> it's just hard to make that big impact on search results with personalization
Trying to make a big impact on something that was more or less working might be the problem. A "don't fix what's not (too) broken" could be a good idea.
For your dmv example, actually, I din't know what dmv is, and my fisrt page (french localized) is about a medicament dictionnary for doctors (DMV, didn't know it either).
"dmv usa" doesn't get me the dmvusa.org result firt either (it's the one I get on the US google)
This seems to be the best example of why geospecific data can be widly irrelevant, and using the default setting, I get this kind of unusable results for half of what I search.