Social Profile: What Does ZoomInfo Say About You?

ZoomInfo has probably collected information about you and others who share your name: is what’s there accurate?

ZoomInfo home page screenshotIt was in the course of researching and authoring a book on LinkedIn for recruiting with my colleague Bill Vick that I first learned about the online business information service ZoomInfo. Why it came up at the time was that it was commonplace for the recruiting specialists we were interviewing to mention using ZoomInfo as one of the tools they used to find out about candidates.

Since then, when I have mentioned ZoomInfo during presentations, it usually seems to be only people with experience in recruiting who know about it.

What I found particularly interesting once I looked into ZoomInfo was the fact that, unlike sites such as LinkedIn where you need to join and then provide information about yourself, ZoomInfo does not wait for anyone to upload their own information and, as my experience and that of others attests, stores and displays information about people who do not even know of its existence.

In my non-technical parlance, it just scoops up information about people and displays it. If that is not of sufficient concern for someone in business that they would go and check out what is on ZoomInfo about them, I don’t know what would.

When I first looked, there were several “identities” under my name which were all, in fact, my own, mixed up with links about other people of the same name, such as the Herbalife guy, the playwright and the parish priest.

Claiming identity and editing the profile data

What I was able to do was to claim my own identity, consolidate the different links for under the one item and then edit the information. To do that I had to join ZoomInfo and supply credit card details. I was not charged anything at the time or since – it was from memory a “good faith” checking system. (Note: this is not a recommendation that you happily provide your credit card details: just sharing my experience.)

And today, in the process of bringing myself up to date on ZoomInfo, I realized that even the information I had provided to fill out my profile was out of date. So as I had registered previously I was able to go in and update my information and the picture of myself on the site.

edited profile on ZoomInfo screenshot

Alert about alerts

One challenge I had in signing in to the ZoomInfo site was that I had the warning message: “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” and a recommendation not to proceed. I chose to proceed and had no problems, but of course I am not recommending that. It does seem that the ZoomInfo site owners might have a problem there, as I had the warning on two separate browsers.

Have you checked out your profile on ZoomInfo? Have you edited it? Or were you put off by the warning message on the site’s security?

Des Walsh

Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.

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  1. Wow, I have never heard of ZoomInfo either. Given that they have no idea whether the information is correct, and appear not to care, aren't they opening themselves up to law suits?

    1. Ryan
      It is amazing, but they've been around for a while and I imagine they would say they are just listing what's out there on the web. Which is why I encourage people to check out what's there and tell their own story coherently. I don't know about law suits – how could they be sued for just listing what's on the web?

      1. I was thinking along the lines of someone missing out on a lucrative job offer, or converesly getting sacked, on the basis of false information attributed to that person by ZoomInfo. For example, what if ZI combined your LinkedIn info with some crackpot's Facebook info, who happens to have the same name as you? Perhaps I'm being too paranoid.

        1. Ryan
          I don't know all the ins and outs of how Zoominfo works. I just believe people should know about it and to take responsibility ourselves for updating the information about us (with the caveats I have included in my post, e.g. about the need (if it still operates) to supply credit card details). Personally, I don't think Zoominfo does 'combining' in the way you seem to suggest, as disctinct from, say, combining the several links to info about me under the one profile. My understanding is that the info on us (a claimed 45 million people and 5 million companies) on ZoomInfo is a combination of what they have found about us on the web (they provide the reference link) and what we provide about ourselves. If you wanted to check it out further, the company has a contact page with a phone number, US address and a contact form with various options including one to report inaccurate or out of date info attached to one's profile.

  2. Zoominfo has old info on me, so they're not so diligent about scraping regularly (I'm about as public as you can get online).

    It would be fun to go into a job interview (with an employer you knew Zoom'd you) and offer up a schizophrenic mix of each character that comes up on your search.. e.g. the Herbalife guy, the playwright and the parish priest.

    1. Phil

      As I say, you can edit your own info. The interview scenario is very funny. Reminded me of this:

      A priest, a rabbi and a parson walk into a bar. Barman says “What is this, some kind of joke?”

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