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UK’s Year in Search: 2022

Cover Image for UK’s Year in Search: 2022

Whether it was a TikTok craze, the creation of a new game, or the first-ever winter World Cup, Google continued to find the answers to our search terms in 2022. With 8.5 billion searches every day, search interest was higher than ever compared to 3.5 billion searches per day reported in 2021.

Google is the most visited website globally with close to 90 billion visits per month. On top of that, it started the year with a 91.9% market share, up nearly 4% from 2019. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Google is still the go-to for unanswered questions, the latest news, and dishing the dirt on celebrity lives.

What was searched the most in 2022?

The most searched word in 2022 was “Wordle”. The online puzzle game took the world by storm after being launched in October 2021 and gaining popularity from December onwards. Wordle requires you to guess a 5-letter word in 6 guesses and became so popular in a short space of time that it was sold to The New York Times for a 7-figure sum. Wordle’s peak search interest was in mid-February.

From Wordle trending at the start of the year, our second-highest search term remains at peak interest – “World Cup”.

“Queen Elizabeth” rounded off the top 3 as our longest-ever reigning monarch died at the age of 96. Both “Ukraine” (4) and “Russia” (7) were also in the top 10 most searched phrases this year as the war in Ukraine continues. COVID remained on people’s minds as “lateral flow test” completed the top 5.

What were the most popular TV shows & celebrities?

The trial of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp went viral across TikTok and Twitter as a series of clips of lawyer mishaps made their way around. Johnny Depp was the most searched actor, with Amber Heard third, whilst the incredible Oscars fiasco rounded off the top 5. Will Smith was the second most searched, his victim Chris Rock at number 4 and Jada Pinkett Smith fifth.

Loss was a big part of the year, with many beloved celebrities and well-known figures passing away. Queen Elizabeth II, Olivia Newton-John, Robbie Coltrane, and Betty White are just some of those who were at the forefront of our minds in 2022.

Away from those we love, many Conservative party members made a name for themselves. Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, and Penny Mourdant were all in the top 10 most searched people in 2022 as we cycled through three prime ministers in just two months.

Fortunately, Matt Hancock kept a low profile and was no longer in the top 10 after being the second most searched person in 2021.

The UK was clearly eager to move on and forget the past as “When is the next general election” was also in the top 10 most searched “when” questions.

Stranger Things was the most searched TV show in 2022 as season 4 hit Netflix with a two-parter. Matt Hancock most likely boosted I’m A Celeb interest as this jumped into the top 10 and House of the Dragon, set in the fantasy world of Game of Thrones, finished with the 6th most searches.

What is the Most Searched Question in 2022?

Google’s main solution for our lives is answering all our questions, no matter how unique or ridiculous. In 2021, Love Island, Facebook, and lockdown ending were some of the most popular queries.

In 2022, however, the most searched questions were all dominated by the death of Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on 8 September this year. Four of the top ten questions in 2022 were about the Queen’s passing, including “When is the Queen’s funeral”, “Where will the Queen be buried”, “What happens when the Queen dies” and the most searched, “Is the Queen dead”.

“Why is Russia invading Ukraine”, “When is Father’s Day” and “When does the World Cup start” were some of the others in the top 10.

TikTok’s impact on search & trends

TikTok users continue to grow and whilst being its own search engine, it is also impacting searches on Google. TikTok currently has 732 million monthly users, 7th out of all social media platforms, and continuing to grow. Previously seen as just an app for Gen Z, 53% of users are now over 30, up from 38% last year.

Just one of the many trends seen across TikTok this year is wheels or doors. Despite this originating on Twitter, TikTok made it viral with many debating whether there are more doors or wheels on the planet. This debate has trickled into Google search, too, with the 4th and 6th most searched “how many” questions being “How many doors are there in the world” and “How many wheels are there in the world”.

Undoubtedly, TikTok is also impacting some other searches, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s trial was seen all other TikTok, leading to more searches for viral clips. Trending videos such as Louis Theroux’s Chicken Shop Date also made the rounds on TikTok after initially being published on YouTube, with his flawlessly executed jiggle jiggle rap.

Whilst this didn’t break into any Google top 10 searches, as TikTok users continue to grow massively vs other social media platforms, you can expect to see more search interest based on the most popular TikTok sounds and trends.

The platform has continued to influence the music charts with trending dances driving streaming of popular tracks, and unknown artists. Its ecommerce platform, TikTok Shop, has reinvented ecomm through entertainment, driving sales for independent and national brands including MyProtein, PrettyLittleThing, and Gymshark.

TikTok continues to enhance the platform with new features, and recently launched TikTok Now which is heavily influenced by BeReal, the latest social media platform to grab Gen Z.

Google’s 2022 Searches

Compared to the globally most searched words in 2022, the UK remained similar. Wordle remained the top searched word Globally, Ukraine, Queen Elizabeth, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith were all in the top 10 most searched news stories and the World Cup was of course the most searched sporting event.

You can view all of Google Search Trends for 2022 here. We’ve picked out some of the most interesting topics but check them out for yourself and discuss any surprisingly absent topics.

Want to chat to us about your digital marketing? Telephone 01524 388104 or email

Image Credit: Unsplash / Solen Feyissa

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