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Chapter 17. Smart Searching > Searching—Yesterday and Today - Pg. 221

Smart Searching 221 Human beings create Web pages. Human beings assemble multiple pages into Web sites. Human beings (or software programs created by human beings) attempt to index and organize all that information on all those Web sites in a useful manner. Which explains why you can never find what you were looking for on the Web. Note Another reason why it's so hard to find anything online is that the Internet is big-- really, really big! It's been estimated that the Web contains more than four billion individual "docu- ments"--and that number is doubling yearly! With these numbers, your odds of finding a single page of information on the Web are in the neighborhood of four billion to one. To look for information created and managed by a human being, you have to think like that human being. Did the person writing about Internet Explorer call it "Internet Explorer," "Microsoft Internet Explorer," just "Explorer," "IE," "IE5" (including the version number), or was it called a "browser," a "Web browser," or even (somewhat incorrectly) a "navigator?" Any or all of those words and phrases could refer to the single thing you thought you were looking for. If all you do is look for one of these words or phrases, you could skip right over important information that happens to use a slightly different word or phrase. The best search engines in the world can't anticipate human beings who use alternate words, or use the wrong words by mistake. But you, as a master Internet searcher, must somehow learn to overcome these human shortcomings if you're to find all the information you want to find. So here's your challenge: You have to learn how to think like the people who created and organized the information you're looking for. If you're looking for old plastic model kits, you have to realize that some people call them "kits" and some call them "model kits;" some call them "plastic model kits" and some call them "models;" some call them by name ("Aurora model kits") and some call them "ready-to-assemble kits"; some even have poor spelling skills and call them "modle kits."