If you’ve tried Googling someone’s name in the past year or so, you know how frustrating it can be when the majority of results lead to sites where you have to pay for the information. 123People, Veromi, Intelius, and others have purchased many websites that used to provide free people information. Thus, today, it seems like people searching can put you in a loop of seemingly never-ending clicks that ultimately lead you to having to enter a credit card number.
The good news is, there still are a few holdouts that provide free information including home address and phone numbers. One that is quite good that you’ve most likely never used is Yahoo’s people search engine.
To access the engine, visit people.yahoo.com. The email search works okay; about half the time I find accurate information, and the other half it’s not even close. The reverse phone directory is actually pretty good for land line numbers (unfortunately, there isn’t really a good reverse cell phone directory). The U.S. Phone and Address search is one of the better ones I’ve used.
Start by entering a name and then at least a portion of a geographic region (e.g., state, zip, city, etc.). On the results page, you’ll find name(s) that meet your search, the street name where the person lives, and a phone number. To get the house number, you’ll need to click on the name.
In addition to finding location information, Yahoo also integrates search results on your selected person. The results, unfortunately, aren’t much different than what you’d find in a Google search. Meaning if the person has a prominent online presence you’ll find a lot of information but if not, the results will just direct you to more “pay for” sites. By integrating web search, it does at least make Yahoo a one-stop-people-search stop.
One note of caution: on the Yahoo results page, as mentioned, you will find the address and phone information but to get the full address including house number, you’ll need to click on the person’s name. Once clicked you’ll see the full address plus a number of other links that seem to provide additional cool information. However, unfortunately, if you click on any of the additional links you will be sent to an Inetelius page where again, you’ll need to pay for the additional data.
Another strange feature is that it looks like you can run an additional search from the results page, but it doesn’t seem to work. Thus, to run another search, you need to return to people.yahoo.com
I wish Yahoo wouldn’t trick users into thinking that they offer substantial free information when you click on a person’s name. However, even with this “bait and switch” tactic, Yahoo does do a good job of delivering relevant results. So enjoy Yahoo people search, now that you Know More!