“Have you Googled it?” is one of the phrase we often heard referring to the search for particular information on Google. Google seems not only a company or product name; it’s also a verb.
Seemingly the ultimate starting point to search for everything, Google is not an ideal place to search for certain information. One of such is company information.
Sure, you can Google for company information (there you go again…) but unless you type the company name, the stakeholders, etc. you won’t get far in your search. It’s probably better for you to search using business-only search engines.
I have compiled a small list of popular business search engines you can use to find information related to a particular company. They are also great if you want to build a B2B list for you to contact to build business relationship.
So, just forget Google for a while and check out the following better-than-Google search engines for company information (not in a particular order):
TechCrunch’s CrunchBase is a free, wiki-style directory of tech companies, people and investors. Just like Wikipedia, anyone can edit the information.
There are nearly 100,000 companies listed in the directory, more than 130,000 tech people and over 8,000 financial organisations. Information is organised via milestones – so you can search any updates regarding any companies, including acquisitions, new funding rounds, and so on.
You can do both text-based search and location search.
Business.com is a classic-style business directory. You can choose the appropriate categories to seek for vendor listing or enter any texts in the search bar. Companies are presented in a list in the form of company name, description and website URL. Getting listed costs you a fee, but searching for information is always free.
According to Business.com, there are more than 10,000 vendors (and advertisers) listed on the site.
3. LinkedIn.com Companies
LinkedIn.com is still the numero uno in business social networking. However, not many business owners know that you can easily search for company information using LinkedIn.com company search feature.
You can start your search for companies by entering the company name, keywords or industry, and you’ll be presented with a list of companies with description, location, the number of employees and so on.
There are more than 2.6 million companies – including headquarters and subsidiaries – listed on LinkedIn, with nearly 700,000 companies are US-based. Pretty impressive, I must say!
Just like some others, Manta is a business networking site. It’s a go-to place for businesses to connect with prospects, as well as getting found online. Although seems familiar, Manta is not your typical business networking site. What’s “unusual” with Manta is the number of listing: There are about 11.5 million companies of all sizes – both US and non-US – listed with Manta!
Just like a good business search engine, you can search companies by company name, category or location. You can find plenty of information from the resulting list, such as website, phone number, description, contact person and so on – including recommendations.
5. Facebook Business Pages
Facebook is THE social networking site, no doubt about it – with 900 million users, you can’t just go wrong. However, what most business owners don’t realise is the fact that you can actually search for company information via Facebook search engine. While on the general search bar will return you a list of people, companies and everything else, from this particular page, you can search on the particular category you want.
Just visit Facebook Pages, choose “Brands & Products” or “Companies & Organizations” tab and you’ll see a list of business pages based on your location and interest. You can always search form a particular business page via Facebook’s internal search engine.
6. Google+ Local
Okay – I say no Google early on, but this one is something not to miss – it’s not Google search, anyway; it’s Google+ :)
Just like Facebook, using Google+ Local you can get recommendations on local businesses. You, of course, can search any companies from any cities you want. You will then be directed to the companies’ Google+ business pages for contact info, updates and so on.
Google+ Local focuses on restaurants and hotels – so if your industry is food and beverages or you are marketing to that industry, Google+ might be a good starting point for your search.
YellowPages.com – now YP.com is a long-time favourite for company information. Previously not too helpful with its company name and contact information, now it’s trying to go web 2.0 by offering more perks to companies listed – photos, reviews, and so on. But still, I wish I can see more details on the detailed pages as many of them are not complete (most just company name and phone number.)
You can always search for any other details, such as finding directions and people (whitepages).
So – there you go – 7 business search engines I recommend you to visit when looking for company information. There are many other useful search engines on the web, but to get you started, I suggest you to kick-off with the above list.
What’s your favourite business search engine? Any recommendations on the ones you regularly use that are not listed above? Please share by leaving a comment below.
Finding company information from the right place