The Black Google… Is It Really?

19Oct08

 

In April of 2008 IAC (one of the world’s largest Internet services company) launched a search engine by the name of RushmoreDrive.com tailor made for the 12.4 million blacks online according to Nielsen Online. According to their site, Rushmoredrive delivers a blend of mainstream search results plus a layer of more relevant search results influenced by the Black Community. President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor was quoted as saying to USA TODAY’s Mike Snider that ‘blacks want everything we already get from Google plus highly relevant news.’ He goes on to say in an interview with BlackPR.com that RushmoreDrive.com ‘will be the online home for all Black people in America whether they be African American, Black Caribbean, Black Hispanic, or people of African heritage.

Why the team at Rushmoredrive.com should be applauded, the concept of a ‘black search engine’ isn’t anything new to the black community. For example, other search engines or portals dedicated to the black community are sites like blackwebportal.com, blackfind.com, blackseek.com, etc. The major component that sets Rushmoredrive apart is the fact that it is financed by the IAC. I must admit I was a little hesitant in the beginning about the idea and their concept behind the search engine. I remember asking a friend of mine; shouldn’t most black people be tech savvy enough in their search query (i.e. African-American hair care products) to find the information they need? However, after doing my due-diligence into the algorithm and the technology that drives Rushmoredrive as reported by the New York Times, I must it admit I was impressed. Essentially what the Rushmoredrive algorithm does is moves Web sites preferred by black people (depending on the search query entered) near the top of the search results.

I should point out that the search engine is not without it flaws, which hopefully can be corrected as updates are made and the search engine evolves. Founder of BlackPlanet.com (which was sold to Radio One) Omar Wilson in an interview with On The Media believes that Rushmoredrive.com has a bit of a marketing problem because it’s not yet obvious to someone using the site for the first time how it offers a better search experience for African Americans.

CEO Johnny Taylor explaining the vision for Rushmoredrive.com:

Mikey Digital

 

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