New Year’s Eve is just a few weeks away. With every new year comes a fresh batch of keywords, search trends, technological innovations, and digital marketing opportunities. Before we start preparing for the twists and turns that 2023 is sure to throw at us, however, let’s take a minute to look back at the year behind us to see what we can learn.

While there is no shortage of alternative search engines available to users today, Google still accounts for around 96% of the total market share. That makes Google not just the most dominant search engine, but also one of the best tools marketers have to gain an understanding of what it is that people are searching for.

More importantly, it helps us understand how they’re searching.

What Are the Top Searches on Google for 2022?

Based on data from the online analytics service Similarweb, here is a list of the 10 most searched words on Google, by volume, worldwide:

# Search Term Monthly Volume Yearly Traffic Organic Paid Traffic Leader
1 youtube 481.5M 3B 2.9B 76.8M
2 facebook 369.0M 1.8B 1.7B 50.6M
3 translate 211.8M 22.8M 22.8M 0
4 pornhub 204.3M 208.9M 208.9M 0
5 weather 199.7M 56.3M 51.1M 5.1M
6 amazon 187.3M 513.3M 374.6M 141.7M
7 google translate 160.4M 40.3M 40.3M 0
8 gmail 159.2M 235.2M 233.9M 1.2M
9 whatsapp web 141.1M 1.6B 1.6B 0
10 traductor 141.0M 18.9M 18.9M 0

Additionally, to illustrate how news events can impact trending searches, here are the top 10 Google trends, by percent traffic increase, worldwide:

# Search Term Traffic Growth Monthly Volume Traffic Leader
1 amazon prime day 6,747% 86.98K
2 саня во флориде 6,422% 32.21K
3 amtrak 6,013% 1.3M
4 トップガン 5,320% 215.11K
5 liam payne 5,057% 773.26K
6 the summer i turned pretty 4,982% 841.44K
7 luva de pedreiro 4,760% 248.33K/td>
8 hustle 4,643% 797.67K
9 us map 4,427% 1.4M
10 wimbledon 4,351% 4.5M

Comparing the Top Google Search Trends From 2022 and 2021

It’s interesting to note how the terms most searched on Google in 2022 differ (or don’t) from those in 2021. This article from Digital Information World breaks down Similarweb’s top Google Searches for 2021. Comparing that information to the data in the tables above, we can make a few interesting observations.

First, it’s worth noting that “youtube” and “facebook” were and still are the most searched words on Google, with the former maintaining a solid lead over the latter. Meanwhile, “whatsapp web” took a hit, dropping down to the number 9 spot this year, and several other search terms disappeared from the top 10 entirely: “netflix,” “roblox,” “zoom,” etc.

This lower search volume for “roblox” reflects a shift in cultural trends, with the popular online video game taking a backseat to more practical concerns. This also seems to reflect world news events, with international conflicts and relations driving an increase in searches for translation applications (as evidenced by the top 10 now including terms like “translate,” “google translate,” and “traductor”).

“Netflix” is another entertainment-related search term that has fallen from search popularity, which makes sense considering that the service lost a record amount of subscribers to growing competitors like Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, and Hulu.

It’s also not surprising that “zoom” has suffered a loss in searchers, being that the video-calling app exploded in popularity during the Covid-19 quarantines. Now that quarantines have lifted, vaccination rates have increased, and life has returned to something much closer to normal, fewer people have as pressing a need for Zoom, it seems.

Close-up of a person's hand as they point to a screen displaying Google search data

Lessons Learned From 2022’s Top Google Searches

It’s never too early to start formulating a digital marketing strategy for 2023. That said, in addition to looking forward to the future, it pays to look to the past as well. Analyzing 2022’s top Google searches is a good way of seeing what current trends look like, which can help calibrate our expectations for tomorrow.

Here are some conclusions that we can draw from 2022’s top searches on Google:

Organic Search Drives More Traffic Than Paid Media

Paid media marketing is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, has the potential to boost your brand awareness, search ranking, CTR, and conversion rates. But it’s not an all-in-one solution. Organic search still drives the most traffic, as evidenced by this year’s Google trends.

Take a look at that top 10 keywords table again. You’ll notice that half of the terms on that list receive no traffic from paid media. Zip. Zero. Nada. Yet they’re the most searched terms in the entire world! That means that 100% of that traffic is organic.

What’s more, if you look at the terms that do receive paid traffic, you’ll notice that it accounts for a very small fraction of the yearly total. This underscores how vital good search engine optimization really is. To be fully effective, your 2023 marketing campaigns should balance both paid and organic search strategies.

Most Users See Google as a Navigational Tool

The fact that this year’s top Google searches are dominated by terms like “youtube,” “facebook,” “whatsapp web,” “amazon,” and “gmail” tells us something important. Namely, it tells us that most people don’t actually type into their address bar; they just type “facebook” and then click the first link that comes up.

These kinds of searches are called “navigational searches” because the function they serve isn’t to provide information about a topic, but rather to help users navigate to a site or page they already know they want to visit.

The implications of this go hand-in-hand with the above observation about paid traffic vs. organic traffic, in that they reiterate a crucial fact: there really is no substitute for good brand name recognition and word-of-mouth.

Video Marketing Is More Important Than Ever Before

As mentioned back when we were comparing 2022’s top Google searches to 2021’s, this is the second year in a row where the most searched word in the entire world is “youtube.” Add to that the fact that YouTube currently has an estimated 2.6 billion active users, compared to the 1.9 active users on its closest competitor, Facebook.

With all that in mind, it’s clear to see that businesses need video advertising in order to be competitive in today’s online market. In addition to the fact that “youtube” is the term most searched on Google, it’s worth noting that other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have gotten into the video marketing game.

It goes to show: analyzing Google trends isn’t just useful for revealing effective search strategies, but also for illustrating where potential customers are pointing their eyeballs.

Current Events Dictate Google Search Trends

The notion of “chasing trends” gets a bad rap. While it’s true that forsaking long-term planning in favor of short-sighted bandwagon-hopping isn’t a meaningful way of stimulating organic growth, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to capitalize on current events.

In the second table above, we looked at 2022’s top Google search trends by percentage traffic increase. The results show us just how big a boost in traffic time-sensitive interests can facilitate. Notably, “amazon prime day” and “wimbledon” both refer to reliable, annual events that a business could easily plan a marketing strategy around.

Other popular Google trends this year include “liam payne,” “the summer i turned pretty,” and “hustle.” These refer, respectively, to a musician, a book, and a movie. While the popularity of such things isn’t something you can easily predict, if you know how to move quickly and connect your own business to what’s going on in the zeitgeist, the potential rewards are considerable.

Overhead view of three women looking at a laptop screen

LSEO Can Help You Increase Your Google Search Traffic

Google processes roughly 9 billion searches every single day. Chances are, some of those searches are relevant to your business. So, how do you take advantage of those searches? How do you improve your Google search ranking and increase your traffic? How do you get your company’s name into next year’s top Google searches?

Digital marketing isn’t easy, not even at the enterprise level. It takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and resources to stay on top of shifting trends and technological innovations. That’s what we do here at LSEO; we keep a close eye on advances in the digital marketing landscape in order to help our clients formulate effective online advertising strategies.

To learn more about what LSEO can do for your business, contact us today.