In a year full of questions, people turned to Google for answers. Trending searches reflect both major global news stories and more personal moments. From arts and sports to entertainment and politics, check out some of Google’s top trending searches for 2022 with Google Trends expert Sarah Armstrong.
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Google Year End Top Searched 2022 Trends
Mason Paine: What were people searching for on Google in 2022? Sarah Armstrong, trends expert at Google joins me to reveal some of the top search terms and topics for the year from celebrity news to global events and much more. Thanks for joining me, Sarah.
Sarah Armstrong: Thank you for having me.
Mason Paine: Okay. Year of search of 2022. I’m just curious headlines, what was the most searched by people?
Sarah Armstrong: Yeah, so we’re looking at those searches that had the biggest increase in 2022 compared to 2021, and that top trending search this year is actually wordle that five letter word game that became so popular that beat everything else in the search trends. Number two was election results, and then number three is Betty White.
Mason Paine: Wow. Wordle. I’m thinking people are trying to cheat though more than anything.
Sarah Armstrong: Exactly. You’re absolutely correct there. We also saw a huge spike in searches, like five letter words that start with that kind of thing. ,
Mason Paine: everybody wants that upper hand. I’m a little surprised that Mega Millions wasn’t higher on the list.
Sarah Armstrong: I know it came in at number seven. Powerball numbers came in at number eight. I know that jackpot hit about 2 billion and was one by one person, so that’s pretty impressive.
Mason Paine: Yeah, that’s what I was curious everybody kind of looking for the numbers or looking for some kind of secret code, cause I sure was, that’s what I was searching for.
Sarah Armstrong: Yes. I don’t know if they found it on Google search, but if they did, that would really be.
Mason Paine: What about people? What was the most search person? For 2022?
Sarah Armstrong: Johnny Depp was actually the most search person, I’m sure, because of the trial. And that trial went on for a while, so I imagine that continued to generate search interest. Will Smith was actually number two on our people list, I’m sure because of that off script slap.
Mason Paine: Wow. Amber Heard wasn’t like right underneath Johnny Depp, it was just Johnny Depp. Will Smith. I’m shocked about that.
Sarah Armstrong: Right. It’s interesting. I think Johnny Depp is probably a more recognizable name, and so folks searched that first, but it’s definitely interesting to see.
Mason Paine: I’m curious, what about news? Anything in news that was big?
Sarah Armstrong: Right. So election results, it being a midterm year, that was number one. Queen Elizabeth passing was number two, and then Ukraine came in at number three for that category, and we saw search interest in Ukraine, of course, across the board. One thing that I found really interesting was even in cuisine, the top trending cuisine this year was Ukrainian cuisine. So not only are folks interested in getting news about the war, but also Ukrainian culture.
Mason Paine: Wow, that is pretty cool. I’m shocked that people were looking specifically for a dish. I wonder if it was one of those you’re looking for, like a Ukrainian food and then one dish kept popping up and everybody just was clicking on that one dish.
Sarah Armstrong: Right, right. I know folks are also looking for Ukrainian restaurant, maybe finding ways to help out the community and that phrase, how to help actually hit an all time high this year. And what was really driving that were those how to help Ukraine searches.
Mason Paine: Wow. Well, I I’m just curious, was there a way to do it or was it like directed you to Red Cross? Like what was the answer?
Sarah Armstrong: The second most popular how to help search was how to help Ukrainian refugees. And I think that’s what a lot of folks were looking for. Different places to donate and even ways to volunteer if there were refugees in their own community.
Mason Paine: That is pretty cool. Now, when it comes to, music, I’m a little curious. What was the number one song?
Sarah Armstrong: The number one song was We Don’t Talk About Bruno from Encanto and Encanto actually shows up all over our pop culture category. That movie is on the song’s list three times and it takes the number one trending spot on our movie’s list.
Mason Paine: I’m a not shocked about it, but that was a very good movie. Where else was it like thrown around at?
Sarah Armstrong: Those were the big areas from Encanto. I was actually surprised that Top Gun was number three. I thought it would kind of rival Encanto. There seemed to be a lot of conversation about that, but it did take the third spot. When we look over at TV shows, we see euphoria as the top trending TV show this year.
Mason Paine: Yeah, euphoria was very, very good I enjoyed it very much. A lot of drama in that one. totally. Wow. Top gun though. Number three. Mind you, it made a billion dollars worldwide. So how is it not number one .
Sarah Armstrong: No, it’s really interesting. We see the Batman at number four and then everything everywhere all at once was number five, which I think is kind of a smaller movie. I just saw it, last week and really enjoyed it.
Mason Paine: Oh my God, I fell in love with that movie. It was such a great way of doing like the mother daughter trauma thing where they have to bond, but they decided to put Kung fu in it and I was like, the two things that I absolutely love.
Sarah Armstrong: It was so creative. I had heard about the mother daughter part of it, so I was thinking it would be more like a lady bird style movie. I did not know about the action sci-fi part. So that was really fun to see.
Mason Paine: Yeah, I knew the sci-fi part, but I didn’t go in knowing it was mother daughter, so I went in the complete opposite. Yeah. I was like, when’s the kung fu start ?
Sarah Armstrong: Right. That’s so funny.
Mason Paine: I’m curious since Encanto was the number one song. does that mean like who would be the number one band or musician?
Sarah Armstrong: Well, this is where we get a little more into current events. So Adam Levine was the top trending musician. That’s more so because he had a scandal this year, I think, than his music. But Mary j Blige was number two and she performed at the Super Bowl, so I’m sure that’s why she was trending and fun to see her back in the trends.
Mason Paine: That’s so true. I totally forgot she was in the Super Bowl. So you mean for a whole year She was like the number two just because of the Super bowl?
Sarah Armstrong: Isn’t that amazing? Yes. She had a massive increase in search interest just because of Super Bowl, which is one day of the year. Yes. Maybe folks started listening to her after that and, and kept up the trends. We also see Kendrick Lamar pretty high up. He had a new album. He takes number four on the list .
Mason Paine: And that’s amazing too cuz his new album, I mean it wasn’t at the beginning of the year or was it cuz that means that he stayed pretty strong?
Sarah Armstrong: Yeah, it was early in the year. You’re right. So he did stay strong. And then one that caught my attention here is Kate Bush is number seven. Running up that hill by Kate Bush is number six. And that is definitely because she was featured on Stranger things.
Mason Paine: Yes. Oh my God. Yes it is. And she came in strong too. That was like eighties. And she finally got that hit. I mean, she had a lot of hits, but this one was like outta nowhere. Who would’ve thought like what? Eighties, nineties, two 30 years-ish later, all of a sudden she’s got a brand new hit. That’s amazing.
Sarah Armstrong: Right. It’s really amazing. Stranger Things came in at number two and it generated all this interest in eighties music. That’s pretty cool.
Mason Paine: Yeah, and I happen to like some eighties, not too much. I mean, all the hair bands I could do without, but there are some gems in there that are like, yes, I got the feels.
Sarah Armstrong: Yeah, totally. Early two thousands is an era. We saw a lot of search interests in actually that Y2K fashion that hit an all time high in search interest this year.
Mason Paine: Wait, wait. Y2K fashion. That should have died. Why was that even a thing? .
Sarah Armstrong: I know it was searched this year more than ever before, if you can believe it. Some other fashion trends were scripted. Hit an all time high euphoria glitter. So clearly that show is affecting the fashion world. And then business casual hit an all time high. Interestingly,
Mason Paine: yeah, business casual. I always kind of like, is it club gear? Should I not go in club gear? I gotta remember what exactly I need to wear to work.
Sarah Armstrong: Totally ,
Mason Paine: But I’m curious about the thrifted. I mean, that’s very early, what, 2010s when, thrifted stuff was like making a big surge, but man, what brought it back? Like what brought Y2K Fashion.
Sarah Armstrong: I know I’m like thrift shop, by Macklemore and the 20 cents. But yeah, a thrifted was really popular and it might actually be connected more with sustainability, trying to make more thoughtful fashion choices instead of just, you know, buying fast fashion. That sustainability itself actually hit an all time high this in search interest.
Mason Paine: Wow, that’s pretty cool. I’m a little curious. Why Y2K fashion? What is that? Is that like the neck choker? What was specifically being searched like I can’t imagine somebody wants some JINCOS and I think that’s what’s kind of blowing my mind. ,
Sarah Armstrong: I think you’re, I think you are right. I think that pants are starting to be a little more low ryder. Now with this next iteration, the chokers are back glitter. Definitely popular bucket hat. So there are some of that early two thousands creeping back into the culture.
Mason Paine: Now when you said thrifted in sustainability and stuff, was there anything else? Like I know EV cars, right? That was a big deal, but did that hit top searches?
Sarah Armstrong: You’re absolutely right. Electric cars hit an all time high in search interest this year, so I would expect to see even more on the road in 2023 because their research at a rate we’ve never seen before.
Mason Paine: So were they specifically like looking for Teslas or were they looking at Fords or like the other like cars that are EVs.
Sarah Armstrong: We didn’t see those brands rise up in that top trending list. That might be because they’re kind of always popular year to year, but electric cars specifically searches for those, how to buy an electric car, even electric charging stations. We saw massive spikes this year.
Mason Paine: What about dating? Anything that was happening in dating that was exciting? search wise.
Sarah Armstrong: Yes. This category makes me laugh because the term situationship hit an all time high. That’s when you, you’re in it. It’s a situation. It’s not quite yet a relationship. You don’t know how to define it. So lots of folks searching that.
Mason Paine: I remember that and I thought, how ridiculous isn’t that just dating like, like, I don’t know what that is. What about. Anything that has to do with marriage. I’m surprised like, well, I guess if we’re just talking about situation ships, they’re not even ready for marriage .
Sarah Armstrong: Well, no, you’re right though. We also saw the question, how soon is too soon to propose hit an all time high.
Mason Paine: Oh, that’s kind of cute. I kind like it. I mean, what was the answer? What do you think? How is it, how soon is too? Three years.
Sarah Armstrong: I have no idea what the answer is. Hopefully the person that you’re proposing to isn’t surprised though by the proposal .
Mason Paine: It’s like we just started dating John .
Sarah Armstrong: You know, it’s still a situationship..
Mason Paine: Yes, exactly, exactly. Was there any searches that you happened to have like it absolutely tickled your pickle in 2022.
Sarah Armstrong: Okay, well there’s some pop culture type searches like Negroni Baggli that hit an all time high because that was very popular on social media. Taylor Swift hit an all time high last month, which is kind of fun because she’s always been popular. I also thought the jobs category was interesting. Work-life balance was searched more than ever before, but also side hustle was, so some folks trying to work a lot more. Other folks trying to set those boundaries.
Mason Paine: Oh, absolutely. You know, I think the side hustles help with that work life balance because you can decide when you can do something and have fun doing it.
Sarah Armstrong: That’s such a good point. And I’m sure after Covid people wanna manage their time like that a little better.
Mason Paine: Yeah. One of the things I used to love doing was going thrift store shopping, and then reselling things on eBay. That was like my little pleasure of making like a hundred, 200 bucks a month just for doing something. I enjoyed shopping .
Sarah Armstrong: Well, you know, you might have a market for it again, because thrifting is very popular.
Mason Paine: Yeah. I’m gonna be going up against a lot of people though if it’s starting to be on top searches. Right? That’s true. Exactly. Well, Sarah, thank you so much for joining me. I always appreciate it when you come on for those that are listening, where can they find all this data and stuff at?
Sarah Armstrong: So you can go to year in search.google/trends, and we have the US lists and also the worldwide list.
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