Google Secure Search Engine : Google Search over SSL
If you are looking for an end-to-end encrypted secure search engine service between your computer and Google then the Google Secure Search is the right solution for you. Because of secure encryption your search terms and your search results pages cannot be read by third parties who are trying to access the connection between your computer and Google’s servers.
SSL and HTTPS
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is cryptographic protocol that provide security for communications over networks such as the Internet. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a combination of the HTTP (Protocol) with the SSL/TLS protocol to provide encrypted communication over network.
HTTPS connections are often used for sensitive transactions like credit card payment transactions.
In Other word HTTPS create a secure channel over an insecure network. This is achieved by encrypting the incoming and outgoing messages. When data is encrypted, it can’t be read by third parties trying to access the connection between two entities in the network. For example your computer and the web-server which provides a secure service. HTTPS URLs begin with “https://”
Google Search over SSL
To use Google search over SSL, use https://www.google.com or https://encrypted.google.com URLs. By using these secure URLs to do search, SSL encrypts the communication channel between Google and your computer thus securing the search traffic against third party access.
As of now only Google web search is available over SSL and Google Images Search and Google Maps Search are not currently available over SSL.
As mentioned in Google Web Search Help “Your Google experience using SSL search might be slightly slower than you’re used to because your computer needs to first establish a secure connection with Google.”
Already many Google services like GMail and Adsense are secured using HTTPS.