Colocation is a mess of a word. It’s also the most common term used to describe outsourcing a company’s IT infrastructure to a data center facility, e.g. “I’d like to get a quote for colocation at your data center facility”.
Every now and then, I get emails from people who simply guess at the spelling of “Colocation”: “Co-location”, “Collocation” and “Co location”. And I wish I’d respond with some condescending comment, even on the spelling “Collocation”, which is how those in the UK often write it. But I’m not so bold.
Then there’s the crowd who, with an air of swagger, simply call it “Colo”, leading the charge for “colocation” to go the abbreviated way just as “electronic mail” evolved into “email”.
In excusing people for their spelling, I seek to blame all of this on the influence of Google’s Search Engine and AdWords advertising platform. When someone does a search for a misspelled variant of colocation, Google AdWords delivers relevant ads for “colocation”. Savvy advertisers know that people make spelling mistakes and they bid on misspelled variations of an competitive and effective keyword because they cost less per click.
Good SEO practices will target misspelled keyword variations as well, further validating the relevancy of the misspelled version of colocation. But wait, since it’s the providers doing the SEO and setting up the AdWords campaigns, they themselves are actually the ones to blame, and Google is merely the facilitator.
So I stand corrected and the logic comes full circle. The colocation hosting / data center community is to blame for the confusion. And we in the community just need to refocus our SEO efforts and quit bidding on the misspelled variations of colocation.