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Wordle is the most-searched term on Google in 2022

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Admit it: You’ve probably either Googled the answer for Wordle, or at the very least searched to play it. Turns out, you’re not alone.

Google has revealed that “Wordle” is its most-searched term this year in the United States and globally, signifying that the five-letter guessing game owned by the New York Times still has a grip on us. It beat perhaps more newsier topics, such as “election results” and “Betty White” in the United States, and “Queen Elizabeth” and “Ukraine” globally.

In a blog post Wednesday, Google said its annual Year in Search report examines the “moments, people and trends that sparked our collective curiosity” on the search platform, noting that Wordle was the “top trending search globally, as guessing five-letter words every day became a way of life.”

Wordle is a popular online game that gives players six chances to guess a five-letter word daily. Some days, however, getting the answer is tricky, prompting people to search for hints, tips and even the result.

Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer formerly at Reddit, released the game in October 2021, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. So much so, that the New York Times bought Wordle in February 2022 to bolster its gaming subscription business and attract new people to the newspaper.

In July, the Times partnered with Hasbro to turn Wordle into a board game, which allows the news outlet to keep its “existing audience engaged with Wordle, and also introduces Wordle to all new audiences,” Jonathan Knight, head of games for the Times, previously told CNN Business.

Last month, the Times named Tracy Bennett the new editor of Wordle, signaling that the game is shifting away from the preselected words from Wardle and toward words that the Times has chosen. Also changing: The answer will never be a plural that ends in “s” or “es.” However, you can guess plural words to help you eliminate possible words.

Wordle remains free to play, but the Times puts its other games behind a paywall following a limited amount of free plays.

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