A quick tip tonight.
For a while, Google has allowed the use of SSL with its search product by manually visiting https://encrypted.google.com but this has not been widely advertised in the past. However, it seems for residents in the USA that this is now becoming the default search page when people are visiting the regular http://google.com site.
As always, it’s always a good idea to use SSL where possible to help eliminate the possibility of having sensitive or private data sent in in the clear over the Internet. The concept of what information is sensitive or private may slightly differ from person to person but for some this may include search engine queries (particularly if they are searching for information related to health or relatives). This could have more of an impact at places of employment where corporate proxy servers are used and all web traffic is funneled through these computers but SSL connections can be protected from this caching of information.
At any rate, if you have been using the HTTPS Everywhere add-on for Firefox you would have already been using Google SSL Beta but if not it’s another good reason to install it and enjoy more secure searches.