If you were looking for someone...

Mouse

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...would you try Google?

This is my clairvoyant again. Two guys are after him, I'm wondering if, as a reader, you'd be ok with him being found through Google.

He's just done some modelling so recent photos of him (along with his name, I imagine) are now up on the photographer's website. I'm thinking they'd then contact the photographer.
 

The Judge

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The two guys, are they used to searching for people? Because although I might google, I'm pretty sure experienced investigators have far more effective ways of searching -- there are all kinds of databases out there, some of them even legal, so that addresses, credit card details, bank details, the lot can be found by those who know how to look (and/or can pay).

How common is your guy's name, by the way? Even not-at-all common names throw up lots of people with the same name on google, so a plain google search might not help. As for the photos, unless he's a male model, it's very unlikely the photos would have his name connected to them, surely.

Would your guy have a facebook page and/or twitter or something like that? If so, that would make finding him easier.
 

HareBrain

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Well, it takes seconds and it's free, so it seems an obvious route. The problem is if the target has quite a common name. (Even what you'd think of as uncommon names often seem to have had many previous owners.) But if they know other things about him, then sure.
 

Mouse

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They're not used to searching for people at all, in fact, they first hired him to find someone for them. So they're a bit useless.

His name's Rowan Foster and I've just Googled it and it brings up other people with the same name. He wouldn't have FB or Twitter cos usually he lives on the self-sufficient natural place. Maybe if they searched 'Rowan Foster, clairvoyant' it might help? If the photographer puts a little bio?
 

Abernovo

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If the photographer has them up on the website, then I'd accept he could be found on Google. Of course, it depends how high the photographer is on Google's algorithm. Bigger, with more advertising would likely have a higher profile and return on results.

I'd expect them to have other methods of searching, though. If they know he's a model, they might go to his agent, perhaps. Of course, the agent too would likely be up on the web.
 

Mouse

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He's not actually a model, and has never done any modelling before so that's his first job. And the photographer is actually a wildlife photographer.
 

Glitch

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...would you try Google?

I never use this particular search engine. But yes, trying an online search would be the place to start. If your characters found him on the first page with their first query - I'll probably raise an eyebrow.

Should you specify the search engine? It risks dating your work if it falls our of favour. Also, search engines return pages from other sites. Saying your found someone (presumably personal information) on the search engine might irk the company. Finding a link to a site with the information would be ok.

Am I two for two on confusing you?
 

hopewrites

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I have found and been found off google searches.
I would be more likly to believe they found him by searching something else which took them to the photographers site where they saw him. Bit more serendipitous. Especially if the guy they are after tries to stay off grid. Ie no social media accounts in his name.

If they are kinda usless I'd be quicker to belive they got lucky stumbling across him without looking, than that they found him by looking.

I do like the "contact the photographer" bit. I'd love it if the photographer was reluctant and had to be purseaded
 

Mouse

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I probably won't actually mention 'Google' as the two guys don't have a POV, but I wouldn't worry about it dating it, as I write contemp. it's probably not going to stand the test of time anyway.

The only scenes I was thinking of having, were the photographer putting the photos up (already done that, actually), then the next thing he knows, is having the two thugs turn up/contact him - I'm thinking they might pretend to be clients or something. So the reader would get how they've found him from that?

Hope, the photographer's definitely going to be reluctant. The clairvoyant is his love interest so he's going to want to protect him.

Another bit of info that might help - Rowan attended a local show as a clairvoyant, so his name will be on any adverts for that. My photographer also attended, so his name will also be there.
 

Brian G Turner

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The one thing about searching for people is that it's harder to do the more generic the name - in the absense of significant cues.

The more other people with the same name are established, the harder it is to be found.
 

TheDustyZebra

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When I have searched for people, I have had more luck finding them by their connections. Look for parents, friends, school, whatever you know or can find out about them, and triangulate. I also use public records searches.

That's how I found my nephew when my brother died. I searched the free public records sites (white pages, etc.), which gave me names of people who had lived at the same addresses as someone with my nephew's name, then I searched for them and found a few on Facebook who appeared to me to be probable in-laws of my nephew. I went to their pages, left messages for them, found people among their friends who lived near them and were likely to actually know them in person, left messages for them as well. It was a scattershot stalking approach, but it paid off -- somebody eventually told my nephew's wife and she told him, and he called me. Only took about two weeks. That would be faster if it involved people who were on Facebook all the time.
 

Ursa major

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The only scenes I was thinking of having, were the photographer putting the photos up (already done that, actually), then the next thing he knows, is having the two thugs turn up/contact him - I'm thinking they might pretend to be clients or something. So the reader would get how they've found him from that?
Yes.

We, as readers, only need to believe that they might find him, not know the actual means they used. (And I suspect they're not going to tell anyone how they did it, particularly not to the photographer.) The stumbling block (if there is one) is what you've said above, that these two know your clairvoyant because they wanted him to find someone for them.

Now if they wanted his clairvoyant help for a specific reason (i.e. because they really were in need of some paranormal power), the reader will probably find it easy to assume they can find him in a way that a member of the public might use where the need for clairvoyance is not an issue. This is something with which you can deal when they first call on his help (whether this is an actual scene, or in your clairvoyant's recollection of why they called him in).
 

Mouse

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Thanks, guys.

Ursa's got it really, I should've phrased my question better. I just need the reader to believe they have been found, probably through the photographer. I'm not doing a POV from the two guys so the specifics will never come up.

Ursa - they hired the clairvoyant to find a dead body originally.
 

Ursa major

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Ursa - they hired the clairvoyant to find a dead body originally.
Then everything's fine, as digging up information on the location of a dead body is likely to be somewhat different from doing so with a live one, (particularly if the former's burial was unofficial).
 

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