I used google to find the best hotel prices in manhattan near times square. Google led me to hotels.com, a hotel search engine that allows you to search for specific hotels and/or specific features like distance from popular tourist destinations. There are literally THOUSANDS of hotel finding and rating sites, but this is a site that is easy to find and use.
The fact that the cold war encouraged the idea of the "Internet" surprised me the most. I thought college students and learning institutions were the biggest motivators.