Canadians were searching for Hollywood headlines, inquiring about major sports tournaments and looking for ways to help following the conflict in Ukraine and the World Cup, according to Google’s annual list of top searches released Wednesday.
Fun was also top of mind when people were googling, with Wordle and the Canadian spinoff Canuckle making the list.
“Canadians are trying to embrace the new normal; they are taking a different approach to what’s top of their minds this year, taking over different interests,” said Google Canada trends expert Hibaq Ali.
Here are the headlines and terms Canadians were looking up this year.
Top search trends
Wordle, the five-letter word puzzle supported by the New York Times is first on the search trends ranking both in Canada and across the world.
Three late American celebrities, Betty White, Bob Saget and Anne Heche, along with two actors embroiled in controversy, Johnny Depp and Will Smith, as well as Queen Elizabeth, made the top ten Googled trends in Canada.
“The amount of celebrity news on this story on this list is impressive,” Ali said
“In this era that we live in, social media plays a big role in people’s interests and where people are getting their news, and Canadians were tuned to Hollywood this year,” she added.
Here’s the full list:
3. World Cup
4. Queen Elizabeth
5. Betty White
6. Bob Saget
7. Anne Heche
9. Johnny Depp
10. Will Smith
Top Canadian news search trends
‘Ukraine’ was one of the top trending terms in four different categories, including being the number one most searched news term in Canada.
“Never before have we seen spillover for one search term across so many categories,” Ali told the Star.
The Rogers outage, Lisa LaFlamme’s contract termination, monkeypox (now renamed “mpox” by the World Health Organization) and the CNE post-pandemic comeback rounded out the five most searched trends in Canada.
Also making the top ten list was “Saskatchewan stabbing” and “Freedom Convoy 2022.”
Here’s the full list:
2. Rogers outage
4. Lisa LaFlamme
6. U.S. Midterm Elections
7. Saskatchewan stabbings
8. World Cup 2022
9. Oscars 2022
10. Freedom Convoy 2022
Canadians looking for answers
Many of the top search trends were also found in Google’s list of top questions. Canadians not only wanted to get the latest updates on the conflict in Ukraine, but tried to ask more specific questions about the war.
“Canadians were asking questions on how to help Ukraine or why Ukraine is not in NATO, how to pronounce Kyiv, and why Russia is attacking Ukraine,” Ali said.
Perhaps most noteworthy was COVID-19 failing to make the top ten list of most searched news terms after a two-year reign.
Instead, COVID-19 was found on the list of the most Googled questions, with many Canadians wondering, “How to do a rapid COVID test?” or “How to get a vaccine QR code?”
Top 10 “why” questions searched by Canadians
1. Why is Russia attacking Ukraine?
2. Why is Rogers down?
3. Why did Will slap Chris?
4. Why is Ukraine not in NATO?
5. Why is there a formula shortage?
6. Why is gas so expensive right now?
7. Why are truckers protesting?
8. Why is there a Tylenol shortage?
9. Why is cryptocurrency going down?
10. Why did Liz Truss resign?
Top 10 “how to” questions Canadians Googled
1. How to watch the World Cup
2. How to do a rapid COVID test?
3. How to help Ukraine?
4. How to get vaccine QR code?
5. How to create an NFT?
6. How to pronounce Kyiv?
7. How to evolve Charcadet?
8. How to respec in Elden Ring?
9. How to evolve Cosmog in Pokémon Go?
10. How to pronounce Qatar?
Top celebrities, movies and TV series
Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Amber Heard, Chris Rock, and Adam Levine were among Canada’s top Googled celebrities, following Hollywood’s major headlines of the year with the onstage Oscar slap and the Heard-Depp trial.
Oscar award-winning movie “Encanto” was Canada’s most searched film this year.
“The film was released in 2021, but it was still so popular in 2022 because it made its rounds during award season as well due to the top-charted songs,” Ali told the Star.
“Top Gun,” “The Batman,” “Thor: Love and Thunder” and Toronto-inspired “Turning Red” also made the list, and, according to Google really reflected Canada’s diverse interests and tastes in film.
“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” “Euphoria,” “Stranger Things,” “Inventing Anna,” and “The Watcher” were among the top TV shows Canadians Googled.
Top sports search trends
Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup topped the list of most searched sports content, outranking baseball, basketball and football.
“Canada isn’t just a hockey nation. We searched to learn more about international sports like the cricket World Cup and tennis,” reads the Google press release.
Top sports searches
1. World Cup
2. Olympic medal count
3. Calgary Flames
5. CFL scores
6. T20 World Cup 2022
7. Asia Cup 2022
8. Canada Soccer
9. Golden State Warriors
10. Indian Wells tennis
Top 10 most searched athletes
1. Guy Lafleur
2. Novak Djokovic
3. Antonio Brown
4. Serena Williams
5. Eileen Gu
6. Kamila Valieva
7. Felix Auger Aliassime
8. Mitchell Miller
9. Johnny Gaudreau
10. Kirby Dach