In recent weeks we saw Jumpshot close down and then Hitwise stop reporting on their clickstream data. Yesterday, Hitwise closed Its doors, the reason is unclear, but it may be that Hitwise relied too heavily on Jumpshot data.
Companies that resell this aggregated data need to vet the sources even more thoroughly than ever, especially with GDPR and CCPA.
It may be that Jumpshot did not make it clear enough to users where it was getting its data from. There were reports that Avast and Jumpshot were gathering users’ browsing behavior, then packaging it and reselling without adequate disclosure and permission from their users. There were also disputed reports that the data was not as anonymised as Jumpshot claimed.
What is clear is that they were not the only ones harvesting vast quantities of users online activity in a manner that is not transparent to consumers.
There are a number of other online SEO and marketing tools that aggregate consumer behaviour online by a variety of methods including;
- Developing their own browser plugins and tracking their users’ online activities
- Paying third-party browser plug-in developers to share user data with them via proprietary SDKs. (I believe SimilarWeb is one such company that has used this approach)
- Paying ISPs for access to this data in an ‘anonymised’ data feed
Perhaps, Jumpshot and Hitwise won’t be the last big data gathering company to fall foul of privacy concerns raised by their users, consumers and privacy activists at large, and data protection regulators.
In today’s international trading environment, enterprise clients go to great lengths to audit their supplier chain and ask suppliers to self-certify that they don’t use slavery, bribery and other forms of unsavoury business practices in their products they are supplying. The Jumpshot case has made it clear that these supply chain audits need to extend to data privacy and ensure that the methods of collecting the data are gathered in compliance with relevant data protections and consumer privacy laws and are fair and permission based.
We just wanted to reassure all our clients (not just the multinational enterprises) that we have never collected, aggregated or used clickstream data of any kind in our products.
Authoritas and Linkdex platforms both use proprietary anonymous data from our SERPS API so we are not affected by the closure of Jumpshot at all.
In fact, we’ve already had a number of new prospective clients getting in touch looking to replace key SEO data and metrics (e.g. Search Market Share%, Organic growth/decline %) from a more reliable source.
We have over 125 million commercial keywords in our database. Our Visibility Explorer lets you see your performance against a number of competitors across 26 countries. Users can view performance of sites from the end of 2018 and see how the sites are trending, giving users seo competitive analysis at the click of a button of rankings, search volume and SERPs results. You can also query any keyword phrase you like in real-time, on demand across all major search engines worldwide using our SERPs API.
We are offering the opportunity for anyone who is not yet a customer to gain in depth competitor analysis from Visibility Explorer for free. Users can identify Direct Answers and People Also Ask, Places, Top Stories, Job Finder and more to find content gaps within their own site. Earlier this year we added four new SERP results and we will be developing it further. The SERPs keyword ranking and keyword research API allows users to see if a search result generated these new SERPs features.
All users will be able to download the raw data in CSV format, exporting up to 500,000 rows of data for free. Try it today.
We also have a Market Share report that allows users to analyse their performance and calculate their market share over competitors. This new module allows users to not only see their keywords by tags, but also by groups. Companies are also able to group domains together.
If your SEO and competitive reporting has been abruptly halted by the demise of Jumpshot then please drop us a line and see whether we can drop-in an immediate replacement for you.