Fourteen Ways Google Puts the “In” in Investigations
Posted by Pamela S. on Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Today is the 14th Anniversary of the birth of Google. Actually the real date was September 7th, but that is just nit-picking, Google wants it to be today, so today it is. Google revolutionized the way we conduct investigations. I’m sure it has done the same thing for your business. Google’s founding mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google has provided us with an “in” to the world of information. Google made my life and yours better in so many ways. In their honor, here are 14 ways Google has helped us help you.
You could find information before Google, but it wasn’t easy. There was Altavista and some other search engines, but they weren’t really effective. Google made a huge impact on those of us in the business of conducting research; private investigators, law enforcement, journalists.
1. Google Search– Google isn’t everything, but it is a superhighway or a back road to many places. You can take the fast road if you know what you are doing, or the meandering back road if you aren’t as savvy. Sometimes getting lost on the back road is a good thing, and leads to new discoveries.
2. Google Maps – Every investigator uses Google Maps and Street View. Sure we all have GPS, but an investigator can scope out a location and see the layout of the land before they go on surveillance. That saves time
and saves you money.
3. Google Translate – “Internasyonal pagsisiyasat ay nagiging mas palasak.” This is Filipino for “International investigations are becoming more commonplace”. It may not be 100 percent correct, but it works in a pinch. There are 66 languages on Google Translate. When research leads to a page in a foreign language, and you don’t have someone who speaks Urdu on hand, this tool is invaluable.
4. Google Alerts – We can conduct a search and the next day something new might pop up. Google Alerts emails us and lets us know that there is new information.
5. Google News – Keeping up with advances in our industry is easy with Google News. What happens in the world impacts what we do.
6. Google Images – You can now search using an image. If we have a photograph of your subject, searching their image can lead us to other sites.
7. Gmail – I can’t tell you how many Gmail accounts I’ve had over the years, but there have been many. Gmail allows us to make inquiries and obtain information anonymously.
8. Google Drive and Google Docs – it is now easy to share information with our peers online.
9. Do you know anyone who hasn’t googled themselves? Many people want to be found online and that means we can find them.
10. Google now owns YouTube. The next time your malingering employee or insurance claimant posts a video of his adventures car surfing, it will be a bonus. If you have a stressful job, like we do, you can kill stress by watching silly videos on YouTube. Maybe you have to be a private investigator to appreciate this bit of fun:
11. Google+ may be a bit of a bust, but without Google there would probably be no Facebook or social media.
12. Google Chrome – Internet Explorer is a minefield of viruses. There is Mozilla Firefox of course, but Google Chrome is running neck and neck as the browser of choice.
13. Android – Google is now a smartphone and Apple needs to watch out. Competition only makes things better. P.I.s on the road can now access everything that they would on their office computer.
14. Google Innovation – Google doesn’t rest on its laurels. We aren’t always happy with what they do, but they are always willing to take a risk. One day private investigators may be able to concentrate on obtaining video, instead of trying to multitask and drive at the same time. Google’s driverless car will be a reality. Everything I have just researched came from Google, obviously, but isn’t that true for most things we find online?
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.