A lot of the time when searching for a host you'll most likely come across a "Top hosting provider" site like our very own HostSocial, which basically provides a full list of hosting providers within certain countries or regions. The site usually has a few features so you can filter what you'd like to choose from a hosting provider, such as "US providers" or "UK providers" - you can also specify the amount of space/month transfer and how much you'd like to pay for a hosting package.
The best thing you can do when visiting such sites is to take a look at their user ratings and customer feedback. Their ratings will be displayed next to the hosting provider in a list with ratings from 1 star to 10 stars (10 stars being the best rating possible and 1 being the worst) which users and customers have "rated" that specific company.
If you are a customer of that specific hosting company you can register on the top hosting providers website and leave feedback next to that hosting companies name - the much more and better feedback a company gets obviously means that the hosting provider offers a decent service and is most likely worth a try.
You may find that some of the best and most popular hosting providers are usually on the first page of search engines as they have spent a lot of money on advertising and promoting their website and business thus most likely a professional business that is committed to the industry.
There are still tonnes of web hosting companies out there that have not yet been discovered completely by the public so it's always worth searching forums and search engines for less popular but reliable hosting providers so you get better speeds at brilliant prices.