The introduction of encrypted search at https://www.google.com/ a month ago has increased the privacy of search engine visitors by preventing people from intercepting search terms and results. Encrypting all communication between the client's computer and Google Search had a few side effects though.
It was for one not possible to use all Google services. Google Image search was for instance not available for users who used the https version of Google.
Organizations, companies and schools had to deal with another problem. Employees and students who used the secure version of Google Search were able to bypass some school's content filters allowing them to access sites and content's that were blocked in the network.
Some schools began to block encrypted search which had another side effect. Google services that relied on encryption like Gmail or Google Apps stopped working as they were making use of SSL as well.
Dave Girouard, President, Google Enterprise explained in a blog post what Google decided to do about it. A first step is to move encrypted search to a new hostname so that schools can block that new hostname without blocking the other Google secure services offered at the main Google domain.
The long term plan however is to offer encrypted search at the main Google Search domain. It is not yet clear how this will be offered but a likely scenario is to move the authentication to its own hostname.
Expect a new secure Google Search url soon. It is likely that the old url will automatically redirect to the new one.
Update: Google has moved https to the main google.com domain again. Users are now automatically reditected to https://www.google.com/ whenever they open google.com, http://www.google.com/ or another variation of the domain in their browser.
Update 2: International users will also be redirected to https versions of local Google properties in the near future.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.