Google announced today that it is extending its SSL offerings to Google search. Google has long provided SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) support for its Gmail and Google Docs products but this is the first time basic search has received SSL support.
Most users recognize SSL connections by 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.
While it is common for e-mail or e-commerce sites to use SSL connections, search connections can benefit from being secure too. For instance, if you’re at Starbucks or another locale that has Wi-Fi access, you might not want interlopers to have the ability to see that you are Googling for “****** ****** tour” or “Twilighttwilight pics.”
Now you can get basic SSL protection for your GoogleGoogle searches by visiting https://www.google.com. At the time of this writing, Google is still redirecting all HTTPS requests to the regular Google homepage, but this should change over the course of the day.
As Google notes in its blog post, SSL support is still in beta — hence the new logo. Also, while Google will be encrypting your connection, it will still maintain the same search data that it always maintains. In other words, don’t think that SSL support means you can keep Google from retaining info about your searches.
Additionally, Google’s SSL support is only for basic search for now. Image Search and Maps, for instance, don’t support SSL yet. Also keep in mind that if you click on an unsupported service, like Images, you could be taken out of SSL mode. Google hopes to add broader SSL support to more of its search products in the future.
What do you think of SSL support coming to Google search? Let us know.
[img credit:Darwin Bell]