As always, Google is constantly working on improving their suite of available tools and services. Recently, the search engine giant rolled out a new type of search called Google search over SSL, raising the questions: what is SSL, how is it different from regular Google search, and how does it affect my paid search and organic traffic?

First of all, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that allows for more secure Internet data transfers for services such as email and web browsing. When searching over SSL, your search queries and traffic are encrypted, hiding them from any third parties and protecting your data from being intercepted by unwanted outsiders. It’s important to note, though, that searching over SSL only limits the data sent to third parties, not the data sent to Google.

What Are the Main Differences Between Google Search & Google Search Over SSL?

1. Because this is a new service still being tested, search over SSL is only available on Google Web Search and Images, but work continues to make it available through additional Google products. Although you’ll still see the other features, clicking on them will take you out of encrypted mode.

2. Queries performed through Google search, as well as the results, can be viewed by third parties, whereas Google search over SSL cannot.

3. A secure connection with Google is required for search over SSL, so you’re likely to notice a slower search experience.

4. If you click on a website in your search over SSL results that does not begin with https://, you may be taken out of encrypted mode, making your visited sites visible to third parties. In addition, if your computer is affected with any malware or virus, your search queries may be visible.

In a digital world driven by data, privacy issues have become a huge concern. And when it comes to search, Google search over SSL seems to be the first step in the right direction toward giving consumers more piece of mind. As Google continues to work out the kinks, it could potentially become the digital pioneer’s default search. And because search over SSL has no bearing on the data shared with Google, digital marketers should notice no change in paid search and organic traffic from Google.