Google has launched the secure version of its iconic search engine, where all traffic is encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and can't be snooped upon by search-habit analysts or network snoopers. Google has killed three birds with one shot:
First, it silenced the critics, who earlier this week accused Google's ad agency, DoubleClick, of collecting user data from social networking sites. Google has shown its commitment to safeguarding the privacy of users.
Second, it warded off the search-habit analysts who've been using the referral addresses to see what keywords were searched, to reach which site. This allows sites to edit meta-tag data to push their sites higher up the search order. Most browsers remove these referrers when navigating from a secure site to an insecure one.
Third, it put itself further ahead of its rival search engines - now that users would prefer Google as it would safeguard them on the local network, even when the network is insecure. So they will avoid passing information to agencies, err...like Google. Yes, it would certainly help Google's case in Street View Car debacle where the camera-fitted cars collected user data through insecure WiFi connections in homes.
The secure search engine is currently in the Beta stage and can be reached at https://www.google.com (notice the extra 'S'). It's in Beta stage to undergo tests regarding its feasibility in establishing secure, encrypted connections can increase the search time and also bog down the servers.