In January 2020, the cybersecurity company Avast was forced to close down their Jumpshot division. Jumpshot was a major source of click and consumer data for many different sites out there, including two beloved data sources for PPCs: Ahrefs and SEMRush. 

Avast purchased Jumpshot in 2013 and the division soon became a source for companies to receive information and understand customers’ online behavior. As this article states, “basically, Jumpshot let 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, news were going around that Avast was collecting data on users’ online activity. After collecting this data, they allegedly sent it to Jumpshot, which then gave its clients the option to purchase this information. 

The company used its blog to state that the “security and privacy” of their users worldwide is “Avast’s priority” and 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, such as 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 and 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 in can affect your work. 

Fishkin mentions that without Jumpshot, many of the companies who used its data will be at a loss. One of the examples of the significant ways this data helped companies was allowing small and medium businesses to better compete with Amazon in the world of ecommerce. 

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.  

Even though the closing of Jumpshot will already affect a lot of companies, one of the lessons we can learn from this is to have different data sources. If this continues to happen with different data providers, you have to make sure to keep your options open to prevent your company from being in trouble, much like SEMRush.