Invisible Web: How to Use It to Find People

How to Use the Invisible Web to Find Someone

The Invisible Web is a goldmine of information, and since the Invisible Web is larger by far than the parts of the Web we can access with a simple search engine query, there's potentially much more information available. If you're looking for information on people, the Invisible, or Hidden, Web can be a wonderfully detailed treasury, yielding information that more generalized searches are just not able to provide. The following resources can help you delve deep into the Invisible Web, making your people searches even more rich, detailed, and authoritative with just a few simple tricks. 

wayback machine

If the person you're looking for has ever created a website, or has information you know is on the Web but has been since deleted, you can look that website up via the Wayback Machine, a database of over 150 billion pages archived from 1996 to the present. This is a great way to see information you can't see online, as screenshots of millions of websites have been archived here.  More »

american factfinder

The American FactFinder offers population, housing, economic, and geographic data for any community in the United States. You can use this database to dig up information on the person you're looking for such as  community, schools, and other demographic of interest to your search. 

Some of the more detailed information users are able to find here include general population and housing characteristics, race, population, age, sex, business and industry information, education, origins and languages, income, local government information, and much more.  More »

usps zip code finder

You can find a zip code here at the USPS Zip Code Finder by using an address, city, and company; they also give you the option to find all cities in a particular zip code. This can be helpful to verify information you might need to double-check as well.  More »

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pipl

Pipl is specifically designed to dive into the Invisible Web for information. It retrieves results from databases that don't come up in regular search engine queries, which makes it invaluable for people search tasks. Location, age, and career are some of the information results that are retrieved here. Note to readers: Pipl seems to be changing its model to more of a paid usage, right now it does offer some features for free but upgrades are available for a small fee. Please read Should I Pay to Find People Online? for a discussion on this subject.  More »

MelissaData Free Lookups offers you a wide range of free tools you can use to plumb the Invisible Web for people search information, including Canadian addresses, house numbers by zip code, IP location, local school information, income tax statistics, Names, addresses, phone, emails, address verification, house numbers by zip, street names by zip, geographic and demographic information related to a zip code, the distance between two different zip codes, global phone number verification, business information with annual sales, number of employees, non-profit organization information, public school information, death information, campaign contributors to federal initiatives, and much more.  More »

FamilySearch, one of the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world, is primarily a genealogy tracker, which makes it an invaluable people search tool as well. Type in as much information as you know, and FamilySearch will bring back birth and death records, parental information, and more. Digital preservation, digital conversion, general preservation of records, and online indexing is available here as well - all for free.  More »

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MyLife retrieves information from a wide variety of social networking profiles, proprietary web sites, and public records. You'll have to register to see detailed information (it's free), but the results can be worth it.  More »

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ZabaSearch
ZabaSearch.com

Zabasearch is an extraordinarily effective Invisible Web people search engine, pulling details from public records: court records, country and state records, phone number listings, public transactions, voter registration records, etc., as well as any information that the individual themselves puts online. This free service is somewhat controversial for the amount of free information that it pulls in, but still, quite useful for those performing a genealogy search.  More »

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You can't use FreeLunch to find information on individuals, but you can use it to find economic and financial data on specific communities from a wide range of categories, anything from Crime to the GDP. All of the information here is free. More »
Don Farrall/Getty Images

If the person you're looking for has ever filed for a patent, you'll find it here. For patents filed from 1976 and beyond, you'll be able to see the inventor's name and the patent's title, as well as other pertinent information. More »

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192.com is for searchers in the UK. You can find full names, addresses, age guides, property prices, aerial photos, company and director reports, family records, and corporate information here, all pulled from a number of sources on both the general and Invisible Web. More »