Google has added [an SSL option on its website](http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/search-more-securely-with-encrypted.html) to allow encrypted search. When you search using [https://www.google.com/](https://www.google.com/) (note the https protocol in url instead of the usual http), your search terms and the results returned by Google is encrypted between your computer and Google server.
SSL connection will make it harder for third party to peek at your search activities, with the penalty of slightly slower response due to the need to encrypt and decrypt the data. Google has put up a “Beta” label for this new SSL option.
Today’s release comes with a “beta” label for a few reasons. First, it currently covers only the core Google web search product. To help avoid misunderstanding, when you search using SSL, you won’t see links to offerings like Image Search and Maps that, for the most part, don’t support SSL at this time. Also, since SSL connections require additional time to set up the encryption between your browser and the remote web server, your experience with search over SSL might be slightly slower than your regular Google search experience. What won’t change is that you will still get the same great search results.
SSL connection has been enabled for Gmail and Google Docs for years, nonetheless it is a welcomed feature for web search on Google main site.