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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

It’s not too unlikely to get a phone call from a number that you are not quite acquainted with. If you’d like to know about the caller, you’d need to do so following a specific search technique commonly referred as a reverse phone lookup, which intimates you about the origin of the number.

What Does Reverse Phone Lookup Really Mean?

A reverse phone lookup is all about tracking a phone number by punching in the number into a directory or a search engine to find the listing that is returned back against that specific number.

There are a host of different methods commonly used for looking up a number on the web, but in this write-up, we’ll focus on how to do so using Google. In fact, Google is one of the most popular search engines keeping track of almost anything you search and do online, which makes it a goldmine for information diggers.

Resorting to Google for Reverse Phone Lookups

Not long ago, a reverse phone lookup was not more than resorting to Google’s phonebook search operator for the job. However, since November 2010, Google banished its phonebook operator, mostly because of a large number of people resenting the idea of finding their personal information in Google’s index.

Receiving tons of requests from people to get their information removed from the index ultimately compelled Google to shut their phonebook operator for good.

Though tracking a phone number became challenging after Google’s decision, but it didn’t take people much long to figure out another intuitive way of doing so, as listed below:

  • Begin your search by punching in the full number you are searching about in Google’s search box, making sure to include the area code as well; e.g. 111-111-1111. This might lead you to see your desired number in a host of different phone directories.

This initial step can lead to a couple of different possibilities like:

  • When your desired number belongs to a business: If this is the case, the business’s information (usually) shows up in top 5 searches.
  • When your desired number belongs to a private household: If so, Google might not directly return the address associated with it. However, if that person’s number is listed elsewhere on the web (such as on a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth), then you might get the listing.

Google can also be used to find the phone number and address of a person if you’ve got their number. Try typing the full name of the person accompanied with the zip code of the area he / she is living in; for instance, “Joshua Timberlake 1111”.

In addition to a phone number for the name, you might also be returned with a name and an address, aided with Google Map’s directions leading to the residence. However, if the person you’re searching about hasn’t had their address made available publically, you might not get any other information associated with the number in return to your search.

Can You Also Use Google to Remove Yourself from the Google Phone Directory?

Though Google has officially abandoned its public phonebook directory years ago, they still allow you to access them if you want to get any piece of your personal information removed from anything that looks like their directory.

All you have to do is to visit Google Legal Removal Requests page to have a look at Google’s current policies in this regard. However, this removal request might not result in removal of your information placed anywhere else on the web, such as your social media networking accounts.

Another important aspect to keep into consideration in this regard is that you are not required to pay someone in order to remove any of your information from Google, because Google is more likely to respond to your request than anyone else’s to do such a job.

Do You Always Succeed in Finding Your Desired Number on Google?

Though many people successfully find the numbers they want to search using the reverse phone lookup method elaborated in this article, you should understand the fact that this doesn’t guarantee finding your desired information every single time, not because the method is ineffective, but because of various other reasons. For example, Google won’t be able to help you if the phone number goes unlisted or originates from a cell phone.

To surmise, you better avoid paying for this information, because Google is as accessible to you as to any of the sites asking you for money to do this. So, you better spend some time on your laptop than throwing away some of your hard earned money for a job that you might as well do.