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Best Sites to Search for People Online

There are many web sites on the net and search engines that can be used to help find people on the web. Below are some of the different sites and methods of locating someone online.

Note: Most of these services work best for finding someone that is alive. If you are looking for someone that is deceased, you may want to start with a Google search. Another option that could work better are genealogy sites, which can have more details for deceased people.

The sites and services on this page are primarily for those users who are in the United States. However, some of the sites listed do have other countries available and the Google search tips listed near the bottom of this page can be used by anyone in the world.

New Tip: Many of these services require some registration or payment to get more detailed information about the person you are trying to find. There is no service or site we are aware of that will provide very personal information about a person for free. We have tried to create this list in order of services that provide the most information for free.

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/srch.php
Today, Facebook is one of the largest online social networks with over 500 million people. If you are looking for an old friend, using the Facebook people search is a great first place to start.

FamilyTreeNow

http://www.familytreenow.com/
One of the best free sources online for finding people in the United States. With their collected records you can find someones current and past address, associates, and family members.

PeekYou

http://www.peekyou.com
Fantastic site for finding people online that searches over sixty different social networking sites, blogs, websites, and other sources online to find people.

KGBPeople

http://www.kgbpeople.com
A great online service that searches all the popular social network sites, blogs, search engines, meetup, Amazon wish lists, and much more.

Spokeo

http://www.spokeo.com
One of the better sites for finding information about someone online such as family, home, online profiles, etc.

WhitePages

http://www.whitepages.com
Great, easy to use page to find basic information about people in the United States.

PrivateEye

http://www.privateeye.com
PrivateEye is a quick easy and fast method of finding someone by name, address, phone number, marriage, bankruptcy records, and more. The site gives out free information such as full name, city, state, age, and possible relatives. Additional details such as phone and address are often available but require that the user pay a fee.

Google

http://www.google.com
Almost everyone who has gone on the search engine Google has tried searching for themselves or others they know. Below are different methods of finding someone using Google.

Search for the person using their name. Below are different examples of how this could be done. If a user has a common name such as the example below adding the state, area code, etc. helps refine the search.

“John Smith”

“John Smith” Utah

“John Smith” 801

Pull up a person’s name and address using a phone number by typing a search similar to the example below.

phonebook: 801-555-1234

Finally, searching popular social networking sites, such as MySpace, is another quick method of locating someone using Google. For example, if you were wanting to find your high school classmates, you could type a search similar to the example below.

site:www.myspace.com 1997 “west jordan”

In the above example, the “site:www.myspace.com” tells google to only search for pages that are on MySpace. All keywords used after this are what are being searched. In this case, “1997” is the graduation year and “West Jordan” is the high school name. Keep in mind this is a very basic example and would require that the person you’re looking for to have a MySpace page.

Other sites

Below are some additional sites that can help track down people online.

There are dozens of other sites that allow users to find people using public records. If you’re not ale to find someone using the above sites, you can search Google for other sites.

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Where Can I Search People Free?

Are you making the most of the free online searches for people? We take a look at how to speed things up, and get the results you are after.

Search Engines

If you’ve read our other articles, you’re aware that search engines can be very effective for locating people. You’re probably also aware that a quick search doesn’t always provide the results you are seeking. As an example, a search for Tom Smith on Google returns 35,000,000 results. You’d be very lucky if you found who you were after in the first 10, 20, or even 100 results. Rather than head off to try other avenues, why not get specific with your search?

Tip #1

Try enclosing your search within quotation marks (i.e. “Tom Smith”). Rather than 35,000,000 results, you have narrowed it down to 279,000.

Tip #2

Include the area with your searches (i.e. “Tom Smith” “New York”). By using both the location and quotes, this search has now narrowed to 40,200 results.

There are many effective searching tools provided by each search engine apart from the simple search box. Try clicking the advanced search, or search tips links provided, and you’ll start to get a better foundation of what you can really do. A few of the more common include the + symbol. Placed before a word or quoted phrase, the plus symbol enforces that the results will return only pages that have that exact word or quote on them. The – symbol does the exact opposite. If you’re returning too many results of a specific nature, and it isn’t what you’re looking for, take them out of the results with the negative symbol.

By learning to use the search engines effectively, you’re more likely to find the person you are seeking, and you’ll save yourself a heap of time in the process.

Other Searches

All of the advanced usage tips on search engines can be applied to many online people searches. If you’re not returning the results you are after, try moving up to the more advanced search where available. Yahoo! People Search for example has an advanced email search page. Rather than your simple first name, last name, and region search, you can also narrow things down by organization type, organization name, or even throw in an old email address.

Make the most of what’s available, and use all the information you have at hand. Free people searches can be very effective, but they are even more effective when you use them well.

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How to Find Anyone Online – 3 Simple Steps

Write down all the vital information you know about this person. Trying to find somebody using their name alone will probably cast too wide a net. Make your hunt more targeted by including information such as:
  • Full name and nickname
  • Age and date of birth
  • Schools attended
  • Hobbies, likes and dislikes, team sports (especially at schools)
  • Places of work
  • Old addresses and phone numbers
  • Friends, family members, and neighbors

Search for variations on the person’s name and/or nickname. Every time you find a page or clue that suggests other parts of the profile, write it down in the profile. For example, you might find “Bea Harrington” mentioned in a newspaper in Albany, NY and a “Beatrice R. Harrington” in a brochure in Dallas, TX. Write down both of those locations in the profile with question marks. If you find another indication that the person with that name is in one of those locations, put a tick next to that location every time.

  • To pull up exact matches only, put quotation marks around each version of their name. (If you’re unsure as to spelling, don’t use quotation marks.) Plug it into major search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.); the more variations and engines you try, the more info you’re likely to find.
  • If you suspect that the person has gone to another country, especially one where a different language is spoken, try a foreign search engine. Many major search engines have different versions for different countries (Australia, China, etc.). Try those.
  • When searching for a woman who might have gotten married and changed her name, try adding “né” in the search box with every variation (née is a word used to indicate that the person is using their maiden name).

Vary your online searches by including other details about the person. After you’ve done a full sweep on the person’s name and nickname, do a second with a slight modification such as their hometown, age, high school, former workplace, etc. Repeat as necessary.

  • If you know of a particular website this person may be associated with, you can search within the site on Google with something like “site: stanford.edu Beatrice Harrington” to focus on those results.

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