Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is used to encypt your online communications in everything from banking and shopping to Gmail and Facebook. Now, Google is integrating this same security measure for all logged-in users' queries. Here's what's in it for you.
Google's actually been pushing for stronger industry-wide security protocols for years, integrating SSL into Gmail at the start of 2010 and constructing a Beta Secure Search site -- https://encrypted.google.com -- a few months later. Over the next few weeks, Google will transition to https://google.com, which will load automatically for all logged-in users. Those not signed in can access https://google.com directly.
Secure search essentially will encrypt both your search query and its corresponding results page, preventing unwarrented snooping when you're on an open connection.
And for site owners who rely on traffic from Google searches, instead of being able to see exactly what each query was used in Google, they'll instead receive a list of the top 1000 search queries that drove traffic to their site over the last 30 days via Google Webmaster Tools. What it won't affect is advertising on the results page, advertisers will still be able to see individual query terms -- presumably so that they will be able to better tailor their product campaigns. [Google Blog via PC World]