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Building Bridges: How to Search for People Using Various Methods

Do you want to find a long-lost relative or a friend? People finders, search engines, and social media are only some of the options you have available to you.

You can rely on this in-depth guide no matter who you’re trying to track down. Let’s dive right in.

Background check sites

Background check sites make locating anyone by name possible by aggregating and compiling data from many sources, such as public records. This data can include a person’s mailing address or email address, phone number, and their social media accounts.

To get more information about someone, simply enter their name in the search bar of your people finder of choice. There are many reliable options when it comes to people’s searches.

Many people’s search sites often include location data. They can help you find someone who has moved but whose new address is not known. Some people finders even give access to information that’s typically more challenging to come by, such as past criminal convictions.

If you access their social media profile, you can find out more about what they like, who their friends are, and even how to contact them.

Age range is also available through people finders, as are many other more specific search parameters. The only downside of people finding services is that the information can be outdated.

Use a search engine to build bridges

To search for people on Google, enter the person’s name enclosed by quotation marks as well as any other information you have on them, such as their place of birth. You can refine your search parameters by adding more relevant information, such as where they last lived or their job. If you search for Mindy Davis, who was a lawyer in Cincinnati, the results will include all three of those pieces of data.

You could also search for variations of the person’s name, especially if they used more than one. It might be possible that they had an alias.

Try different search engines. The more engines you use, the larger set of results you’re bound to get because each one will lead to a different database.

Look through the list of sites that show up on the search engine results page carefully. Your search might retrieve a personal website, a professional LinkedIn profile, or a dynamic social media or forum presence.

Look them up via an image

If you have a picture of them, you can upload it to Google Images or another search engine that has an image search option. It might lead you to websites where that image or a similar one was published. You might even find more pictures of them on social media, in news reports if they’ve been on the news, and more. You can use image search to find more information about them.

Social media

You’ve probably tried Facebook and Instagram, but what about LinkedIn? The professional medium is notoriously overlooked as a source of data. If you find their profile, you’ll get information about their education, professional connections, current and previous jobs, and perhaps even hobbies and interests.

If you’re lucky, your search might end there. Every piece of data helps, so you can find them elsewhere online.


You could try a reverse address lookup if you have an old mailing address. The address doesn’t have to be current. The real estate website Zillow will provide information about where they live when you enter the address you have with the zip code. Zillow only works for addresses, not names or any other personal info.

If you’re in luck, you might get a lot of details about their property, like the number of rooms, how big it is, its approximate value, the year it was built, and maybe even pictures of the yard and the outside.

The good old phone book

When people wanted to find someone back in the day, all they had was the phone book, and it helped. Phone books still exist. You can find their contact details with only their name. You need to get the phone book for your area or the area you believe they are in. Then, go through the listings to find their name. You’ll get an address and a phone number.

As a downside, finding someone this way can take a while. You have to go through each page manually. Finding the phone book for their area might take a lot of work.