Shane Warne surpassed the Queen as most Googled death in 2022

shane warne was the most googled death in 2022

Among Wordle and war, the death of Shane Warne was a topic that Australians searched for most in 2022, according to Google.

Google keeps track of questions and topics as they are punched in to its search engine, revealing our deepest curiosities. 

After Warne’s death in March, interest in his passing was so great that Australian search interest in his death outranked that of the later death of Queen Elizabeth II and the war in Ukraine. 

This year, there were a couple of blasts from the very recent past (Wordle, the Ashes and Ash Barty‘s retirement), recipes (people really wanted to know how to cook tripe) and some high-profile deaths.

For example, here’s what interest in 2022’s top search trend Wordle looked like in Australia:

Wordle search bar
This graph shows how Wordle was a massive search topic in 2022. After skyrocketing in the early months of the year, the online word game still attracts millions of daily searches in Australia.

Google says that no other country searched for information about “floods” more than Australia in 2022. 

“Australia was the top country in the world searching for ‘floods’, ‘La Niña’ and ‘when will the rain stop’ in 2022, and search interest for mould reached record levels,” Google’s Camilla Ibrahim says.

You can see how interest peaked and waned throughout the year in this graph: 

floods search trend
Interest in floods spiked throughout the year as Queensland and Northern NSW were hit in February and March, NSW in July and Victoria, Tasmania and NSW from October.

Here is the breakdown of the top Australian searches for 2022: 

Overall searches

Like it did last year, sport continues to reign supreme in terms of overall searches, with competitions and athletes taking out six of the top 10 positions. 

But it was Wordle – which burst into our lives in early 2021 – that took out the top spot. 

Instructions for Wordle, the web-based word game played on a mobile phone, are seen in this picture illustration.
Wordle took off in popularity from January of this year.(Reuters)

In case you missed the hype, the online word game allows users six chances to figure out the day’s secret, five-letter word, using the least number of guesses. Oh, and it can only be played once each day.

The top 10 overall searches, according to Google, were: 


2.Australian Open

3.World Cup

4.Shane Warne


6.Novak Djokovic


8.Ash Barty

9.Olivia Newton John

10.Betty White


In a testament to how loved Warne was in Australia, interest in his passing surpassed that of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death in September

Shane Warne smiling
Thousands of mourners packed the MGC to farewell Shane Warne.(AAP: Penny Stephens)

Here is Google’s list in full:

1.Shane Warne (cricketer)

2.Olivia Newton-John (singer)

3.Betty White (actor)

4.Queen Elizabeth II (monarch)

5.Anne Heche (actor)

6.Andrew Symonds (cricketer)

7.Taylor Hawkins (musician)

8.Aaron Carter (singer/songwriter)

9.Bob Saget (actor)

10.Paul Green (rugby league)

News events

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shocked the world in early 2022.

It continues to hold the attention of Australians, with the conflict becoming Google’s most-searched-for news event in Australia. 

A boy waves a Ukrainian flag while standing in a town square in front of a large municipal building.
The ongoing fallout continues to hold the attention of Australians.(Reuters: Valentyn Ogirenko)

The change of government at the federal election in May, and a couple of state polls throughout the year, saw election results rank as the second-most-popular news event type. 

Meanwhile, the underwater eruption of Tonga‘s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano – which reportedly produced a plume that soared higher into Earth’s atmosphere than any other on record – also made the list.

Most searched news events according to Google:


2.Election results

3.Omicron symptoms



6.Tsunami warning

7.Novavax Australia

8.Cassius Turvey

9.COVID-19 update Perth

10.Japanese encephalitis


Tennis players appear to be the most-searched group of Australians in 2022, and at the top of that list is former world number one Ash Barty.

Ash Barty of Australia waves as she holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in Melbourne.
Ash Barty retired not long after winning the Australian Open, her home grand slam.(AP Photo: Andy Brownbill)

Barty retired at the top of her sport in March, not too long after taking out this year’s Australian Open. She also was married in July.

Most-searched Australians in the past year, according to Google:

1.Ash Barty

2.Nick Kyrgios

3.Anthony Albanese

4.Thanasi Kokkinakis

5.Dylan Alcott

6.Brittany Higgins

7.Grace Tame

8.John Farnham

9.Alex de Minaur

10.Peter Dutton

Lets see if any Aussies made it to the list of most-searched-for global figures.

Global figures

Novak Djokovic takes the spot for Google’s most-searched-for global figure in Australia.  

Dark haired man in green and white sports polo shirt looks over his shoulder
Novak Djokovic plans to return to Melbourne Park in 2023.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Djokovic had been barred from Australia until 2025 as a result of an immigration saga on the eve of this year’s Australia Open. 

He was held in a detention centre for attempting to enter the country while not vaccinated against COVID-19 before being deported.

However, the issue was resolved and Djokovic has been granted a visa to return and compete in Melbourne next year.

1.Novak Djokovic



4.Amber Heard

5.Johnny Depp

6.Will Smith

7.Andrew Tate

8.Anna Delvey

9.King Charles

10.Danielle Collins

On the theme of famous athletes, these are the top sport-related searches:


1.Australian Open

2.World Cup


4.Winter Olympics

5.Rugby League World Cup

6.Indian Wells

7.Commonwealth Games

8.ATP Cup



Moving off sport, lets get into the “whys”. 

‘Why is … ?’ Questions

1.Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

2.Why is plain yoghurt good for females?

3.Why is petrol so expensive?

4.Why is lettuce so expensive?

5.Why is there a lettuce shortage?

6.Why is diesel so expensive?

7.Why is crypto going down?

8.Why is Camilla queen consort?

9.Why is Australia not part of NATO?

10.Why is Snapchat not working?

And we wouldn’t still be enduring a global pandemic without these trusty questions being asked:

Top COVID-19 questions

1.Can you get COVID twice?

2.How long does COVID last?

3.Can dogs get COVID?

4.How long is COVID contagious for?

5.How long does it take to get COVID?

6.How long do COVID symptoms last?

7.Is vomiting a symptom of COVID?

8.How long after COVID can I get a booster?

9.How many people have died from COVID?

10.What to do if COVID-positive?

And finally, some inspiration for your dinner tonight:

‘How to cook’ questions

1.How to cook tripe

2.How to cook corn on the cob

3.How to cook bunya nuts

4.How to cook bok choy

5.How to cook broccoli

6.How to cook pearl couscous

7.How to cook dumplings

8.How to cook tomahawk steak

9.How to cook chicken schnitzel

10.How to cook squid

© 2020 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Written by ABC News

One Comment

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  1. I just a punched in the death of both persons and the Queen came up with 193,000,000 Google requests and Shane Warne with 3,290,000. I didn’t believe for a second that Wanie could surpass the Queen and Googling both names simply proved it.

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