Wordle topped Google's Year in Search for 2022, beating even the biggest events in the world over the past few months. Searches for the five-letter word game peaked shortly after it was acquired by The New York Times in February, perhaps when people had to look for its new address or when those who haven't heard of it before wanted to see what the fuss was about. The second most searched term for 2022 is "India vs. England," which pertains to the countries' faceoff at the Cricket World Cup. Ukraine takes the third spot in the overall trending searches list, as well as the top of this year's trending News topics. Most people looking into the war in Ukraine searched for liveblogs to get the latest happenings and for information on casualties, refugees, donations and armed conflicts.
"Queen Elizabeth" came in fourth for 2022, with the UK and former British colonies being responsible for most of the searches after the Queen passed away in September. The fifth most popular search term is another Cricket World Cup game, this time between India and Saudi Arabia, followed by even more cricket matches and the iPhone 14. COVID-19 is no longer at the forefront from people's minds, based on this year's list: Monkeypox and Roe v. Wade were the most searched health-related topics instead. Some of the other entries in the trending news list are pretty sobering, specifically "Texas school shooting" and Hurricane Ian.
When it comes to the most searched people of the year, users seemed to be especially curious about celebrity happenings. Johnny Depp topped this year's list, followed by Will Smith and Amber Heard. Vladimir Putin also made it to the top five. Anna Sorokin and Simon Leviev, whose names blew up on the internet after Inventing Anna and Tinder Swindler came out, were among the most searched people, as well.
Thor: Love and Thunder topped the list of most searched movies, but Google said "how to become a fighter pilot" trended thanks to Top Gun: Maverick. The tech giant also released the top image searches using Lens and the top song searches done by humming a tune. (Domestic short-haired cats and philodendrons seemed to have tickled most people's curiosity this year, for those wondering.) The Buckingham Palace was 2022's top cultural landmark, based on Google Maps searches, while the Dark Matter interactive installation in Berlin was the top exhibit. This year, Google also launched a local hub that can show interesting search trends across the US — New York City, for instance, had "rainbow mantis shrimp" as its top trending animal.
You can see Google's full Year in Search for 2022 right here.