In January 2020, Avast was forced to close down its Jumpshot division. Jumpshot was a major source of click and consumer data for many different sites. Including two beloved data sources for PPCs: Ahrefs and SEMRush.
Avast purchased Jumpshot in 2013. The division soon became a source for companies to receive information and understand customers’ online behavior. As this article states, “Jumpshot lets you understand how people navigate the internet—anywhere from Google to Hulu to Amazon.”
As Jumpshot was such a helpful resource for many companies, the news of its shut down came as a surprise for many. Avast decided to close down their division because of a privacy-related scandal that led their stock to sink. The company mentioned that the division would be closed as “the data collection business is not in line with our privacy priorities as a company in 2020 and beyond.”
As this article states, the news was going around that Avast was collecting data on users’ online activity. After collecting this data, they allegedly sent it to Jumpshot. Then Jumpshot gave its clients the option to purchase this information.
The company used its blog to state that the “security and privacy” of its users worldwide is “Avast’s priority”. Avast also said that they had not sold identifiable user information to third parties. However, the cybersecurity company still decided to close down its Jumpshot division.
What is the result of this closure? Well, one of the key data sources for understanding user behavior is gone. Jumpshot was also a great platform for creating audiences, by using it to find out what sites people of different demographics visit. Taking this tool away from advertisers makes campaign planning more challenging for everyone. The absence of this tool also opens up a lot of questions for companies who used this as their primary data source.
There is a very informative article by Rand Fishkin, diving into the different ways the closure of Jumpshot will greatly affect the web. We invite you to check it out and read about the specific ways it can affect your work.
Fishkin mentions that without Jumpshot, many of the companies that used its data will be at a loss. This data helped small and medium businesses to compete with Amazon in the world of e‑commerce.
The biggest loser here may be Ahrefs, a classic tool for PPC and SEO. Their data hasn’t been updated since January. Why is this? Well, Jumpshot was their primary data source. So, without Jumpshot, they are in trouble.
Compare this problem to their key competitor, SEMRush. They seem to be less affected, still growing, and their data is still updated. Unlike Ahrefs, SEMRush has a variety of data sources.
The closing of Jumpshot comes with an important lesson: always have multiple data sources. Be sure to keep your options open to prevent your company from being in trouble like SEMRush.