If it's a situation of SEO, I get a newsletter almost everyday from Site Pro News and they often go on about secrets of SEO. If needs be, I could always post the news here for all to see, or at least a link to the article.
It's likely that a query won't return any results if it's a more personal web page sort of deal, as I've dealt with that in the past. Can be done, but not without a degree of patience and the correct way of wording the query.
Also, I have noted that the bulk of "short url" companies have a hard time getting acknowledged by search engines as well. You can direct quote from a topic or page and there is no results at all. It's the way they mask the URL that keeps a lot of the spiders from accessing and indexing your pages.
Most notably though, is the obvious - we all get what we pay for. If you truly want to be "seen" in a search engine, paid inclusions seem to be the only effective way. On a side note, when you performed the search, how many pages did you look through, if any? Sometimes you are just a little lower in rank and have to go beyond the first 3 pages to see your site listing.