How to Use the Invisible Web to Find People

Try these top people search sites to gather hard-to-find information

When you want to know how to find someone, the invisible web is a wonderfully detailed treasury of data, yielding information that generalized searches are not able to provide. The invisible web is a gold mine of information you can use to find someone, and because it is larger by far than the parts of the web you can access with a simple search engine query, it potentially has much more information available. 

You need specialized websites to delve deep into the invisible web. The top people-search sites for the invisible web listed here can make your people searches richer, more detailed, and authoritative.

Internet Archive Wayback Machine

wayback machine

If the person you're looking for has ever created a website or has information you know was 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 good way to view hard-to-find information, as screenshots of millions of websites – including many that are no longer live on the internet – have been archived here. 

FamilySearch

Screenshot of the FamilySearch website.

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 returns 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 at no charge 

Zabasearch

Screenshot of the Zabasearch website.

Zabasearch is an extraordinarily effective invisible web people search engine. It pulls details from public records that include court records, country and state records, phone number listings, public transactions, voter registration records and information that the individuals themselves put online.

This free service is somewhat controversial for the amount of free information that it pulls in, but it is useful for those who are performing a genealogy search. 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Full-Text Patent Database

New patent applications file folder used to find people who have applied for patents.
Getty Images

If the person you're looking for has ever filed for a patent, you'll find it at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office full-text patent database. For patents filed from 1976 and beyond, you can see the inventor's name and the patent's title, as well as other pertinent information.

Pipl

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. Although Pipl still offers some information for free, it has altered its business model to include paid usage.

Melissa Free Lookups

Screenshot of Melissa Lookups website used to find people and properties.

Melissa Free Lookups website offers a wide range of free tools you can use to plumb the Invisible Web for people-search information. This site searches U.S. addresses, house numbers by ZIP code, IP location, names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and death information.

The website also includes information for people in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. 

MyLife

MyLife screenshot

MyLife is all about "reputation score." The site retrieves information from a wide variety of social networking profiles, proprietary websites, and public records.

You can see anyone's reputation score. You'll have to register to see detailed information (it's free), but the results can be worth it. 

192.com

192.com screenshot

192.com contains data on people, businesses and places in the U.K. 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.