Data Center Map

Co-location? Colocation? Collocation?
By Sune Christesen, Jun 11 2009

When reviewing company submissions here at Data Center Map, I often stumble upon the many different ways of spelling colocation. Data center is often spelled in different ways as well, but that is normally due to local grammar – so what is up with colocation? It kind of ignored me to constantly meet those three different ways of spelling it, so I decided to look in to whether one of the terms was more correct than the others.

The most obvious is to start out by googling to see which term is most widely used. To ensure it was primarily related to data centers, I did searches with “data center”, “data centre”, “datacenter” and “hosting” in them.
The combined results looked like this:

colocation: 1.814.000 results
co-location: 1.498.000 results
collocation: 179.000 results

So to continue I wanted to check what was most widely used in the media via Google News, which gave the following results for the past month:

colocation: 320 results
co-location: 255 results
collocation: 198 results

Next I thought I would look at what the industry leaders call the service:

Equinix: colocation
Interxion: colocation
Switch & Data: colocation
TelecityGroup: colocation
Telehouse: colocation
Terremark: colocation
Savvis: colocation

So now that we have the large providers and the media included, I thought it might be worth including what people were buzzing about on blogs via Google Blog Search:

colocation: 201.000 results
collocation: 46.000 results
co-location: 29.000 results

And last but not least, I compared the three terms via Google Trends to see what people was searching for:

Colocation trends via Google Trends

Looking at the Data Center Map statistics, it is also very clear that we receive more visitors searching for colocation than co-location, even though we have been spelling it as “co-location” until this research was done.

Judging from the numbers the conclusion is pretty clear, that colocation is definitely the most widely used term and therefore the best term to be using if you want to reach the majority of your target group. Of course there can be some countries, regions etc. where one of the other terms (or other words) are more widely used so keep that in mind as well.

Be aware that the words can of course also be used in relations that has absolutely nothing to do with our industry, so the numbers aren’t 100% correct.