Search giant Google has a separate, encrypted search page at encrypted.google.com that never got much fanfare, and as of April 30, it will be gone. The site was created as a way for users to search the internet securely and stripped away many of the functions of the normal Google search in the process, such as result localization and tracking for advertising profiles. The core function, being HTTPS encryption for security, is now integrated into the normal Google search page. Users who try to visit encrypted.google.com after the shutdown date will find themselves redirected to the normal Google search site. If your browser does not automatically go to //www.google.com on its own, you can type in that address manually to search with secure encryption.
Besides the core encryption function, the specialized encrypted site functioned a bit differently from the normal Google Search service in ways that some users may wish to reproduce. The encrypted site did not use AMP, for example, and in order to avoid AMP on the normal Google site, you’ll have to use the desktop mode in your browser. To not be tracked for ads, you can open up an incognito or private tab in Chrome or your browser of choice. In order to avoid being redirected to your country’s local version of Google, you can go to google.com/ncr, short for “no country redirect.” All of these options still use secure encryption.
Google has been working on streamlining its service portfolio and eliminating redundancy in recent times, in order to make things more user-friendly and make online security effortless for its users, even if they’re not terribly tech-savvy. This change is along those lines, as are security pushes in the Chrome browser that see users warned about any site not using secure encryption through HTTPS. Google is aiming to make the web a more secure, user-friendly place, and the chief way that it’s doing that at this point is through user awareness campaigns and the automation or folding-in of security functions in its services to make things easier for users who may not know enough about cybersecurity or computing in general to take the initiative to protect themselves.