Ya, that's right. Personalization sucks! When I am doing an Internet search the vast majority of the time, I do not want to get personalized results. So for Google Search, I have turned on "do not use private results," which I thought would turn off personalization. Yes? No, in fact, it seems to have no impact at all. I still get location based results when I don't want them. Let me give you a couple examples. Please note, I live in the North Denver metro area.
I am interested in what new products and web sites are out there on the Net. So I do a Google search on "startups" hoping to find blogs or news sites on the subject. What do I get? Mostly results for Denver and Boulder startups. But I want ALL startups and there seems no way to find that out on Google anymore. Frustrating!
I work in education and one of our jobs is determining audience. What job roles are currently relevant? What technologies are currently hot? So a convenient way (without your own research team) to do this in the past was via a Google search. Say I do a search for "Java Developer Jobs". I'm looking for US information at a minimum, the English speaking world would be fine to. What do I get? All my results are pre-filtered for Denver. Lovely.
Fortunately, we have DuckDuckGo which hasn't caught the personalization disease yet. You can still do searches with it and it doesn't give a rip who or where you are.
Google please give me back the Library of Alexandria functionality we all know and love. The Library of Denver is just not as useful. :)