It can be very easy to find someone by using an online people search. However, the results are not always accurate. In fact, it is very common for the results to be in error, or to not refer to the actual person you are looking for. This is why you need to make sure that you use the right type of people search for your particular need.
Categories of Searches
There are two key types of people searches:
- Finding information on someone.
- Finding someone’s location.
One of the most common reasons why people use the internet, is to find other people. There was a panel discussion in 2007 in which it was found that around 30% of all searches on search engines are in relation to finding people. This means that billions of such searches are performed each month. Of course, it all depends on how someone draws out statistics, but it is undeniable that these searches happen, and they happen a lot.
How to Find Someone Online
Most people complete a people search by simply entering someone’s name in Google or in their favorite social networking platform. The problems with this, however, are that:
- Someone will only appear if their name exists on those pages.
- Social media is limited to the people who have joined it.
- A tiny spelling mistake will give a false negative.
According to Pew research, the way a user behaves can further skew results. Indeed, around 92% of people still use at least three different search engines. Each of those works in a different way, which means a page 1 Bing result could be a page 3 Google result. Hence, what you see is not necessarily accurate. You must remember that a search engine looks for information that exists on the internet. This means that any information they can access has been supplied voluntarily. And people still value their privacy quite a lot.
Before you start to look for someone, therefore, there are three things you need to ask yourself:
- What are you looking for? Very personal information like a complete address or criminal background is unlikely to be freely available.
- What information do you have before you search? If you’re looking for someone called John Smith and that is all you’ve got, you will be searching for a long time.
- What types of results will your search engine give you?
It is best, generally, to use a professional people search company. They have up to date websites and databases and they will make it quite easy to find the person you are actually looking for. The more information you have, the more likely it is that they will be able to provide you with the information you need, including things such as criminal history, their current address and cellphone number, military records, marriage records, and more. This information is gathered by monitoring publicly available records and therefore guaranteed to be accurate.