Google starts offering searches via SSL
Google has begun rolling out an encrypted version of its search engine in an effort to protect Internet users from having their searches sniffed by Governments, ISPs and others on their network. The new version of Google is SSL encrypted and located at https://www.google.com.
SSL search means that an encrypted connection is created between your browser and Google's servers. When you perform a search, your search terms and whatever results come back from them will only be visible to you. Anyone who might be sniffing packets on your network (such as, say, Google!) won't be able to see what you're looking up.
Google says it's only in beta for now. The reasoning for the beta tag is because SSL only covers the core search technology for the time being, and not for for searches such as Google Maps or Google Images.
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, Google wrote in a blog post.