Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Search Challenge (12/19/12): Looking for just the right person?

 People are often the most interesting (and often the most difficult) to find in web search.  It’s not hard to find just someone, but finding just the person you’re looking for often requires a bit of thought.   

Here’s a good question that sounds ridiculously difficult, but which is actually straightforward… if you know the right bit of search knowledge.  See if you can solve it. 

Question:  Find a person who lives on an island in or near Australia, and whose Google-plus profile lists his LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest profile URLs. 
Now, what color is the piece of furniture on his company’s website home page?
Be sure to let us know what your answer is (what color is the furniture?), how long it took you to solve it (it took me just under 1 minute), and most importantly for all of us here—HOW you solved it.  What method did you use? 

Search on!

(Many thanks for this challenge go to Irina Shamaeva – head of the Boolean Strings search firm; a sourcing company that does this kind research when searching for people to hire.)  


  1. Color of the furniture: red
    Name: Phillip Drury
    Location: Tasmania

    Doing a site search on google+ for 'australia island furniture linkedin' I hit Irinia's discussion dated last April of the subject. About 2 minutes.

  2. Color: RED
    Time: less than 2 minutes.

    Google Search for: [ "" "" ""]

    First result:

    Check for all the question conditions: ok

    Select the work email domain, then right click and "Go to" in my Chrome.

    Ask a coworker for the color of the couch in the front page picture ( I'm daltonic :-)

    Note: I guess that digging it is possible to find another correct answer (and is quite possible that this is not the only correct answer in those posts)

    Happy holidays!

  3. Red; about a minute.

    Google search: tasmania "" "" ""

    (Tasmania seemed most likely.)

    First result was for Phillip Drury's G+ page; followed LinkedIn link to find "Phillip Drury's Additional Information" where there's a link to company's website:

  4. You stumped me, if not for the hint at the bottom as where you got the idea for the search I would have never found it.

    Then I cheated, I looked up the Boolean Strings search firm and they had the same contest last April.

    So the winning search used was: inurl:about twitter facebook pinterest

    And the winning answer was:

    Congratulations to
    who found the guy (the one I had in mind, anyway);

    Phillip Drury comes up in this search inurl:about twitter facebook p...

    and has a RED couch on his company page.

    So I did not find this the correct way. But I see now what I should have done.
    I spent about a hour before I looked up the Boolean Strings Company and found the answer on Forums page by Irina Shamaeva. Credit goes to VIVEK JOTHI who found the correct method.

  5. australia twitter pinterest linkedin island - searched these in Google Plus and Irina's post came right up. The man is Phillip Drury and the couch on his company's website is red. Island is Tasmania. Took about 5 minutes.

  6. The furniture is red

    After a bit of futzing around I ran this: linkedin pinterest twitter furniture

    And up popped your pal Irina who posted this last April - along with the answer

    Is this cheating ?

  7. Phillip Drury:
    Took about 10 minutes.

    I don't know much about Google+, so I searched for "searching google plus by location." I found this guide here:

    I eventually fooled around with it enough to figure out what I was doing, to a certain extent. And I knew Tasmania was an island in Australia. So I eventually searched " "lives * * * tasmania" linkedin" and his "abaout" page showed up first.

    The search string means that you're searching only in Google plus, you're looking for a phrase that has "lives" and "tasmania" with up some words between (for city, the word "in," etc.), and you want it to mention LinkedIn on the page as well.

  8. Good day Dr. Russell

    Thinking what to search for was very hard. The only way that I thought was with the clues you gave to us and that I searched.

    Searched [australia furniture pinterest linkedin twitter] on Google plus.

    Found: Irina Shamaeva. The same one in your post with link:
    There Found: Phillip Drury.


    what color is the piece of furniture on his company’s website home page?
    A: Red

    I have to say that looking for the answer found very interesting things about how to search. I am looking forward to know your answer. I am sure I will learn new things tomorrow!!!

    Have a great Holiday Season, Dr. Russell and fellow SearchResearch friends.

  9. Where to start? Using Tablet so always concerned about its limitations. But entered... linkedin pinterest twitter furniture Australian island came up with red couch by Phillip Drury.

    Happy December 22nd everyone. Take time to celebrate.