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I just upgraded Huria Search making it mobile friendly, adding back the social icons (Harriett Tubman had to go back to the plantation to save her people), cleaning up the look and making major changes on the backend. The database is growing and the quality of the content is improving. Sadly, many of the book stores are dropping their websites--there are some many broken URLs, I'm considering removing the category. This is hard because supporting bookstore websites was my primary reason for creating Huria Search in the first place! It is to the point now it is not even worth talking about, sort of like complaining about the lack of Blacksmith websites. The larger Black media websites don't appear to care about this issue either... Hopefully these upgrades will improve traction of the website. I have not tried to monetize the website over that last 4 years, and I get very little financial support. I'll continue to run it as long as I can. Google, which drives the search portion of the website, says the number of websites in my index will generate "unpredictable results." I pay for the ability produce this search results without Google advertisements (which has the effect skewing traffic away fro our websites). Google say they are working on a solution to support what I'm doing, but they have not provided a timeframe for a solution. I'm looking for an alternative solution, but have not found one yet.
I'm writing an article about this issue but I thought I'd preview it here first, maybe even get some more ideas from your comments. Click this link http://aalbc.it/look4troy to run a simple Google query on my name, Troy Johnson. Your results will vary depending upon... well God know what, but I can guarantee you the following will be the same no matter who you are. The query will returns the big social media sites before anything on AALBC.com! My Facebook profile is at position #4 My LinkedIn Profile is at position #6 My Twitter profile is #10 AALBC.com does not appear until #16 on the 2nd page! Given that there are almost 25 million pages returned, and that I have a common name, shared with a few celebrities, the fact that I have 3 pages in the top 10 would normally be considered as great by some. This is very bad news because I do not own the 3 top pages. Forget about giving me SEO (search engine optimization) advise, I got that down. Besides my content is more complete and comprehensive that the other social media sites (I created it all). My site's content is almost 15 years old the oldest site beating me, with my own content, is less than 5 years old. I put very little information about myself on Twitter. Facebook has nothing that AALBC.com does not have -- indeed all I use Facebook for is to link back to AALBC.com. I don't really use LinkedIn. The obvious reason for this is that Google, despite all their bullshit about directing people to the best sites with their, complex and secret algorithm, is simply sending people to the large sites first. You might say why of course genius -- waddya expect? Well the fact of the matter is that this was not the case since there was such a thing as a search engine. Google only recently started favoring these large social media sites. If you queried my name a few months ago an AALBC.com page would have come up in the top 5. Watching this happen is astonishing, partially because it is happening right under our noses and no one not the government or the people have a clue it is happening or why it is important. The Internet was once a truly open an democratic environment. Today it is not. Tomorrow is scary.
EDITORS NOTE (June 2017): As of March 2016, after a 5 year run, Huria Search’s run as a standalone site ended. I could not longer justify the additional expense. I found the search engine useful so transferred it here: https://aalbc.com/huria/ so that I and a few others could continue to use it. About a year ago Google announced that they are discontinuing the underlying service which drives Hura Search, so i'm note sure how much longer it will continue to operate. Check out Huria Search: http://huria.org Hey everyone If you have not already noticed all the big Black websites have sold out to corporate concerns who more interested in money than the Black community. The pursuit of money explains why the big "Black" site cover Kim Kardasian, or any celebrity scandal they can dig up and help exacerbate. Because of their might these corporations have dominated search results, not because of "better" content, but because of their ability to game search results and purchase advertising. As a result, you are more likely to learn more about the sorted details of Terry McMillan's divorce than her accomplishments as a writer when you Google her name. To give folks search results that skew toward independent Black owned websites, I created Huria Search. Huria Search will introduce you to websites you probably never knew existed because they were buried so deeply in regular search results. Check it out I think you will enjoy what you find. The sites are not limited to independent Black websites. You'll find sites like libraries (Schomburg), publishers (Akashic), not for profits (poets.org), any entity that has positively contributed to the global Black community should be included. Non-US sites are part of the mix as well. If you believe in the spirit of what I'm trying to accomplish please help spread the word, post links on your Blog and websites and support Huria Search, and by extension, the global Black community. Read a recent Blog posts about Huria Search.
I've customized a the Google search engine to return results that we would like to find for regarding Black books. It filters out all the nonsense coming from the corporate sites. If you are searching for Terry McMillan and want to know about ex husband -- go to Google main engine and you'll find that right away, but if you want to find infromation about here work -- search here: the URL is: http://thebestblackbooksearch.com/ or http://bit.ly/tbbbse for short. Search for your favorite authors and let me know what you think. It is a work in progress, and I'm looking for feedback too. I've discovered content I would never have found in a normal Google search. The Best Black Book Search Engine http://thebestblackbooksearch.com