5 Free Ways to Find People with Google

An illustration of someone search for a person using Google.


If you're looking for information about someone, one of the best places you can start your search on the web is Google. You can use Google to find background information, phone numbers, addresses, maps, even news items. Plus, it's all free. 

Every resource listed on this page is absolutely free. If you come across something that asks you to pay money for information, you've most likely discovered a resource that is not recommended. Not sure? Why you should never pay to find someone online?

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Use Google to Find a Phone Number

Use Google to find a phone number

Tim Robberts / Getty Images

You can use Google to find both business and residential phone numbers on the web. Simply type in the name of the person or business, preferably with quotation marks around the name, and if the phone number has been entered somewhere on the web, then it will come up in your search results.

reverse phone number lookup is still possible to do with Google (even though they've changed their policies regarding this). A "reverse lookup" means you're using the phone number you have already to track down further information, such as a name, an address, or business information.

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Use Quotes When You're Looking for Something

Woman dressed as Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep cosplayer.

 CC BY-SA 2.0 by Gage Skidmore

You can find a lot of information about someone simply by entering their name in quotation marks, like this:

"little bo peep"

If the person you're looking for has an unusual name, you don't necessarily need to put the name in quotation marks in order for this to work. In addition, if you know where the person lives or works or what clubs/organizations, etc. that they are associated with, you can try a variety of different combinations:

  • "little bo peep" montana
  • jingleheimer "idaho gardeners club"
  • "john jackson" "california builders association"
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Pinpoint a location using Google Maps

Google Maps
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

You can find all sorts of useful information with Google Maps, simply by typing in an address. In fact, you can use Google Maps to:

  • View an entire neighborhood.
  • Check out business listings.
  • Find names, addresses, and phone numbers (with directions to any location you want).
  • Get a satellite, aerial, or hybrid view of the location you're looking for.
  • Get a street-level view of the location you're looking for (not available for all areas).
  • Find directions with live traffic updates.

Once you find information here, you can print it, email it, or share a link to the map itself. You can also see reviews of businesses within Google Maps simply by clicking on their map listing, as well as any websites, addresses, or associated phone numbers.

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Track Someone With a Google News Alert

Google news alert

 Óscar López Rogado / Getty Images

If you want to stay apprised of someone's doings via the web, a Google news alert is a good place to start. Note: this will only deliver relevant information if the person you're looking for is documented on the web in some way.

In order to set up a Google News Alert, go to the main ​Google Alerts page. Here, you can set the parameters of your alert:

  • What kind of information you're looking for.
  • How often you would like the alerts to come to you.
  • The volume and quality of your news alerts.
  • What email address you'd like them to be delivered to.

This main alerts page also gives you the ability to manage your existing news alerts, switch to text emails, or export them if you so wish.

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Use Google to Find Images

Find images using Google

 Tim Robberts / Getty Images

 Many people upload photos and images to the web, and these images can usually found using a simple Google Images search. Navigate to Google Images, and use the person's name as a jumping-off point. You can sort your image results by size, relevance, color, type of photo, type of view, and how recently the photo or image was uploaded.

In addition, you can use an image you already have to search for more information. You can upload an image from your computer, or you can drag and drop an image from the web. Google will scan the image and deliver search results that are related to that specific image.