Do you know why you didn’t really get that job you interviewed for and had good vibes about? Do you know why that girl didn’t call you up after the blind date your friend set you up for? Well… very soon you will find out because I will tell you about a website that can make your life miserable if you have had any kind of negative existence online.
Google is good if you want to do a general search about someone but it is not really that comprehensive. What if I told that there is very powerful website out there that specializes in people search? You have probably never heard about it because it is not used by regular folks like you and me. It is primarily used by detectives, employers, and stalkers. According to Careerbuilder, “77% of recruiters use search engines to research applicants.”
There is only one free website that I was able to find that is the best of the best in people search. I decided to test it myself and was really surprised as well as scared after looking at what is out there about me.
Pipl is not kidding when it says “The most comprehensive people search on the web.” You can search for people using four options; Name, Email, Username and Phone. When I search for my name, it shows links to this blog, one way to reach me. Pipl searches the deep web and produces content that no other search engine can touch.
On a typical Pipl name search result you can see Contact Details, Public Records, Personal Profiles, Photos, Web Pages, News Articles, Blog Posts, and Documents. Pipl doesn’t state a list of all the websites it searches but I am sure it is a large list because the results are very comprehensive.
If you search by email, Pipl will show you websites were you have posted your email in public. Long time ago I had a profile on Friendster and it showed up in the results when I searched for my email. I right away went to Friendster and canceled my account and searched Pipl again, this time no link to my Friendster profile. Every time you search on Pipl, the results are fresh, seems like Pipl is not in the business of storing the data on its own servers, that’s a good thing.
Username search yielded the most results for me as far as social networking is concerned; it showed me my LinkedIn, MyBlogLog, Flickr and StumbleUpon profiles. Pipl displayed profile pictures from these sites and linked to my profile. If you are smart, you will make sure that your profile picture on social networking websites is clean.
Pipl phone search is currently limited to U.S. and Canada only. It doesn’t list much, shows few sponsored results where you can get the name of the phone number owner if you are willing to spend some money. Not a useful search feature really, other websites seem to do better with phone search.
You will be surprised at the sheer power of Pipl and similar websites. Just a simple query can list information about you that you have been cultivating all these years without being remotely aware. There are few other websites like Pipl, most notably, 123People, Wink, and Peekyou. If you find information about yourself online that you believe destroys your reputation and you can’t get rid of, try ReputationDefender.
Other than that, best of luck… just imagine what will happen 10-20 years down the line, everything about us and the new generation will be a click away.