Have you been redirected to the encrypted Google search page this morning? Worry not, you should be honored for having participated in “an experiment”, the Google Operating System blog reports. The search monster is sending “some percentage of Chrome 14 users” to the more secure, SSL-enabled search page, which is still in beta. The reason?

They are testing out the new functionality of the SSL page, which now sports nearly all of the features of its non-SSL counterpart. Previously, encrypted search lacked many features of the regular search page, such as Image Search, Google Instant and Instant Preview. The encrypted search page still lacks navigation links and Google Maps doesn’t support SSL yet.

As Google works to bring feature parity between SSL and non-SSL search pages, eventually users might just tick a check box in their search settings to opt-in to SSL search. SSL, a secure communications protocol, ensures that anything that gets sent between your browser and Google’s servers (such as your query and search results) is encrypted to prevent eavesdropping.

Only users who run Chrome 14 Beta may be automatically redirected to the updated secure search page. You can also visit the page manually by pointing your browser here. If you want to run both the most recent stable version of Chrome and the latest alpha builds independently on your system, you can do so by installing the stable Chrome and Chrome Canary builds.

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