Not all information is necessarily online. If, after exhausting every tutorial at About Web Search, enlisting the expertise of more knowledgeable searchers, and consulting state/federal guidelines, you're not able to find what you're searching for, the chances are high that a computer-generated script robot will not be able to locate it, either.

Websites such as allow you to search for people through the electoral roll. Once you’ve entered the person’s full name and location, suggestions should appear – but note that you only get 10 free searches a day. If you spot a likely match, you can pay to reveal their address or phone number.

Gina Trapani, the editor of Lifehacker, likes to find and be found. Her weekly feature, Geek to Live, appears every Friday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Geek to Live feed to get new installments in your newsreader.

The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service, searches for immediate family memb...

More of us are connected to social networks, such as Facebook, than ever before – which is a great way to find people. But there are other online databases that can help you find someone, too. Here’s what to do:

Every resource listed in these articles (and others like them, found at this hub of free people search resources) is absolutely free and will not ask users for personal financial information. Of course, there's a few websites that choose to change their policies; there is a disclaimer for any website that does this at the beginning of any article referencing that particular website.

We've compiled information which might be useful to you if you're trying to find someone you've lost touch with.

Answer: If you've ever tried to find someone on the Web, you've probably come across a lot of sites that try to "sell" you information. Unfortunately, many people fall for these scams simply because they don't know how to use the variety of free tools and people search sites that are available online. Here are three thoughts to keep in mind when you're considering buying people-related information:

White Pages has access to the official UK Telephone Directory* and over 200 million records, gathered from the Electoral Roll (2002-2014) to ensure that the information we provide you is the most accurate and up-to-date record for that long-lost friend or loved one.

Again, you don't have to pay for this information. Why? Because with just a little bit of practice (and a lot of patience), you can use the Web to track down almost anyone. Here are a few resources to get you started:

If they have a particularly unusual name, you might get away with just searching their full name, but with common surnames like Smith you’ll have to add some other keyword to the Google search box. Try their husband or wife, children, their occupation, the company they last worked with or even a regular activity you recall them doing, such as bowling or dancing. Try different combinations of these keywords, too.

The GRO has every such record starting from July 1837 and it costs £9.25 to order a certificate. This could potentially help you find out if the person has a spouse now.

If you’re confident the person you want to find has a profile on some social networking site, a good search tool is YoName. The site searches across a whole list of different social networking sites, from big names like MySpace to less common options like Webshots. The results can take a little time to look through, but the process is made easier by the fact that they’re laid out in a table — you can browse through it quickly.

There are a wide variety of free resources available to us on the Web, and these have been featured in a series of articles, tutorials, and lists here at About Web Search. These include:

It's easy to get going; just type in the name of the person you're looking for and their location, then click search. The minimum information needed for the name field is an initial, and a surname.

Narrow the search down according to any mutual friends, location, education or workplace. Do this by clicking on People in the left-hand menu and filling out the boxes.

However, while you can certainly find a great deal of information using the Web, there will be situations that end up being unresolved. Not all information is available online, and if someone doesn't live a life that is documented on the Web, it will be difficult to track down pertinent information. Many times a Web search can be a great way to kickstart a greater search that continues offline, at country records offices, genealogy societies, and other free public resources. 

Okay, fine, you can't talk finding people online without mentioning the big G. For internet superstars you'll get great results by just typing his/her name into Google's search box, but for civilians, common names or names with double meanings, a few advanced Google techniques can help narrow down the field of results.

In the Information Age, everybody leaves a digital trail. And if the person doesn't have one, well, let's look harder. With Google, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and countless other social media sites, whoever you're looking for is bound to have some of their personal information online. Although sometimes creepy, it's easy to follow this trail all the way back to the person you've been looking for.

So what happens when a reader comes across a website that is asking for money to find someone? There are usually three distinct scenarios in which this happens. Let's go through them one by one:

In regards to a site asking for a fee, no site that asks for financial information in exchange for information is featured as part of the free people search resources here at About Web Search. This policy is strictly adhered to, and while it does happen that sites that previously offered free information change to asking for a fee, this change is usually described in a disclaimer (or the site is no longer featured). 

Google’s reverse image search may also bring up some results if you have a photo of them. This feature looks for similar photos on the internet and shows you the website it is taken from, which could lead you closer to finding them.

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The government’s General Register Office deals with birth, adoption, marriage, civil partnership and death certificates.

My favorite new search engine of the bunch, Pipl digs up information about a person Google often misses, supposedly by searching the "deep web" (or "invisible web.") Pipl returns an impressive number of results for most people who use their "real" names online, including personal web pages, press mentions, MySpace pages, and Amazon wishlists. You can also narrow your search for common names by entering city, state and country, too.

How to find someone

Could your friend have been featured in a local news article? Or perhaps they’re now an executive at a big company. Make Google your first port of call as you begin your hunt, in case the person can be found on a public website.

Finally, if you run across folks online you want to know more about often, search a ton of engines for someone's name with the Who Is This Person? Firefox extension. Simply highlight the name on any web page and look 'em up on Wink, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google News, Technorati, Yahoo Person Search, Spock, WikiYou, ZoomInfo, IMDB, MySpace and other engines from the Who Is This Person? context menu item.

There are lots of reasons why you might no longer be in contact like family issues, an argument, or someone simply moved away and you’ve lost track of where they are.

If you’ve lost contact with a friend or family member in the UK and would like to get back in touch, use the White Pages People Finder to track down their contact details.

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To use it, you’ll have to sign up to LinkedIn to gain access to the full database of users. Once that’s complete, find Advanced along the top of the main page and fill out as many details as you have about your person.

Jobster’s main focus is searching for jobs, but it also offers a tool to search for individuals. In most cases, it’s used for employers and recruiters looking for leads — but it can offer up some contact information that can help your search. A few other job sites offer a similar opportunity, as well.

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Still no luck on Facebook? Maybe it’s time to ask around. Think of any of your Facebook friends who may also know the person, and send them a personal message to ask if they have any contact details for the individual you want. They may not know, but they may know someone who does – so it’s worth a shot.

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Incessant notifications, Beacon, and zombies aside, one of Facebook's greatest utilities is finding people online, and it's not just for students anymore. Chances are your grandmother set up a Facebook account this year, so all those annoying emails might be worth tracking down your best friend when you were 9 years old who moved to Florida on Facebook.

The art of finding and reconnecting with long lost friends

Look up anyone's home address(es) and phone numbers at ZabaSearch, a creepily-comprehensive people search engine that will freak you out when you search on your own name but save your ass when you desperately need a former coworker's phone number. ZabaSearch's index includes listed and unlisted numbers and addresses (though the founders say all the info is public record.)

Paid sites are not featured here at About Web Search, simply because they don't provide another level of access that isn't already available. It is completely possible to find information on people online using the free resources mentioned above.