"Google it" has replaced "look it up" in our Internet-concentrated society, but if you don't know where to begin with your search you might not be able to find what you're looking for. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks and tools to help you with that.
Advanced search tools tricks: Have you ever read an article, forgot to Instapaper it, and then been unable to find it later? Well, if you remember what site it was on, there's a simple way to find it again. Advanced search tools are available in most search engines and are things everyone should take advantage of. To elaborate on my above example, typing in "lifehacker.com wallpaper" into Google will give me all articles relating to wallpapers, and this method is almost always more efficient than relying on an in-site search engine.
Other advanced search tricks are filling in the blank (*), searching as-is (+), or even adding words that you want excluded from your search results (-) are all things savvy searchers should utilize for the best results.
TinEye: But there's more out there than just Google and your typical search engine. TinEye has been helping people for some time now to find images and tell you where it came from, if there are modified versions, and it can even point you in the direction of higher resolution images. But recently, Google Image now allows you to begin your search with exactly that: an image.
Wolfram|Alpha: Wolfram|Alpha is a fascinating tool in that it's not a search but a knowledge engine. It won't crawl the web to give you all of the results relating to pandas, but it will break down for you the scientific facts about the animal in question. So, while it can't give you everything, it's definitely where you want to go if you need to find out the the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.
Duck Duck Go: Similar to Wolfram|Alpha, but still a search engine, is Duck Duck Go. Duck Duck Go aims to give you answers rather than search results and will provide you with the quick and easy facts.
Creative Commons: Last, but not least, sometimes you need to find something to use under Creative Commons. Search for Creative Commons allows you to search multiple sites for images, movies and music that are considered fair use, and is an invaluable resource to artists, designers, and journalists.
Additional Notes: Google Advanced Search Help.
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