Google has provided the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to products ranging from Gmail to Google Docs and others, now it has announced Google SSL Search. As people spend more time on the Internet, they want greater control over who has access to their online communications. SSL connections use the “https” distinction in the address or the “protected” flag that appears in your web browser.

These types of protection encrypt and protect the information you transmit to those sites, meaning that the data you are sending out is protected from people or bots that may be monitoring traffic on your network. Other sites may also implement SSL in a more limited fashion, for example, to help protect your passwords when you enter your login information.

It currently covers only the core Google web search product. The reason Google isn’t rolling this out everywhere is that it does hamper the speed of search a bit. Since all this data must be encrypted, it’s delivered to you slightly slowly. When you search on https://www.google.com, an encrypted connection is created between your browser and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party on your network. The service includes a modified logo to help indicate that you’re searching using SSL and that you may encounter a somewhat different Google search experience.

Google will still maintain search data to improve your search quality and to provide better service. Searching over SSL doesn’t reduce the data sent to Google — it only hides that data from third parties who seek it. And clicking on any of the web results, including Google universal search results for unsupported services like Google Images, could take you out of SSL mode. Our hope is that more websites and services will add support for SSL to help create a better and more consistent experience for you.