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21. Find People with Google



Perform a Basic Google Search

Perform an Advanced Google Search

About Google Search Operators

About Power Searching Strategies

Search Through Blogs with Google

Have you ever been Googled? Whether you know it or not, you most likely have. When you Google someone, you search with Google to find out information about that person.

You can use Google to find substantial amounts of information about people, and you can use it to find long-lost friends as well. Want to get in touch with your old boyfriend or girlfriend from high school? Turn to Google. Need to find out about someone you plan to hire or about your kid's school principal? Google is the place to turn. In this task, you'll learn how to find information about anyone with Google.

Find People With Google

Create a Search Checklist

Before you Begin searching, you should create a list of everything you know about the person, such as the following:

  • Full name, including the middle name

  • Maiden name

  • Place of birth

  • Current residence or last known address

  • Place of work

  • Names of parents, siblings, children, and relatives

  • Current and past employers

  • Interests and hobbies

  • Awards and recognitions

  • High school and university attended


Make sure you check the spelling of the person's name, place of work, residenceeverything you know about the person. If you spell the name wrong, it's unlikely you'll find the person.

Search by Name

The first step is the most obvioussearch for the person's name by typing it into the Google search box. Make sure that you put quotations marks around the name before you press Enter, like this: "Tim Smith". If you don't use quotation marks, you might find odd results, such as towns or cities, landmarks, and so on.

Add More Search Terms

The odds are that your first search won't come up with information about the person for whom you're looking, unless you're searching for someone with a unique name. Instead, it will most likely come up with thousands of results, most of which are not useful. So now begin to add search terms, one by one. Use the search checklist you created in step 1. For example, try adding the person's last known address, university, personal interests, and so on. Make sure to use quotation marks when applicable, around the name of a university, for example. (When you're searching for an exact phrase, use quotation marks.)

Exclude Search Terms

If you're searching for someone who happens to have the same name as a person relatively well known or who has many Google results, you're going to run into trouble. It will be very hard to find the object of your search, and information about him might be buried several hundred or more results deep. To get around the problem, use the Advanced Search feature to exclude many of the search results of the more well-known person. (You can also use search operators to exclude search terms. For details, see About Google Search Operators.

Get to the Advanced Search page by clicking Advanced Search next to the Google search box. (For more information about Advanced Search, see Perform an Advanced Google Search.) Then in the without the words box, type any words that describe the well-known personfor example, "city councilor" or musician. Make sure that the with all of the words box includes the person's name and any other search terms you've added. When you're done, click Search.

Visit Applicable Pages

Using multiple search terms should bring you relevant results. Visit them, one by one. What you find on one page might also give you ideas for more search terms to use to fine-tune your search; use those terms for subsequent searches.

Search Through Blogs

A surprising number of people have their own blogs these days, so don't be surprised if who you're looking for has one. If he does, a blog is the best way to find someone or find information about that person because blogs are often very personal.

To search through blogs, go to the Google Blog Search at For more details, see Search Through Blogs with Google.

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