Networks may fail, people may make mistakes, files can get lost, software may have bugs, the new version may not be as backwards-compatible as you thought... and exactly when you desperately need certain information, you cannot get it, or it arrives damaged.

Redundancy (but not too much) can help, including the use of text files or putting a unique identification inside a document, so it can be recognized independent of its URL. And also having a printable version of a document, with enough information that the relations between documents can be followed "by hand" instead of with a computer.

Keeping things simple and not dependent on too many other technologies is a good idea. Building on top of technologies that are known to be robust helps as well.

Not just the technology should be robust, but the use of it as well. Distributing information, splitting it in smaller chunks, can help protect the different chunks against errors in some of them. On the other hand, if something is essential for the understanding of something else, the two parts should be in the same place or even in the same file, without a potentially broken network connection in between.

In very concrete terms, the above applies to the design of documents: if the document contains a picture that is cute, but otherwise not essential for understanding the text, the picture should be in a separate file, because it makes the text file shorter, less likely to contain errors, and more likely to arrive somewhere intact. But if the text contains mathematical formulas, they probably should be embedded in the document, because you cannot risk them getting lost.

The study of how to make the Web robust has only barely started (as of this writing, in 2002). But it is an important topic, because the Web is part of the infrastructure for the modern economy.