Search Engines are very good way to find information & long lost relatives, but getting thousands of hits is a very useless. There are a few tips to remember when phrasing your search, but remember not all search engines support these tip.
Search engine tips:
+ (and, not always necessary)
"****" (phrase, can cause problems by missing some sites but helps narrow down the search). Be as exact or vague as you want.
* (wildcard, if you don't know the complete date. Example: 187*)
Cemetery; "doe, john" +birth year +death year +state +town
Regular search; "john doe" +birth year +death date +state
Favorite Muti Search Engines:
Why limit yourself to just 1 search engine when you can search several at the same time?
http://vivisimo.com/ (clusters results that make it easier narrow your search & in Advance Search you can chooses which search engines you want to use. I usually turn off "ASK" because it doesn't support phrases)
http://dogpile.com/ (another Muti Search Engines)
Finding Someone In A Large Document:
There is a "Hot Key" (shortcut) that will search a webpage for a word. Press & hold "CTRL" then press "F" after the page loads. Then type the word you want, then click "Find Next", it will take you to where it appears on the page.
Googling Genealogy Style