How do You Locate Old College Friends Online?

Back in the day, finding an old college friend wasn’t easy. You’d have to check the phone directory or put an ad in the paper. Alternatively, you could hope to meet them at a reunion party. Fortunately, social media platforms, Google, and people finders have made it far less challenging to locate an old college buddy. It’s also free, unlike publishing a classified. In this article, we will cover some of the most effective ways to search for people online.

1. Start With Google

You will find an old friend on Google if they’ve ever been in the news. This is why the mother of all search engines is a good place to start. If they have an unusual name, your search will be even easier. If that’s not the case, you will need additional keywords. In the search bar, you can type in their name, along with additional information, such as their occupation, interests or hobbies, or the name of their significant other (if applicable). Moreover, you can use variations of these keywords.

Do you have an old picture of them? If so, Google’s reverse image search might be useful. After clicking on Google images’ camera icon, you can select their picture, and then click on “Search by Image.” Subsequently, Google will look for similar photos online and retrieve links to where they were uploaded. This way, you might find their personal website or blog.

One issue with this is that Google retrieves similar photos in search results, which can mean tens of thousands of photos for you to filter through. For instance, if your friend is wearing a green shirt in the photo, it will pull up photos of everyone who ever took a picture in a similar shirt and posted it online. The same goes for their eye and color, as well as location. As a result, you might have to look through hundreds of photos of people on the beach or skiing in the mountains. Needless to say, this can get overwhelming.   

2. People Finders

People finders come to the rescue just when you’re feeling too overwhelmed by all the data you’ve come across. There are many helpful people finding sites. They have search bars, where you enter personal details, such as your friend’s full name, city, state, or anything else you can recall. The people finder might pull up their email or physical address, phone number, or even information about their family members.  

If you get a number and decide to call, it is important to introduce yourself first. You never know who’s on the other end of the line and how they might take the call. Furthermore, it might not be the person you are looking for – people finders don’t always give reliable information.  

3. Try Facebook

Private profiles on Facebook won’t appear in any search. However, with more than 2 billion users, the social media giant is worth trying.

What’s more, someone might have tagged your old friend in a photo. You can type their name and city or state into the top search bar and scroll down the list. It is important to pay special attention to images. In addition, you can try searching using their nicknames, workplace, location, and education, as well as your mutual friends.

4. Alumni.net

This college network site has existed for almost twenty years, so its database might have information about the subject of your search. You will need to register to search the database, but the process is free and simple. Then, you will need to join an organization. It can be a school, college, or business. It’s also possible to specify the search by country. There will be quite a few results. If your college name was common, enter an organization-specific term, such as a popular college football team.

5. LinkedIn

Finally, don’t underestimate this professional social network as a resource. Most user profiles include college information. On LinkedIn, you should begin your search with the name of the college your old friend attended.

The network will link you to other alumni automatically. You can also search them by job title and location. Furthermore, you can add other users to your network, email them, and edit your profile to make the most of this social platform.