Wordle is the most googled topic in 2022, here's how it started and how to play it

Dec 8, 2022

By: Srishti Magan

Wordle is the most googled topic in 2022

Wordle emerged as the most searched topic across the globe on Google, in 2022. The web-based word game gripped the public’s attention during the pandemic. But there’s certainly more to the game (and its origins) than what meets the eye!

Credit: Google-Trends

What is Wordle?

Wordle is an online word game where a player has to guess a five-letter word, but no hints are given at the start of the game. If you guess the word in six turns, or less, you win. A new word is generated every day. Wordle is currently hosted, free of cost, on the New York Times website.

Credit: Wordle

How to play Wordle?

Though no hints are given when the game starts, each guess can reveal clues about the letters in the final word. If the letter is in the final word and correctly placed, it turns green. If a letter is incorrectly placed, it turns brown. If the letter is not used in the final word at all, it turns grey.

Credit: Pexels

Who developed Wordle?

Wordle was created by software engineer Josh Wardle for his partner who loved word games. Yes, it’s a love story. A play on the name Wardle, the game was initially just played by the couple and their family. But in October 2021, Wardle released the game online to the public.

Credit: Twitter/Josh-Wardle

Its rising popularity

Wordle slowly commanded the attention of a captive audience, stuck at home due to pandemic-induced lockdowns. After Wardle enabled users to share their scores, Wordle also took over Twitter with friends and strangers, alike, competing and maintaining streaks. Just two months after its release, over 300,000 people were playing it.

Credit: Pixabay

Why is it popular?

With no flashing ads, pesky pop-ups, banners and most importantly, subscription fees, Wordle soon became an international sensation. Its rising popularity, in Wardle’s own words, comes from the fact that “it’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.”

Credit: Pixabay

Acquisition by The New York Times

In January 2022, three months after the game was released to the public, The New York Times acquired Wordle for an undisclosed seven-figure sum. The NYT stated that they will initially keep the game free for all players - new or old. It moved to the company’s website in February.

Credit: Twitter/NYT

Is it still popular?

Yes. Google trends indicate that though the interest in the topic declined over time, it managed to stay relevant for the better part of 2022 - which, in the age of social media, says a lot about the game’s intrinsic value.

Credit: Pixabay

Most searches from New Zealand in 2022

As per Google Trends, New Zealand led the search for Wordle in 2022, closely followed by Ireland. Interestingly, the search volume from India for Wordle was lower than Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and even Israel.

Credit: Google-Trends

Related queries on Google

Along with Wordle, people searched for NYT wordle, unlimited wordle (since it can only be played once a day); wordle of the day (since it changes every day) and Quordle. Quordle is also a word game, but here you have to guess four words instead of one. You get nine tries.

Credit: Pixabay

Alternatives to Wordle

Puzzle games like Dordle, Quordle, Octordle and Sedecordle are similar to Wordle, but require users to solve multiple words at once. There’s also Word Master which also gives you six tries to guess a five-letter word but offers unlimited games so you don’t have to wait 24 hours to play.

Credit: Word-Master

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