ADVERTISING BROKER Google will use SSL by default for all searches conducted by its logged-in users.
Google introduced an encrypted search service in April 2010, however now all those that login to Google will be redirected to the SSL web site automatically, resulting in search queries that are encrypted. Those that don't login will have to manually navigate to https://www.google.com.
According to Evelyn Kao, product manager at Google, web searches are becoming an "increasingly customised experience" and said that means protection of search results is important. Kao said the encryption of search queries means websites will not know what query users search for on Google, which should put a spanner in the works for some web sites' search engine optimisation techniques.
In the past year Facebook and Twitter have also announced support for SSL, with Google having said that it planned to modify more of its services to use SSL.
The need for encryption has grown due to the use of WiFi and other wireless networks to connect to services. While search data might be relatively public anyway - after all Google has a record of what each user searches for - accessing email and logging onto online services such as Facebook, Twitter or Gmail using plaintext transfer is very risky. µ