People who need GooglePeople are the luckiest people in the world.

Sometimes on the Web it’s hard to separate the signal from the noise. It’s also hard to separate information about people from information about everything else. That’s where GooglePeople ( comes in. GooglePeople takes a “Who Is” or “Who Was” query (e.g., “Who was the first man on the moon?” or “Who was the fifth president of the United States?”) and offers a list of possible candidates. It works well for some questions, but for others it’s way off base.

Using GooglePeople

GooglePeople is simple: enter a “Who Is” or “Who Was” question in the query box. GooglePeople will think about it for a minute or three and provide you with a list of possible candidates to answer your question, with the most likely candidate on top, the other candidates listed underneath and rated for relevance with a series of asterisks.

Click a candidate name for a Google query integrating your original query and the candidate’s name; this provides a quick test of the validity and usefulness of the GooglePeople query at hand.

Tips for Using GooglePeople

I found that for some questions GooglePeople worked very well. Who was the first African American woman in space? was answered perfectly. But some questions had GooglePeople perplexed.

Books and authors

GooglePeople seems to have a bit of trouble with identifying the authors of fiction books. For example, asking Who is the author of "Galahad at Blandings" ...

Get Google Hacks now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.