Love Those Search Engines

I decided on a whim to look up my grandfather. He passed away long ago, and I was curious about what the Internet would uncover. It’s actually because I’m killing time while KDP manipulates my files.

So I put in “Paul Seidel Pittsburgh PA” to begin.

The search results were quick: “We found Patricia Seidel.”

Who is Patricia Seidel, and why is she coming up when I’m searching for Paul?

Besides Patricia, I found Paul Seipel and Mary Seidel. They did also find Paul Seidel, but not nearly as often as Patricia Seidel. She, I thought, must be amazingly popular or mourned.

I decided that I would add “obit” to see how results changed. That made a fundamental difference; besides adding Robert Seidel to the results, John, and Jonathan, I was also presented with the latest in Pennsylvania obituaries, and Harrisburg, PA. All references to Paul Seidel were now gone, except in my query.

Other variations were tried. So were other search engines. None of it mattered; they had found the results they wanted to present. It’s too bad it didn’t match what I wanted to find. Google was best, coming up with an ad for Family Tree that had seventy-nine death records for Paul Seidel. A few of them were in Pennsylvania. Besides that on Google, though, they found Suzanne Seidel for me – just in case I really wanted to find her, I guess – and Paul Uranker. Paul Uranker was Jayne Seidel’s brother. Boy, that cleared up a lot for me. I always wondered about good ol’ Paul and Jayne, and their relationship, although I never knew her last name was the same as mine. You learn something new, you know?

Google also gave us the results for the Railway Journal for some specific date and month that mentioned St. Paul. Grandpa Paul was a good guy who drank a lot of Iron City beers, worked for Montgomery Ward, smoked packs and packs of Pall Mall cigarettes, and rooted for the Steelers and Pirates on TV, but I never heard anyone call him a saint.



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