Google started rolling out SSL encryption on its homepage; Now, “when you google, an encrypted connection is created between your browser & Google, that helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by 3rd-party on your network. This includes a modified logo to indicate SSL searching and you may encounter a somewhat different Google search experience, but do check the address bar for “https” and lock indicators,” noted Google.
“This release comes with a “beta” label: First, it currently covers only core Google web search product. When you search using SSL, you won’t see links to offerings like Image Search and Maps, as they don’t support SSL at this time. Also, since SSL connections require additional time to set up encryption between your browser and remote web server, your experience with search over SSL might be slightly slower than regular Google search. Note: Google will still maintain search data to improve search quality and to provide better service. Clicking web results, including Google universal search results for unsupported services like Google Images, could take you out of SSL mode,” explains Google.
More Info: help article on search over SSL