SSL Google Search allows you to search with less or no worry of people sniffing around to see what you are searching for. All this does is encrypt the searching you do, it stops once you leave Google and head over to a web site. I should note that https by definition prevents referrer data from being passed along.
Here are some notes about SSL search from Google:
- SSL encrypts the communication channel between Google and a searcher's computer. When search traffic is encrypted, it can't be read by third parties trying to access the connection between a searcher's computer and Google's servers. Note that the SSL protocol does have some limitations — more details are below.
- As another layer of privacy, SSL search turns off a browser's referrers . Web browsers typically turn off referrers when going from HTTPS to HTTP mode to provide extra privacy. By clicking on a search result that takes you to an HTTP site, you could disable any customizations that the website provides based on the referrer information.
- At this time, search over SSL is supported only on Google web search. We will continue to work to support other products like Images and Maps. All features that are not supported have been removed from the left panel and the row of links at the top. You'll continue to see integrated results like images and maps, and clicking those results will take you out of encrypted search mode.
- Your Google experience using SSL search might be slighly slower than you're used to because your computer needs to first establish a secure connection with Google.
Google still sees everything that is going on and still stores this in your web history also.
There are also some people reporting that Google SSL Search works in China.