Pipl – People Search (beta)

Pipl claims to be the most comprehensive people search on the web. Simply type in the first and last names of the person you are looking for, geographic location if known, and Pipl goes off and searches “hidden web” resources as well as the usual Google search. I tried it on myself and it did a pretty good job. The Quick Facts presented at the top of the page were correct, and it pulled in information from blog searches, Google Groups, Linkedin, Flicker and Google Scholar. Pipl also searches electoral rolls, directories, collections of peer reviewed literature such as Scirus and Google Scholar, Hoovers and Zoominfo. A search on my husband, Chris Rhodes, was less successful and I failed to find him amongst the thousands of other Chris Rhodes out there. Google, however, came up with him in the number 1 and 2 positions in a standard web search.

As with all of these types of search engine you still have to differentiate between different people with the same name: I do not work for the Honolulu Advertiser and neither am I the marketing director at Laura’s Lean Beef Company! And the quality of the results is variable. Nevertheless, Pipl is worth adding to your bookmarks for people search.

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6 thoughts on “Pipl – People Search (beta)”

  1. Hi Karen,

    Have been reading your interesting blog for a while but this is my first comment.. !

    Pipl is rather frustrating for me for two reasons: 1) United Kingdom is reached by typing in “GB” and not “UK” and 2) my name is James Brown.

    Unsurprisingly, it didn’t find me!

  2. Hi James,

    When I put in UK it automatically changed it to GB. Still said it couldn’t find any results with me in the UK or GB so it ignored that bit!

    When it came to my husband Chris Rhodes, the web results that are supposedly powered by Google did not feature him at all. The UK version of Google usually has him at number 1 or 2 and the .com version at number 2 in the results list so I don’t which version of Google they are using, or if Pipl is ‘fiddling’ with the results.

    These tools are sometimes useful but, on the whole, I find that one can come up with better results by combining some common sense with a well thought out search strategy.

    BTW – I updated and corrected my ‘profile’ on Zoominfo and am waiting to see how long it takes for the system to mess it up again.


  3. Hi Karen,

    Yes I very much agree that a smart search strategy and an experienced searcher can find information quicker than someone who has tens of niche/vertical search engines in their bookmarks.

    What’s more, there may be a benefit to sticking with one. I’ve actually noticed a marked improvement in the relevance of my search results with Google since I turned on webhistory. I understand that they are also extracting attention data from all the other google products I use.

    Just came across this post today on techcrunch that may interest you: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/05/09/war-of-the-people-search/


  4. I find that on people search engines provide only certain types of information, such as from social networks. It’s not quite the same as a site like peoplesearch.com or zabasearch.com which actual “find” people. I found info on myself on pipl.com, but it was articles I had written and not necessarily going to help a person “find” me.

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