Huria Search – Search the Global Black Community

Introducing Huria Search:  Search independent websites that deliver meaningful content written by or about, the global Black community.


As the webmaster of AALBC.com, I’ve been an active observer of web-based content, of interest to my visitors, for almost 15 years.  I share what I find in my eNewsletter, website, social media and by word of mouth.  Despite vast improvements in the capability of technology, and the advent of social media, the ability to find quality, conscious, content written for the or about the Black community has become much more difficult.

As the largest Black oriented websites became absorbed into large corporate entities, there has been a trend toward the creation of content heavily focused on scandal, particularly celebrity scandal.  For example, here are just a few titles of articles recently published and promoted by large corporate, Black oriented, websites:

  • 83-Year-Old Caught TRICKIN’
  • Amber Rose After Kanye West Apology: “He Was An A$$hole”
  • Jessica Simpson Announces Pregnancy Beyonce Style
  • Kim Kardashian Wedding: E! Reveals The Truth Behind The Scenes
  • Justin Bieber Fans React On Twitter To Paternal Suit Allegations
  • Reggae Star Vybz Kartel Denied Bail In Murder Case
  • Top 5 Most Notable Sexual Harassment Cases

The primary goal of a publicly traded company is to maximize shareholder wealth.  As a result, the type of content generated is designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience.  Any consideration for variety, the promotion of negative stereotypes and imagery, or a potential adverse impact on Black people is purely incidental.

I don’t mean to suggest that this type of content should not be produced at all.  The problem is that search results tend to favor large corporations, and as a result, their type of content dominates.  Large corporate entities can buy sponsored links, pay professionals to perform search engine optimization and utilize other tricks to game search engine results to skew in their favor.

Over the past year I’ve observed an accelerated trend in search results favoring large corporate sites.  The impact of this trend is that content generated by smaller websites, regardless of quality, is pushed so far down in the search results that it is never discovered.

I blogged about this recently after seeing how search engine results for a popular African American author has changed over time (read the blog post).

Search results matter because this is how most sites attract new visitors.  There is a direct correlation between search engine ranking and website traffic.  This condition raises the barriers of entry for new independent websites interested in producing serious content and jeopardizes the survival of sites that already do.  I discussed this issue in a recent interview (read interview)

Huria Search was born out of an effort to combat this condition.

Huria Search uses a customized and curated version of the Google search engine.  I believe you will find the results of a “Huria search” a refreshing improvement over conventional search engine results when looking for content generated for or about the global Black community (read more about why Huria Search was created).

Huria.org was launched, November 5th 2011.  If you believe in Huria Search’s goals, please share this message and the Huria Search website http://huria.org with others.

It is up to us, as individuals, to promote and support what we believe is important.  I hope Huria Search will become a tool to help us do that.  If you see ways to make the Huria Search site better please let me know.  Comment below or send me an email at info@huria.org

Huria.org is not a revenue generating site — you’ll find no advertisements or sponsored links.  Our goal is to promote and support independent websites to contribute to the global Black community in a meaningful way.

Peace,
Troy Johnson


Related Links

Find information on authors and books
http://thebestblackbooksearch.com/
or http://bit.ly/tbbbse

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About Troy

Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.
This entry was posted in 2011, African-American, Culture, Huria Search, Journalism, Troy Johnson, Troy's Rants, Website Tips and Recommendations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.cbpublish.com Christopher D. Burns

    Thanks for the information Troy. You are consistently seeking out solutions to the problems that plague all small internet based companies. I have been wanting to ask you, but until know it’s slipped my mind. Have you seen a decrease in your web traffic for aalbc.com since the focus on social media has been created? I will bookmark Huria and check it out and write an article on it for my blog after I check it out for a week or so. Thanks for keeping us informed.

    • http://aalbc.com Troy

      Hey Chris I did notice a decrease in traffic, but the impact was due more to Google than social media (read article why). While I believe social media has had an impact (especially on my discussion boards), I have been able to offset traffic reductions by becoming a participant myself and bringing new traffic back to AALBC.com.

      AALBC.com is a big, old (by internet standards) site. We have an advantage. New independent sites, without proper funding and technical expertise are at a distinct disadvantage acquiring a great deal of traffic

      In reaction to the Google issue, I became more aggressive with promotion — as if the AALBC.com was brand new. Promotion has to be an ongoing activity, good content by itself is no longer good enough. Good content really was never enough, but good promotion/SEO/advertising trumps content (unfortunately). While I’ve been concerned with my own site, I’ve observed that the impact on other sites was even more severe. It was like they just disappeared from the search results altogether.

      My initial focus was independent Black book sites, but all independent sites have been impacted (whether they are aware of it or not). This is why I launched Huria. Huria is a really a updated version of the link pages, recommended sites, web rings and other tools we used to maintain to support like minded sites. Huria is really is about working together for our mutual benefit and ultimate survival.

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  • William Johnson

    Brilliant! Thanks so much for taking this important lead.
    I’ve been missing SIFT (Stanford Information Filtering Tool) since its founder graduated and the site closed.

    I suspect I’ve just missed some subtleties, thinking in terms of a directly-human-curated model. But I don’t yet understand how you expect to get around a)manpower/volume constraints, and b) long-term ay succumb attenuation of enthusiasm. Are you anticipating
    – some way of vetting a transient horde of authorized editors, like Wikipedia?
    – Huria as a smart aggregator of link-sites edited by vetted independent humans?
    – some crowd-sourced trust factor mechanism, akin to Reddit or Delicious?
    – or something else?

    Huria sounds very promising.
    As uneasy as I was about Google tending toward monopoly, your posts have revealed many new details. (“The _evil is in the details.”)

    • http://aalbc.com Troy

      William your questions reflect keen insight into the problem I’m trying to address and the problems of my proposed solutions. Though I have not made it widely know yet I’ve decided to narrow the focus of Huria Search to American Websites which cover literature and Entertainment.

      In fact, a couple of months ago, I confounded an organization (federation of independent organizations really), called ABLE, the Alliance for Black Literature an Entertainment. Huria Search will be an ABLE utility. The ABLE members will help me to handle the curation of websites. The narrower focus and ABLE members will help me deal with the man power and volume challenges.

      Perhaps the “ABLE Bodies” (as we call the members), who are vetting before being invited and joining, can vet the websites included.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts it is refreshing and encouraging to see there are folks out there who “get” the problem. The solutions will be harder to come by, for many of us are simply struggling to stay alive…

      I’ll do some research on Stanford Information Filtering Tool, maybe I can learn something from their experiences.