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Year in Search 2022: What did Americans look for the most on Google?

Although "Wordle" dominated the search engine in 2022, national and global events took over most of the top 10 spots in the U.S.
Credit: AP
FILE - A cursor moves over Google's search engine page Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

WASHINGTON — Americans and the rest of the world were focused on one thing in 2022 — guessing the daily five-letter word on Wordle. Google's Year in Search, published Wednesday, revealed the game was the top trending search term globally.

Every year, Google lists the top search term that had the highest spike compared to the previous year. "Wordle" took the top spot in search terms for the United States, with midterm election results trailing second.

Although "Wordle" dominated the search engine in 2022, national and global events took over most of the remaining nine spots in the U.S. Searches related to Queen Elizabeth II's death ranked fourth overall, while Ukraine-related searches ranked sixth.

For the first time, Google launched a feature where users can look at local Year in Search based on location. By entering a zip code or city, Google shows users interesting search trends in the area.

Here's a breakdown of Google's most searched 2022 terms. 

Google's Year in Search 2022:

1. Wordle

The digital five-letter guessing game became part of routines in 2022 -- like waking up and brushing your teeth. Players get six tries to guess a five-letter word with only the previous guess providing clues.

What made it so appealing? It could only be played once a day.

Since it's rise in popularity early in 2022, the game was purchased by the New York Times. It reached new levels of notoriety after the newspaper partnered with Hasbro Inc., the company behind Scrabble and Monopoly, to create a board game.

2. Election results

Midterm elections are held every two years in between presidential elections. This year, the elections reshaped party control in Congress as Republicans won the House of Representatives and Democrats kept a Senate majority.

Even though Election Day was nearly a month ago, the last Senate race was called on Tuesday in the Georgia runoff. Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock won the 51st seat and beat out Herschel Walker.

3. Betty White 

Rounding out the third spot was "Golden Girls" legendary actress Betty White, who died on Dec. 31, 2021. White, who was six days away from turning 100, suffered a stroke in the days before her death. 

4. Queen Elizabeth 

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died after 70 years on the throne in September. She was 96. Her son, King Charles III, will be crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6.

5. Bob Saget 

Bob Saget died in January and became one of the first high-profile deaths of 2022. The 65-year-old was best known for playing one of America's favorite dads: Danny Tanner on the hit TV sitcom "Full House" and the Netflix sequel "Fuller House." 

6. Ukraine

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine began on Feb. 24, after Putin invaded the former Soviet Union country. Nine months later, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley said “well over 100,000 Russian soldiers" have been killed or wounded, with similar figures on the Ukrainian side. 

He added that many as 40,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed.

7. Mega Millions

At the peak of summer heat, Americans were sent into a frenzy with lottery fever. A near-record $1.377 billion Mega Millions jackpot was up for grabs in July and an Illinois winner took the prize home.

Two people came forward to claim the grand prize but chose to stay anonymous. 

8. Powerball numbers

Lottery games across America reached new heights with a record-breaking Powerball jackpot. After several months without a grand prize winner, a single Powerball ticket in California won the record-setting $2.04 billion jackpot in November. 

9. Anne Heche

Anne Heche, 53, one of the biggest film stars of the late 1990s, died on Aug. 5 after a fiery car crash. She was later declared brain dead but was kept alive on life support until her organs could be donated.

She also played one of cinema’s most famous murder victims, Marion Crane of “Psycho,” in Gus Van Sant’s remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, and co-starred in the indie favorite “Walking and Talking.”

10. Jeffery Dahmer

Netflix's "Dahmer — Monster: A Jeffrey Dahmer series" surpassed the 1 billion hours viewed mark within two month of the show's release. According to Netflix, it is the third title in its streaming history to cross 1 billion behind "Stranger Things" and "Squid Game."


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