The effect of Wordle on Google Search Traffic


Wordle is a new word-game that everyone and their mother seems to talk about these days. It is a fun word game that seems like the child Mastermind had with crosswords. The goal of Wordle is to find a random five-letter word in 6 tries. You do that by guessing each time what the missing word might be. After each guess, the colour of the tiles will change to show how close your guess was to the word. If a letter turns green, then that letter is in the word and in the correct spot. If a letter turns yellow, it means that it is in the word but not in the correct spot, and if it turns black, the letter is not on the word at all. 

The whole appeal of Wordle, and what differentiates it from other word games, is the fact that only one word is available each day. 

Somedays the word will be easy to guess and used in everyday conversations, others it will be something like "knoll". What the heck is a "knoll", I hear you asking. You are not alone, as the search traffic for some of Wordle's missing words is skyrocketing during the days they are revealed. The numbers on the Y-axis represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given term and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. The effect WORDLE has on search traffic every day is clear.

So, let's take a look at the words displayed on the graph one by one: 

prick | prɪk |
verb [with object ]
1. make a small hole in (something) with a sharp point; pierce slightly: prick the potatoes with a fork.
• [no object ] feel a sensation as though a sharp point were sticking into one: she felt her scalp prick and her palms were damp.
• (of tears) cause the sensation of imminent weeping in (a person's eyes): tears of disappointment were pricking her eyelids.
• cause mental or emotional discomfort to: her conscience pricked her as she told the lie.
• provoke to action: the police were pricked into action by the horrifying sight.
2. (especially of a horse or dog) make (the ears) stand erect when on the alert: the dog's ears were pricked.
1 an act of piercing something with a sharp point: the pin prick had produced a drop of blood.
• a small hole or mark made by pricking something.
• a sharp pain caused by being pierced with a sharp point: he felt a tiny prick in his arm.
• a sudden feeling of an unpleasant emotion: she felt a prick of resentment.
2. vulgar slang a man's penis.
• a stupid or contemptible man.
3. archaic a spiked stick used for driving oxen.

wince | wɪns |
verb [no object ]
make a slight involuntary grimace or shrinking movement of the body out of pain or distress: he winced at the disgust in her voice.
an instance of wincing.

crimp | krɪmp |
verb [with object ]
1. compress (something) into small folds or ridges: she crimped the edge of the pie.
• connect (a wire or cable) by squeezing the end or ends: pliers will crimp wires together.
• make waves in (someone's hair) with curling tongs: Mum crimped my hair for the party | (as adjective crimped) : crimped blonde hair.
2. North American informal have a limiting or adverse effect on (something): his zeal about his career can crimp the rest of his life.
1 a folded or compressed edge.
• a small connecting piece for crimping wires or lines together.
2. North American informal a restriction or limitation: the crimp on take-home pay has been even tighter since taxes were raised.

knoll | nəʊl |
a small hill or mound: a grassy knoll.

If you want to take a look on all of the words WORDLE has used so far, you can click here