Do you really know how to search?

Authored bycascade

Let me put that differently – do you really know how to find? For me personally, I don’t think I’ll ever be done learning about this field. But you know you’re on the right when Google recklessly accuses you of being a bot like you see below:

And let me start with a challenge. Find people in Canada who travel a lot who and work for a small business. Contact them for competitive intelligence research.

How would you do that? The traditional market research approach would be to load up a screener and blast it out to thousands of people and see who response. Who does respond? Generally, it’s people who’ve decided that it’s worth their time to take surveys in return for incentives. Some of the people you’ll get are what are known as “professional survey takers” – meaning they probably don’t have any relevant experience at all.

Are these the best people? Who do you really want? I’m thinking I’d like traveling sales people, consultants, small business owners – in short, people who are probably busy, feel like their time is worth something, and aren’t signing up with every “Take a Survey – Earn Rewards” company on the Web. So what I’d do is go to Google and enter a search something like the following:

“, canada” “mi to” inurl:people

Feel free to give it a shot.

Let’s break this down. This searches, and only This searches for pages that contain “, Canada”. Why search for that? Because if you look at someone’s tripit profile, it will say something like “Home: Vancouver, Canada”. So many of the people returned by this search will live in Canada (there will also be a few people who just travel to Canada a lot too).

What about the “mi to”? Again, if you look at a good profile, you’ll see it contains something like “…traveled 231,781 mi to 23 locations…” If the profile doesn’t contain “mi to” then they might have set up a tripit profile but never used it. They may have never set foot on an airplane even once in their life. Who knows? But you don’t want them as part of your research. Adding “mi to” filters those people out.

And what about the inurl:people? Well, there are lots of pages on tripit other than user profile pages. But profile pages all have a URL like: In other words, the URL will have “people” within it for profile pages.

This gives you a pile of profiles to go through. Now how do you know if they work for small businesses? TripIt might tell you the company they work for, cross reference it in LinkedIn to see its size. Even if it tripit doesn’t give their company, it you can probably look the person up in LinkedIn with their name and location, find them, and see where they work. Then it’s on to the outreach (a subject for another time).

Got your own search tip – feel free to share by adding a comment.

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart

Home » Blog Posts » Do you really know how to search?
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