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Many of us have wondered, “Can you see who googles you?” at one point or another. If this question is one that haunts you, as well, we've got answers, but they may not be the ones that you were hoping for.
Here, we'll take an in-depth look at whether or not you can find out who googles you, and how.
Can You Tell if Someone Googles You?
The unfortunate truth is that there is no feature on Google that notifies you when somebody searches for you by name.
Historically, websites like Ziggs have made claims of being able to show you exactly who has been googling you, but companies like these are quickly becoming a thing of the past. If you stumble across an app or service that claims to be able to show you this information, steer clear, especially if they're asking you to pay.
Related: 5 Easy Ways to Find Out Who's Searching for You Online
There are a couple of indirect ways of sniffing out anyone looking you up, however. You can make an attempt to identify these people from afar by trying to find any paper trail that they may have left in their wake on social media or on blogs.
You can also set up a Google Alert for your name, although your mileage may vary if you're not a public figure or extraordinarily popular. Google Analytics can also show you the keywords that bring people to your site, which may also provide some insight.
Ways to Try to Figure Out Who's Googling You
While there is no way of asking Google directly whether or not anybody has googled your name, there are a few ways you can indirectly figure out who's googling you.
1. Figure Out Who Googles You Using Social Media
Searching for yourself on, say, Facebook or Twitter may show you where you've been mentioned. If your circle is wide enough, you might actually dig something interesting up.
Related: Can You Really See Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile?
Of course, you will be notified if somebody mentions you with your handle or a link to your profile. It's unlikely you'll find many mentions of yourself publicly on social media unless you're a high-profile individual.
Other social media sites like LinkedIn will sometimes show you when somebody has viewed your profile, which is arguably more valuable than simply knowing who has searched for your name. These viewers will be anonymous for the most part, unless you pay for a premium LinkedIn account.
2. Figure Out Who Googles You Using Google Alerts
One clever way of working out who's googling you is through the company's Google Alerts feature. You won't be notified when somebody googles you, per se, but you will receive a notification whenever any website mentions you by name.
To get started, head on over to Google Alerts. In the text field, type out your name in quotes.
If your name is common or if you share a name with a celebrity or figure of note, you can qualify your keyphrase with the typical AND/OR/+/- that you would use in a normal Google search. You can include your profession or some other identifier that may refine your results.
You'll instantly see a list of mentions, Google-style. Choose Create Alert to save the alert and to be notified when something online triggers it.
You also have a few other options to choose from under Show Options. You can choose to only be notified when a news outlet mentions you, for example, or to only see results that come from a specific region or in your own language. You can also choose to see All Results or Only the Best Results, as well.
Related: How to Stop Google From Showing You Personalized Search Results
3. Figure Out Who Googles You Using Google Alerts
If you run your own website and have access to Google's suite of webmaster tools, you can use Google Analytics to see which keywords drive the most traffic to your domain. For many types of websites, the name of the person in charge will likely be one of them.
To begin, go to Google Analytics and create a free account linked to your online property. After adding the Google Tracking ID from the Admin menu, you'll have access to all of the incoming data that your website receives. If any of these visitors found you by Googling your name specifically, you'll be the first to know.
This isn't quite a foolproof method, as you'll only be able to see when people google you to end up at your website. But, it can at least give you some insight into how often you're being googled.
Some Things Are Better Left in the Dark
The impenetrable and secure nature of Google's inner machinations is something that we all need to accept as fact. Unfortunately, it's unlikely there will ever be a way to work out who has been googling you.