which Google  does not offer the best results.  The Google search results when searching email addresses, social media profiles and even street addresses are generally incomplete or hard to understand. 

How to Find the Information You’re Looking For

So what can you do if you are trying to find the phone number of a lost connection, or trying to identify who’s calling you? You should lean on an experienced people search engine, like Spokeo

Spokeo is a people search engine that aggregates data from online and offline sources — about 12 billion records — and uses a combination of both human and technology-driven resources to maintain the deepest repository of people information availables. Using our powerful people search tools, you can:

  • Leverage the information you have, such as a name, phone number or address to learn more about an old connection or new acquaintance
  • Discover who owns the phone numbers, emails and even social media accounts that may be contacting you
  • Find out the information you need to get in touch with someone, including phone numbers, addresses, etc. 

Rather than relying on a free Google search that only returns snippets of relevant or useful information, Spokeo will comb its vast repositories of people data to locate the useful and actionable information you need.

Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce and IoT.