How to Find Someone Online With Just a First Name?

We all know how effective Google can be in helping us track someone down. There are few steps to remember to ensure you get accurate results, such as entering the search target’s full name in quotes (“John James Walters”). If you don’t enclose the person’s name this way, Google may not return accurate search results – or any results, for that matter.

But what if a first name is all you have when looking for someone online? Google isn’t going to be of much use. Here’s how to search for people online and get precise results.

Try to get More Details

If you are looking for someone, you likely know the person from somewhere: work, school, church, a sports team, etc. You can search for the organization they’re associated with, for example, “George Berne.” You’ll get details if George Berne is listed as a contact or employee on the organization’s website.

A simple search on Facebook is often enough to find someone. Of course, other social media platforms can be helpful, too. For instance, many of the people who don’t have a profile or avoid Facebook are active on social media networks such as Instagram and Twitter. has a vast database for all federal and state institutions and agencies. The majority of background check sites charge fees for information, which they get from these free databases. You can get this information without paying for it by searching yourself. For instance, you can find out where to find Oregon criminal records by going through the list of agencies of the state of Oregon.


If you have a picture of the person you want to track down, you can try TinEye or another reverse image search site. This tool will check the world wide web for that photo and direct you to any sites where it has been posted. TinEye matches images based on cutting-edge image recognition technology. Even if just part of the photo matches the original, it will recognize the picture. You can try Google Image Search to supplement any findings from TinEye.


LinkedIn is becoming one of the best ways to find someone online. You can use it to find people that aren’t to be found anywhere else on this career-centered platform. It’s important to work on making connections. Data doesn’t mean anything unless you can link it to other points making up someone’s digital presence online.

You need to start filling in the blanks once you have found some information about the person. Do you know their location or job title? This information might be enough to find them on LinkedIn. They will have listed when they graduated and their degree on their LinkedIn profile. This way, you will arrive at their approximate age. You should get plenty of details even without a LinkedIn subscription. You might also learn about any of their associates and what the person has been doing career-wise.


Most people have profiles on more than one social media site. Instead of searching each one of them, you can use Wink to check all social networks at once. All you need to do is enter the person’s name or a username of theirs you know along with location, interests, or any other identifying information.

Firefox Extension

Finally, there’s a Firefox extension you can use to search a lot of engines at once for the person’s full name and any other information if you’ve met them online. It’s called Who Is This Person. To run a search, simply highlight their name on a website and look them up on Wikipedia, Facebook, Wink, LinkedIn, Yahoo Person Search, Spock, Google News, Technorati, WikiYou, IMDB, ZoomInfo, MySpace, and more.

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