One of the problems causing inadequate search results is "Google Personalized Web Services": it gives you what it thinks YOU want, not "everything there is", or it orders the results to put its best guesses at the top, so an objectively more relevant result might not appear until page 3 or later.
It's Google's way of saying "oh, you don't need to worry your pretty little head about that. I'll sort it out for you." Because THAT never pisses anyone off.
I'll look through my Big Bag O' Hacks and pull out some old tricks I used to use. Here are a couple that occur to me immediately:
1) Turn off Personalized Web Services by adding "&pws=0"
to the end of the url (or simply search from this link
You can add it to an existing search or change your browser's Google bookmark to permanently include "&pws=0" at the end.
Of course, you're *asking* Google to play nice, so there's not telling what it still won't want you to worry your pretty little head about.
What can I say/ It IS an awfully pretty head. Just not so little.
2) Use another country's Google engine
In the above example, I'm asking Google New Zealand for results, but adding "&gl=us" to specify "results for the US"
I haven't tried this lately, but it should work unless Google bothers to completely reroute every such query back to Google US with SkyNet-like thoroughness.
Here's a list of other foreign Google search engines
(you can see how localization affects results by using Google's Ad Preview Tool (used by advertisers):
Or use a foreign Google and add the "&near=" parameter to see what Google shows Dallas-folk vs Bostonians e.g.
Google has changed how the above works, through advances in modern networking and IP metadata, but they are still enlightening.