Google has numerous specialized search features. A good one for people searches is a domain specific search. By adding site:anysiteaddress.com to your search string, you can narrow your results to a given domain. You can even widen your search to specific top-level domains like .com, .gov, . edu, .mil etc.
For instance, students, alumni, faculty and staff for major universities will often be mentioned, along with contact information, on university web sites. Say you know the name of a student, alumni or staff member at Berkeley, you could do a person search like John Doe site:berkeley.edu or a more specific string search like “John Doe” site:berkeley.edu [ make sure to include a space between your last search term and site:anysiteaddress.com ].
Say you want to find a current or former member or civilian employee of the US military and you want to see if they are mentioned on any of the military sites – you could do a search like John Doe site:navy.mil, if you know the person is affiliated with the US Navy. You could also do a general top-level domain people search like John Doe site:mil, if you are unsure of the branch the person belongs too and want to search all of the .mil sites.
The same people search techniques work for private business [ .com ] or non profit [ .org ] employees. Try a Google people search like Bill Gates site:microsoft.com and you get the idea of how you can use this to find less public figures. In addition, don’t forget the basics of people searching – there is a difference between a general people search for Bill Gates and a specific, exact string search like “Bill Gates”.