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Chapter 4. How Searchers Work > The Searcher's Intent

The Searcher's Intent

Now that you understand the basics of Web visitor behavior, let's talk specifically about search. Web searchers have behaviors all their own that start with the query itself.

Throughout history, human beings have sought to bring order to information by sorting and grouping documents to find them when they need them. But the advent of computer information retrieval (that is, search) made possible a massive increase in the number of documents available to find the needed information. And mostly, that's good. The problem arises when we expect those poor human beings to know how to find information in a whole new way. Folks who are comfortable using library card catalogs, book indexes, and other paper techniques find that none of those skills translate into using Web search.


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