This week, Google launched Chrome 25 in beta. The big feature that got most of the attention was the speech recognition. This version of the browser also encrypts searches from the omnibox for users that aren't signed in, just as it does for those who are.
"Serving content over SSL provides users with a more secure and private search experience," says Google software engineer Adam Langley. "It helps ensure that malicious actors who might intercept people’s internet traffic can’t see their queries. Many major sites have begun serving content over SSL by default, such as Gmail in early 2010, Twitter in February 2012, and Facebook in November 2012. Search has also been moving toward encryption. Google introduced Encrypted Search in May 2010 and made encryption the default for signed-in users starting in October 2011. Firefox announced a switch to SSL for all Google searches in July 2012, and Safari did the same thing in September 2012. Chrome is continuing this trend."
"Users shouldn’t notice any changes," he adds. " If anything, their searches will be slightly faster due to Chrome’s implementation of the SPDY protocol, but there should be no other user-visible effect."
More on SPDY here.
There's been a fair amount of controversy in the SEO industry, with regard to Google's encrypted searches, because it leads to a lot of "not provided" queries in Google Analytics.
Chrome 25 is available in the Dev and Beta channels.