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Learn Google

Learn Google

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Published by Himanshu
Know About Google Inc.
Know About Google Inc.

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Published by: Himanshu on Oct 24, 2008
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Want to find a business or a person? Easy. Just key the appropriate

information in the search box, and if they are publicly listed, Google

will provide a phone number and address. As an example, I keyed in

my name, “Michael Busby,” (without the quotes) and the city

“Plano” (again, without the quotes) and pressed Enter. If a publicly

listed telephone number and address are available, PhoneBook will

place the information at the top of the search results page. The

results for “Michael Busby Plano” are shown in Figure 9.10. My

phone number and address have been grayed out, since I don’t want

any irate readers egging my house. Notice that the Google

PhoneBook feature returned two phone numbers and addresses,

one for a “Michael Busby” and the other for a “Michael G. Busby.”

Ahh, you will never know if they are one and the same, as no one

knows my middle initial. However, the point is, PhoneBook

returned all those named “Michael Busby” that it found in Plano.

If your search words contain certain keywords, PhoneBook is

activated and a check for public listings is performed. No more

directory assistance at $1.00 (or more) per pop! In a year’s time,

you will save in directory assistance charges what you spent on this

book. A one-year return on an investment is awesome! Try it.

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I mentioned earlier that you need to use certain words in your

search query to activate the PhoneBook. The keywords are:

For a U.S. business:

n Key the business name in the Google search box and the busi-

ness city and state in the Google search box.

Or

n Key the business name in the Google search box and the city

zip code.

Or

n Key in the business phone number (include the area code) to

find the business address.

For a U.S. resident, key in any one of the following options:

n First name (or first initial), last name, city (state is optional)

n First name (or first initial), last name, state

n First name (or first initial), last name, area code

n First name (or first initial), last name, zip code

n Phone number, including area code

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Chapter 9 / Other Google Features

Figure 9.10: Google PhoneBook

n Last name, city, state

n Last name, zip code

If the query results in both a business and a personal or residential

listing, both will be displayed. Also, PhoneBook does not support

the use of wildcard characters, such as the asterisk (*).

Note in Figure 9.10 that I did not place quotes around my name.

You may recall that quotes around query words require the search

engine to return search results with links to web pages containing

exactly the same sequence of words. Without quotes, the search

engine returns search result links to web pages containing those

words anywhere within the web page, not necessarily in the same

sequence or even located within shouting distance of each other.

Yet, PhoneBook acts as if quotes are around my name. That is

because the PhoneBook database is a directory listing, very much

the same as a paper phone book lying near your phone, not a web

page.

Notice that there are two links under “Michael Busby” in Figure

9.10. Both of these, Yahoo Maps and MapQuest, locate and provide

driving directions to my home in Plano. Just left-click on the link to

see the map display.

If you left-click on the

telephone icon, you will see an infor-

mational page (Google Web Search Features at http://www.google.

com/help/features.html#wp) about the Google PhoneBook feature.

The page includes a link to a form that you can use to request that

your personal information be removed from PhoneBook. We dis-

cuss removing a listing from PhoneBook later in this section.

In the next three figures, we are going to search on my name again.

I point out an interesting twist to PhoneBook. Figure 9.11 illus-

trates where we start out when performing most Google searches,

the Google home page. After entering my name and the state I live

in (Texas), I left-click on the Google Search button.

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otherGooglefeatures

The resulting search results include not only my address and phone

number, but 14,000 other search results. See Figure 9.12. Does this

mean that there are 14,000 people named “M Busby” in Texas? No.

It means that there are 14,000 total web pages that are part of the

search results.

There is a mysterious More phonebook listings link below my

name. When we click on it, a page of “M Busby” phone numbers is

displayed, “1 - 30 of about 107.” See Figure 9.13. The names, phone

numbers, and addresses are not shown for obvious reasons. The

really neat thing about searching in this manner is the ability to

locate someone in a particular state if you do not know the

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Chapter 9 / Other Google Features

Figure 9.11: Searching for M Busby Texas

Figure 9.12: Searching for M Busby Texas search results

community in which he or she resides. You can search the state and

get addresses and telephone numbers. Armed with this informa-

tion, you can narrow the search by phoning and mailing. What

legitimate purpose could such a search effort have? Well, I found a

long-lost relative searching the Internet in this manner. The power

to search an entire state for someone with just a couple of key-

strokes is awesome.

Notice in Figure 9.13 the Search PhoneBook option below the

query box. PhoneBook search results pages are the only web pages

where I have been able to locate this feature. We can resolve the

domain name to a PhoneBook “home page” that we can bookmark

and conveniently search future names and addresses without hav-

ing to perform a general search on the web, as we were required to

do to get to this page.

Chapter 9 / Other Google Features

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otherGooglefeatures

Figure 9.13: Searching for M Busby Texas search results

Figure 9.14: Saving Google Search (PhoneBook) bookmark

By lopping off the portion of the domain name that is specific to the

search on my name, I get a PhoneBook “home page.” The domain

name is http://www.google.com/search?sa=X&oi=fwp&pb=f&q=.

Bookmark it and name it PhoneBook! Initially, the Add Favorite dia-

log (IE 6.0) box will prompt you to save the bookmark as “Google

Search.” Well, we already have a bookmark named Google Search.

Besides, this is a search of PhoneBook, so it is wise to rename the

bookmark “Google PhoneBook.” To rename the bookmark, delete

“Search” and then key in “PhoneBook.” Next, left-click on OK.

Did you search on your name? Did you discover that you are easily

identifiable on the web? If you are disturbed that your name, phone

number, and address appear when searched upon, you may request

that your information be removed by visiting http://www.google.

com/help/pbremoval.html. The removal form is simple. See Figure

9.16. The Google PhoneBook removal page provides links to six

other reverse phone number lookup services. Of course, removing

it from Google and the six shown services does not get it out of the

other several hundred or so web phone books. Only if you have an

unlisted number can you have some degree of privacy. The people

who make a living gleaning personal information and selling it can

get your data from other sources, such as schools and colleges. So,

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Chapter 9 / Other Google Features

Figure 9.15: Renaming Google Search to Google PhoneBook

even if you opt for an unlisted number, you may still find your

phone number and address present on the web.

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