I noticed someone asking why Google’s homepage was suddenly “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”. Before anyone blames the DSA for it, Google announced a while back what it was doing.
…today [Tuesday, 18 October 2011] we announced that SSL Search on https://www.google.com will become the default experience for signed in users on google.com. This change will be rolling out over the next few weeks.
If you log out of Google you get plain old http://www.google.com, but if you’re logged in you get the HTTPS version.
It’s a little annoying because it blocks search terms being passed to your analytical software. As several people have written in the comments to the announcement, Google can use data how it likes to drive business – but others can’t.
In fact, when you consider the reaction of the tech-savvy crowd, and Google’s possibly high-handed approach, a possible hidden reason for the original question starts to become apparent.