Consumer behavior data firm Hitwise has informed its customers that daily, weekly and monthly metric updates are on pause until further notice. Hitwise was a client of recently shuttered clickstream data company Jumpshot.
“We would like to inform all of our customers that on-going Hitwise daily, weekly and monthly metric updates are being paused — with further notice to come when service will resume,” Hitwise said in the customer email shared by SEO consultant Andy Drinkwater Monday. “Our primary clickstream data partners is no longer in a position to provide Hitwise with data as of January 28th January 2020.”
Why was Jumpshot shut down? Jumpshot, best known among SEOs as the data source for Rand Fishkin’s zero-click studies, was closed by its parent company, Avast, following the publication of numerous critical articles about the company’s data-collection and sales practices.
Which tools are affected? “The loss of this data source does have an impact on the creation and delivery of updated daily, weekly and monthly metrics,” the Hitwise announcement reads. The company was contacted regarding whether Jumpshot was its primary data provider, but did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
SEMrush has used Jumpshot data in the past, Olga Andrienko, the company’s head of global marketing, said on Twitter, caveating that it was never the primary data provider and that she is confident SEMrush will not be affected.
“We use multiple data sources to inform the metrics in our tools, some of which (like monthly volume) were calculated using anonymized data,” a spokesperson for Moz told Search Engine Land. “That included Jumpshot data, but it didn’t stop there. The Moz metrics most folks rely on will continue to be reliable as we go forward.”
Ahrefs and SpyFu did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.
Why we care. When Avast announced that it was terminating Jumpshot, it was unclear which SEO tools relied on Jumpshot data and to what degree. It is likely that Hitwise relied too heavily on Jumpshot, while other tool providers have indicated that their data mix was such that losing Jumpshot would not affect their output. Whether their data is actually as reliable without Jumpshot remains to be seen.
In the wake of regulatory initiatives like GDPR and CCPA, companies that resell aggregated data will need to thoroughly vet their sources and examine their opt-in agreements.