The verb “to google” was officially added to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. As the Official Google Blog clarifies the trademark, it should only be strictly used when you use Google to search.
But that doesn’t stop us from using alternative search engines to search for people, does it? Let’s look at 5 alternative search engines that work better than Google when you are searching for people online.
It is useful to remember, that another important use of people search engines is to find out if anyone is impersonating you online. If searches for your name reveal somebody else masquerading with your identity, you can take the appropriate corrective action.
Pipl is a people search engine that searches the deep web, which is not typically crawled by search engines like Google.
As you can see in the screenshot above, you can search via name, email, username and phone number. A simple search of my name revealed some of my online profiles (LinkedIn, Windows Live), several blog posts and webpages with my name, and surprisingly, all of the online avatars I’ve used on various social networks. Similarly, a search with my username ScepticGeek also returned relevant links to all the social networks where I use that username.
If you think having pseudonyms as usernames protects your real identity, this can be an eye-opener! For more, let Karl show you how to Find A Lost Love or Friend with Pipl.
Wink is a powerful people search engine that allows you to enter several search criteria. You can search by name, location, school, work, or interests like music, TV, and movies. So if you vaguely remember a school friend named Andy who liked rock music, Wink is your best bet in finding him on the web!
Wink has hundreds of millions of user profiles in its database. As soon as you start typing a name, Wink suggests matches from its database. For better results with Wink, you should include as many details as you can. Birthdays, high school or university, company, hometown, and interests – all help refine your search and find exactly the person you seek.
Using, you can search for people using their real names, usernames, email address, or phone number on 26 different social networks including popular ones like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, and Twitter.
For more information about how YoName can help you find lost friends, check out 3 Ways To Find People With Social Search Engines.
PeekYou is a people search engine previously covered in the MakeUseOf directory. Like with Wink, you can search using real name, username, location, work, school, and interests.
I was amazed at the accuracy of PeekYou in returning relevant results for my name. Apart from social networking profiles, the results also included links to background check information, shopping, web pages and blog posts, books, and images. You can further refine your search results by location, gender, and age.
As described earlier in the MakeUseOf directory,shows you an aggregated web page of the complete online presence of any person.
Results include all publicly available information such as images, web pages, blogs, tweets, videos, documents, social networking profiles, and even a tag cloud!
Did we miss any of your favorite people search tools? Share them with us in the comments!