Search. No doubt, you do it every day; probably several times a day depending on how events unfold at work and at home. It’s hard to remember a time when it didn’t exist.
In an increasingly fast-paced world where information not only moves more quickly than ever before as well as moves at an exponential rate within each second, categorization and information filtering has never been more important. New terms are being utilized in our society such as “relationship capital” and “information capital” as major elements that come in to play along with traditional capital.
Depending on who I know and what I know that they don’t, my personal “stock” can go up or down. So in a society where information is becoming more coveted; how important are African-Americans on the digital food chain, given the continued rising strength of both our increased population and economic buying power, given to the organizers and gate-keepers of information and search such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing.
And more importantly, how will the perception affect your pocket as, perhaps, a young African-American with an economic dream?
I only ask because recently Google made a big announcement regarding its new Hispanic strategy focus. What makes this business development particularly interesting is because the Google’s approach to the U.S. Hispanic market is centered more on the cultural identity of Latinos than on the difference in language.
This is the strategy designed by Mark Lopez, the head of Google’s U.S. Hispanic unit who is reportedly trying to significantly increase the amount of advertising directed toward U.S. digital media in Spanish. “Of the Hispanic media’s $4 billion in income from advertising,” Lopez was quoted as saying, “barely 3 percent is going to digital media. In the coming years, there will be accelerated growth.” The move is significant because Google’s interest opens the doors to an accelerated growth in the Hispanic digital market.”
But unless I’ve missed something, I have not yet seen this same fervor and anticipation directed by Google toward our market. The U.S. Census Bureau has provided undeniable figures in the consistent growth of the Black population as well, and other statistical organizations has shown that our numbers are growing more in on-line usage as well as out-index in Web access from mobile devices. While we are undeniably (and hopefully for the most part) Americans, African-Americans have always had an additional cultural context from which it is best to access us as well.
So what gives?
Are we simply taken for granted by the mighty search engine even though Target Market News consistently shows absolutely staggering purchase power? I’d love to see Google’s interest also equal an “accelerated growth” in the Black digital market. The revenue would certainly be welcome for existing and future young digital pioneers of color such as yourselves, wouldn’t it?
But Google is a savvy company. I’m not counting them out on this. And maybe it will also nudge Bing as well, which I actually haven’t seen do any more to lure the African-American consumer beyond a mild attempt at collaboration with Jay-Z’s book publisher for the release of Decoded last year.