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Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Counter-Googling is the use of the search engine to find information about the party that would traditionally be the searcher, such as a potential customer, by a party that would ordinarily be the subject of the search, such as a business. 

Common applications of counter-Googling include an organization researching a potential new hire, a business researching an existing customer to improve service and a marketer researching a potential customer to provide better personalization and/or more precisely targeted offerings. The potential of counter-Googling to provide useful information has increased in recent years as there is more and more personal data online about more and more people. 

In the context of employee recruitment, hirers can use social networking sites and general web searches to yield useful information about job candidates. That information might include not only details that will help determine whether the person is a good fit but also information that could help determine the best position for them within the organization and the types of incentive and management tactics that are likely to be effective for them, among other possibilities. 

In the context of customer experience management (CEM) a hotel representative might, for example, discover through a new guest's Twitter or LinkedIn profile that he was an avid hiker and leave guides to local trails in the guest room. 

For marketing, counter-Googling can enable offers that target the individual rather than their general demographic. However, because counter-Googling is somewhat labor-intensive, it would not be worthwhile for general marketing efforts. 

This was last updated in October 2014

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Any smart company is using counter-Googling (or similar strategies via social media) these days to learn more about their potential customers.  


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