Despite lasting for just 30 days in November and December, the 2022 FIFA World Cup topped the list of topics Israelis searched for on Google this year, according to a comprehensive overview of Google search trends in Israel in 2022.
The World Cup was followed by Wordle – the popular daily word guessing game that took the world by storm – in the list of top ten Google searches regardless of category.
Other notable topics that made the top ten were the reality TV show Big Brother, which ranked third, the Ukraine-Russia War at sixth, Israeli election results at seventh and COVID tests at ninth place.
After braving the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, these Google trends show that 2022 signaled more of a return to normalcy – travel website Skyscanner was the fifth-most searched topic in Israel after travel was largely sealed off for the better portion of two years, whereas the COVID testing and protocols that were such a prominent part of daily life for years look to be firmly in the rearview mirror.
2022’s trending topics
When it came to famous figures who passed away in 2022, Queen Elizabeth of England – the United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch – was perhaps the most prominent loss globally. However, she was ranked just tenth in Israel’s searches for people who passed away, with the first spot belonging to Israeli musician Zvika Pick. Jeffrey Dahmer, who died back in 1994 but returned to public awareness this year due to a Netflix series inspired by his story, ranked fifth.
Renowned Israeli TV show Fauda, which has gained an international following after its success on Netflix, was the most searched TV show in Israeli Google searches as the series entered its fourth season in July. Another popular Israeli series, Tehran, ranked third in similar searches, with the popular US-based program Manifest sandwiched in between the Israeli shows at second place. Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things, which released its fourth season earlier this year, was the fifth-most Googled TV show of the year in Israel.
As for movies, the Palestinian film Huda's Salon, which was filmed and produced in Bethlehem, was the most searched movie of the year in Israel. The superhero genre occupied a majority of the trending movies list, with Batman in fourth place, Black Adam in seventh place and Doctor Strange 2 in eighth place.
2022’s most popular politicians
The 21-year-old leader of the new Israeli political party Youth on Fire, Hadar Mukhtar, led the list of people searched for on Google by Israelis. The politician, Israel’s youngest in history, said in November that “the people are stupid” regarding her party’s failure to pass Israel's electoral threshold.
Other politicians on the trending people’s list are Otzma Yehudit head Itamar Ben-Gvir (3rd place) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (8th place). When assessing searches for politicians only, Putin was the third-most searched – compared to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, who was the 8th-most searched politician in Israel this year behind US President Joe Biden and Religious Zionist Party leader Betzalel Smotrich, among other names.