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Pipl: for searching people

pipl Pipl: for searching people

Good searching is often connected to choosing the right tool for the right task. Thanks to a TechCrunch post, I rediscovered Pipl today,

Pipl is as good as it is scary.  It knows way more about all of us than we may care to reveal.

Pipl crawls the deep web.  For people searching, it reaches far deeper than Google. The site explains:

Since most personal profiles, public records and other people-related documents are stored in databases and not on static web pages, most of the higher-quality information about people is simply "invisible" to a regular search engine.

What does a Pipl search look like?
Search results display a categorized one-page report with links to:

The report also summarizes “quick facts” about the person searched.

What is Pipl good for?

Obviously, we can use this site to locate former classmates and old flames.  I’ve been thinking about some less obvious K12 purposes.  For instance:

  • Once students identify a list of experts in a subject area, they might search the experts Pipl to find their blog sites, articles, even potential mentors to contact via email or phone.
  • Students might use this tool for biographical searching. My students often need information about newer authors to include in their annotated works cited. When information is not available in Contemporary Authors, this may just do it. This search would work for emerging notables in all disciplines.
  • For really clever researchers:  If you find a killer article by a particular author, it is possible that other killer documents would be available via a Pipl search of that author.
  • This is a far more powerful tool than Google for assessing digital footprints and for checking issues relating to privacy. We can have our students see just what is findable about them, including images. What would a potential employer or an admissions officer be easily able to discover?  I am planning to add this activity to my unit on college searching with our junior class.
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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Engineer Civil says:

    CIVIL engineer

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