Today, the most widely used tool to find people on the internet is the Google People Search. Competition tends to breed better people search search product, and in the area of online people search engines, this concept applies.
Backing up a decade or so, the online source for finding people was the people search option offered by Yahoo. Others would be competitors included Anywho, 411 Search, and White Pages. All seemed to suffer from the same basic problem that not enough information existed in their databases to provide an accurate and complete people finder report (it’s worth noting that the original version of the google search function also suffered from these issues). The rather thin reports generated by these services tended to be based on older and out-of-date telephone book information.
Prior to the rise of the Google People Search feature, the most widely used and effective option to find missing people was to use an online people search service. These people locator services commonly utilized direct access to the core public records database compilers in the industry to power their people finder reports. The problem with this arrangement is that these data brokers tended to also offer non-public and confidential information to anyone who could pay the price. Privacy concerns and swift legislation put and end to the easy, no-questions-asked operations of practically all of the original online people search websites.
Google People Finder
Realizing that approximately 80% of all searches through their search engine are to locate people though missing; Google quickly moved to fill the massive void in the people search market by rushing to users their free google people tool. The early response to the introduction of the google people finder product were mixed, for the most part due to the early utilization of less than accurate sources for results content. Within just a few months, google search engineers quickly tweeked their data mining algorithm to dig much deeper into the underlying information sources that power the core Free Google Search tool.
Almost immediately, the hardcore Google users (mostly better-educated, more tech-savy and affluent) began to utilize the new google people tool to locate people that had previously eluded the databases of other search engines. Groups of users began to have “Google People” parties in which contests to locate the most missing persons within a prescribed time were all the rage. Word of the effectiveness and no cost charge to google people, more casual internet users began to explore the advantages of using the google people finder search engine to locate just about anyone in the U.S. and elsewhere. Other worthy competitors to the google free people search function quickly arose. Firms like USSearch.com, Pipl.com, Ancestor.com, and Peoplefinders.com brought other highly-effective people finder search services to the internet audience. The downside to these services is that they are all based on the pay-to-search business model, where the google people search tool remains completely free to use. For a more definitive chronology of the google search tool used to google people nationwide, please visit wikipedia.