Suyeon Son collects some great tips about Googling for answers to programming questions:
I asked Jeremy Bowers, a news applications developer at NPR, who said he follows a specific pattern when Googling to achieve specific outcomes:<programming language> <verb> <specific keywords>
I would also recommend Googling the exact string of an error message (minus any specific variable names that might appear in it). This is particularly useful for C compile errors.
Also, note the great reference to the original 2000 email to Yak shaving!