Is Google the Best People Search Engine? See How!

Cab Bearberry
4 min readNov 14, 2018


The answer to the question of is google people search the best; is yes. But only if you’re willing to do some homework and put some serious time into your people search. If Google doesn’t have it. It will help you find the resources that do. Like state and local public record databases.

Google is the king of web data mining. At least what’s available to the public not necessarily private databases. They are constantly scanning all sorts of social media, professional websites, and recreational websites. Except for the government google probably has more data than anyone out there.

Is there a 100% free people search engine without doing work via Google?

If you’re looking for a simple yet effective people search engine for free without the work and time required via Google. The simple reply to that is not really. It’s a great question for those of us who are busy or just need a quick peek into somebody immediately. So to begin we will consider the paid options first. This is the best option if you don’t have the time to do research and you are looking for a much deeper examination of records which aren’t particularly available on the web to the all the public and even google. What these web based organizations do is they aggregate free public information (which can be official state and public records), a great deal of paid for records such as mobile phone directories, social websites information such as facebook and others, paid government and exclusive information. All this information uploaded into a single easy and fast to use system. Anyone can do a quick scan of any individual at to get a basic report almost instantly without cost and see what’s available (a complete analysis is fee based).

Google people search

When it comes to free people search engines in my opinion the best tool is Google. It is simply the king of web data harvesting and accumulating digital footprints. To get the most use out of Google you just need to learn how to use google search operators.

Google person finder

“Google search operators are special characters and commands (sometimes called “advanced operators”) that extend the capabilities of regular text searches. Search operators can be useful for everything from content research to technical SEO audits.” via moz

I am going to provide several live google people search examples beneath so it makes more sense.

To start we’re going to place the name in quotes.

“Jane Doe”

Now let us add a location should you have one.

“Jane Doe” + “Dallas”

You’re able to scale this by adding something else that is related to an individual that helps narrow down the search.

“Jane Doe” + “Dallas” + “School”

“Jane Doe” + “Dallas” + “Place of work”

“Jane Doe” + “Texas” + “Place of work”

Next try using social media to discover individuals. This can also be done in google search.

Let’s use facebook to find people. The search operators we are going to use for facebook is what this does is refine the search to display results for specifically (you can try this with Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, among others). Wrap quotes around each set of key phrases plus a + after (see illustrations below and test with and without quotes).

Let me incorporate the individuals first and last name. + “John Smith” + “John Smith” + “John Smith”

Now why don’t we include a location for those who have one to improve the research further. + “John Smith” “Seattle” + “John Smith” “Seattle” + “John Smith” “Seattle”

Now, let’s add a school or whatever else that may make the research more relevant like a place of work / school. + “John Smith” “Seattle” “school” + “John Smith” “Seattle” “company”

As you can see the google person finder can be very effective as long as its done the right way. There may be other free people search engines out there claiming they are the best. But I highly doubt they have even a snipet of data google has on individuals. Just remember how to use search operators effectively and try using official public record databases in whatever location the person might be living in or has lived in. If you feel the google people search isn't producing to desired results try and try the scan on just about anybody and see what information from both public and private databases they have on that individual.