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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 Track Anyone on The Internet

When you’re trying to find someone online, Google’s not the only game in town. In the last two years, a handful of new people search engines have come onto the scene that offer better ways to pinpoint people info by name, handle, location, or place of employment. While there’s still no killer, one-stop people search, there are more ways than ever to track down a long-lost friend, stalk an ex, or screen a potential date or employee. The next time you wonder, “What ever happened to so-and-so?” you’ve got a few power people search tools to turn to.
Note: Stalking is serious business. When we say ‘stalk,’ we’re exaggerating, not recommending.

Find Phone Numbers and Addresses with ZabaSearch
Look up anyone’s home address(es) and phone numbers at ZabaSearch, a creepily-comprehensive people search engine that will freak you out when you search on your own name but save your ass when you desperately need a former coworker’s phone number. ZabaSearch’s index includes listed and unlisted numbers and addresses (though the founders say all the info is public record.)
ZabaSearch people search

Recently-launched Zaba Search uncovers a whole lot of information about people given their first…
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Search the “Deep Web” with Pipl
My favorite new search engine of the bunch, Pipl digs up information about a person Google often misses, supposedly by searching the “deep web” (or “invisible web.”) Pipl returns an impressive number of results for most people who use their “real” names online, including personal web pages, press mentions, MySpace pages, and Amazon wishlists. You can also narrow your search for common names by entering city, state and country, too.
Special: Seek and Ye Shall Find

by Wendy Boswell
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Search Several Social Sites at Once with Wink
So the person you’re looking for likely has a Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, or Xanga account? Instead of searching each service individually, enter their full name or screen name, plus other identifying information like interests and location at Wink to do a one-hit comprehensive search of all those services at once.

Get Employment Results at ZoomInfo
Job-centric search engine ZoomInfo aggregates people and company information in one place to help candidates find the right job, but its people search tool also turns up information about corporate types especially well. ZoomInfo’s information listings on people, culled from the web, include people’s employment history and current job title, whether or not they’re looking for a job. Search by a person’s full name at ZoomInfo, and when you get too many results, filter them by geography (U.S. and Canada only.)

Find More than College Students at Facebook

Incessant notifications, Beacon, and zombies aside, one of Facebook’s greatest utilities is finding people online, and it’s not just for students anymore. Chances are your grandmother set up a Facebook account this year, so all those annoying emails might be worth tracking down your best friend when you were 9 years old who moved to Florida on Facebook.

Practice Your Google-fu for Better People Results
Okay, fine, you can’t talk finding people online without mentioning the big G. For internet superstars you’ll get great results by just typing his/her name into Google’s search box, but for civilians, common names or names with double meanings, a few advanced Google techniques can help narrow down the field of results.

Enclose the first and last name of the person you’re searching for in quotes when you enter it into the search box (like “John Smith”).
Include other relevant words, like the person’s profession, employer, location, or screen name, too (like banker or Austin, Texas.)
If the person you’re searching for is likely to appear on a particular web site—like a school—search only that site using the site:URL operator (like site:ucla.edu “John Smith”).
To look up people by face, search for them on Google Images to get a quick visual—especially useful for people with common names, or to determine the gender of a name you never heard before.
Get Context-Menu Access to People Search Engines with the Who Is This Person? Firefox extension
Finally, if you run across folks online you want to know more about often, search a ton of engines for someone’s name with the Who Is This Person? Firefox extension. Simply highlight the name on any web page and look ’em up on Wink, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google News, Technorati, Yahoo Person Search, Spock, WikiYou, ZoomInfo, IMDB, MySpace and other engines from the Who Is This Person? context menu item.

For more online sleuthing resources, check out Wendy’s great tutorial on searching public records online. To make yourself more findable? Have a say in what Google says about you. Also, many of these services let you “claim” your name and add information to your results. Do a search for your own name and click the link that says, in effect, “Is this you?

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