I still can't agree with what Page says about 'personalised results' though. He talks about 'search understanding you' as if it just makes existing search 'better'. But to me search is about 'I know what I'm looking for so I ask for something specific', usually looking for a fairly certain answer. If this involves my search history, or people that I know, I will be able to tell the search platform that when I search, I don't want them to assume this on my behalf - this just makes my results less specific than I originally intended.
Its a bit of a conflation between advertising and search really, they are trying to second guess what I am interested in before I know it, which I'm not sure is very positive.
We (the HN community) are not the target audience for these optimizations. Ever watched your mom type in a search query? It's aweful, sometimes I'm amazed at the results Google can produce for crappy search queries. It's those people that will benefit tremendously from these kind of optimizations.
For us, who do not want the personalised search results, the standard answer has been that we should simply log off and it will be generic. While I do feel that Google should simply make this an account preference (so I don't have to log off from my gmail account just to be able to use search in a fashion I appreciate), I can clearly see and appreciate why Google is going for personalised search.
twilight java pov:"thirteen year old girl"