Article on Tech Crunch on alternatives to Google: People Search Engine So Good, It Will Scare Your Pants Off

Google may be good at many things, but people search is not one of them. For that you’ll have to use a more specialized search engine. Spock and Wink (merged with are the people-search destinations most TechCrunch readers could probably name off the top of their head. However, slowly but surely—and mostly, very quietly—a new player has been making serious headway in this search vertical, and it’s name is

Going by ComScore’s December numbers, Pipl is leading in the US with 557K unique users to Spock’s 260K, but is trailing internationally with 1.35M uniques to Spock’s 2.38M. How has Pipl pulled this off? Matthew Hertz, the company CEO, tells me it’s mostly word-of-mouth. It’s a simple answer but it rings true. Just take it out for a spin and you’ll see why—it’s just good. In fact it’s so good it’ll probably scare some people’s pants off when they see what information it is able to—legally—drudge up.

It produces not only links to all of your profiles on social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, blog mentions, and photos on Flickr. It finds mentions of your name in public records, including property records, SEC filings, and birth databases. It also finds e-mail addresses and summarizes “quick facts” about the person. For instance, a search for “Roi Carthy” turns up quick facts like these:

Roi Carthy is an Israeli-based entrepreneur and startup consultant…
Editor’s note: Roi Carthy is currently writing for TechCrunch…