By Ezra Brook
May 24, 2012

Online Backup, Cloud Backup, Cloud Storage, Online Storage and Remote Backup Google Search History (2004 to Present)

The backup industry has been using many versions to describe their solutions. Some of the phrases used include:

  • online backup
  • cloud backup
  • online storage
  • cloud storage
  • remote backup

Some think that all these above five phrases mean the same. But, the fact is they don’t all mean the same.

Online backup” and “Cloud backup” are the best and correct way to describe the backup of data on the Internet to a remote location. This is a “set it and forget it” operation.

If the word “storage” is used, then, it doesn’t necessarily mean backup. Storage is not set it and forget it. It is, you guessed it, a storage. You store your data at one time and leave it there. There is no regular backup until you intervene again and add more files to your store. Hence, online storage and cloud storage do not mean backup. They both mean storage.

Remote backup” was understood to be the same as online backup in the past. But, when you say “remote backup”, it doesn’t describe that the backup is necessarily done online. It could be off-site, to a remote location, using flash drives, tapes or any other means. Yes, the backup is performed at a remote location away from the primary source, but it could be online of offline. So, “remote backup” is not descriptive enough to mean that the backup is online.

Some of these five phrases are used more frequently than others. So, we wanted to find out the history of search from Google Insight. So, we keyed in these phrases and came up with a graph. The graph is shown here:
Note: Scroll down a bit to see the graph.

Graph is also embedded below:

Some trends from the above graph:

  • Online storage” is constantly being searched at almost the same rate since 2004; though it has been slightly declining since early 2010
  • Online backup” has been growing from 2004 till 2010, but since 2011, it has been going down – now sitting at 2007 levels
  • Cloud storage” was not used much until 2009, but now has surpassed all of the other four phrases
  • Cloud backup” was almost dead up until early 2010; but growing since then
  • Remote backup” was frequently used than “online backup” in 2004; but has since been steadily going down. Presently, it is the least searched phrase.

So, why are some phrases searched less frequently than others? Some online backup companies advertise on Google and use the wrong keyword for their business (like “online storage”) thinking that this phrase gets more searches, but in the process, they are confusing the public. Instead, experts in the backup industry may want to educate the public to avoid such phrase confusions by publishing articles, blogs and podcasts.

Check the top ranked online backup / cloud backup companies here:

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