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Minority-Owned Businesses Are Under Represented In Google Searches, But Why?

Minority-owned businesses are under-represented in Google searches, and a University of Nevada-Reno professor is looking into why that might be for two groups in Northern Nevada. 


Gi Yun, the director of the Center for Advanced Media Studies at UNR, is researching the problem.

He said he stumbled onto it when he realized businesses owned by Native Americans in Pyramid Lake were not on Google maps.

Yun said he believes the problem could be resources.

"The minority businesses, which typically don’t have the resources, may not have time to think about the digital economy in those cases they probably not registered on Google or any type of database,” he said.

The process of getting registered on Google maps could also be intimidating to people who don't know how it works or how to navigate it.

He is also looking at why businesses owned by Hispanics in a certain section of Reno are not on maps. He speculates that it might be because some business owners are concerned about their immigration status.

Yun also believes it might be connected to a knowledge gap that some business owners may not understand how important a digital presence is to success. 

(This story originally aired July 2018)

Gi  Yun, director, Center for Advanced Media Studies at UNR

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Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.