Google ditches its own protocol for HTTP/2 and a faster web


After using its own protocol for several years to speed up the web, Google is dropping support for it and adopting a standard approach. Next year, Google will abandon SPDY in early 2016 in favor of HTTP/2 according to a blog post published Monday on the company’s Chromium blog.

[company]Google[/company] originally created SPDY — pronounced “speedy” — in 2009, but it’s really no longer needed. That’s because the newer HTTP/2 protocol offers similar speed optimization and will be widely adopted by browsers:

“HTTP/2’s primary changes from HTTP/1.1 focus on improved performance. Some key features such as multiplexing, header compression, prioritization and protocol negotiation evolved from work done in an earlier open, but non-standard protocol named SPDY. Chrome has supported SPDY since Chrome 6, but since most of the benefits are present in HTTP/2, it’s time to say goodbye.”

Google said it will add HTTP/2 support in Chrome 40 over the coming…

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TrustRadius’: Marketo & Pardot are the best enterprise products with ratings 4.2 and 4.0 out of 5. For SMB?

New marketing automation rankings . . . “For mid-sized companies, TrustRadius’ data says that Marketo and Pardot were the best products, with customer satisfaction ratings of 4.2 and 4.0 out of 5, respectively. And for smaller companies, Hubspot, Act-On, and Infusionsoft topped the list, with Hubspot getting top honors for an almost-perfect 4.8 customer satisfaction score.”


Marketers should use lead generation to build brand awareness, nurture prospects and …

“. . . customers, qualify leads and ultimately generate measurable revenue.” 

Dan Strickland recently downloaded Marketo’s comprehensive, 160 page guide to lead generation, covering topics ranging from content marketing and website SEO to telesales and content syndication.

Marketo’s Guide provides a “How To” for:

  • Defining a lead and understand his or her buying journey
  • Building a robust lead generation strategy through marketing automation
  • Using content marketing, social media, your website, SEO, and paid programs for lead generation
  • Building an enduring customer relationships with Middle-of-Funnel (MOFU) techniques
  • Testing, optimizing, and measuring your lead generation campaigns . . . see link below:

“7 Keys To Great SEO: What SEO practices are most important nowadays for brand publishers?”

Answers to Seven keys to successful SEO:

  1. Original, engaging stories always win.
  2. Keyword and audience research still matters.
  3. Great headlines are key.
  4. Better content > more content.
  5. Optimize on both the page and platform level.
  6. Get inbound links.
  7. Social matters to search, in more ways than one.

Read details of what each key truly means for SEO greatness – full article by Dori Fern located at Contently . . .

China’s Luxury Boom Moves to the Web


A shopper looked at bags at a store in Hong Kong. 

Bloomberg News

China’s luxury boom is going online.

As the overall sector struggles amid a government crackdown on ostentatious spending and gift-giving, the urge to splurge online is growing strong, according to a study by consulting firm KPMG.

KPMG found in a survey of 10,200 online consumers in China that the respondents spent an average of 1,397 yuan (US$229) on their most recent purchase of a “luxury or premium” item, with one in six saying they spent more than 2,000 yuan on that purchase. The researchers didn’t define “luxury or premium,” letting survey respondents interpret the label themselves.

Almost three-quarters of survey respondents said they preferred to shop online because they could land a better deal, while 55% said they preferred it because it’s less time-consuming. Another 47% said it guarantees authentic American or European origin of goods.


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NewsCred Raises Another $25M For Its Content Marketing Platform


NewsCred NewsCred, a company that helps customers find and create content for their marketing campaigns, is announcing that it has raised $25 million in Series C funding.

The funding comes slightly less than a year after I wrote about the company’s last round of $15 million. One of the main reasons to keep raising, said co-founder and CEO Shafqat Islam, is that, “We’re up against some big players like Salesforce and Adobe, and we need investment and we need a big team.”

The company says that it already employs more than 120 people, but Islam said it’s his intention to more than double the size of the sales team. He added that a lot of the funding will also go toward marketing and positioning the company so that it stands out amidst all the different content marketing companies that are currently around.

NewsCred clients include Procter & Gamble, Blue Cross…

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3 lessons from The Content Strategist to engage your blog readers

Let's connect

Hi there!

Today on Let’s Connect, we will discover the secret sauce of The Content Strategist, a perfect example of an effective brand blog. Of course, it is not a coincidence we chose this platform since it is from a young company called Contently, whose goal is to help brands and journalists to publish more engaging stories on the web.

A visually appealing homepage

Let’s begin with The Content Strategist homepage. What is catching the eye as soon as you connect is the blog’s tagline, which immediately tells the user what he will find on the platform:

Content Strategist: Insights and Analysis on Brands, Storytelling, and the Future of Content, by Contently”.

It couldn’t have been shorter and clearer. Every brand blogs should work on summarizing its message so effectively.

Then, we get the latest posts published on the platform. Nothing original, you think? I agree…

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5 ways startups are narrowing the content discovery gap

Pay special attention to the last paragraph about Jeff Bezo’s recent acquisition of Washington Post!


Consuming content on the Internet has long felt like drinking from a firehose. Yet the problem is getting even worse. Driven by a focus on page views and the growth of viral content from social sharing sites like Buzzfeed and Gawker, the volume of unfiltered and even unwanted content has exploded. Users continue to struggle to find the signal in the ever-louder noise.

In addition to wasting users’ time, this content discovery gap poses a significant opportunity cost for those who trade in information currency: publishers, analysts, investors, entrepreneurs, executives, journalists and other professionals. Like the adage “half of my advertising is wasted – I just don’t know which half,” the vast majority of content misses its target and goes unread, creating a vastly underperforming asset for producers and publishers. Fortunately, startups and innovative publishers are developing and employing strategies that promise to narrow the Content Discovery Gap.


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How to lower your churn rate

A good read: paying attention to customer churn rates is not only important with SaaS models but with e-commerce retailers as well. When you are too focused on customer ramp-up you oftentimes forget to deploy a robust customer engagement program as well – this element should always be on product roadmap with any new release.


As executive-in-residence at Scale Venture Partners, I’ve worked with a number of SaaS startups to help them refine the efficiency of their operations. One of the things that is often neglected is customer churn. Early focus on churn helps build discipline that becomes even more important as a company grows to $100 million or more in revenues.

In the bad old days of on-premise Enterprise software, a startup was considered to have traction when it got its first dozen paying customers. These were typically six-figure deals and required a lot of heavy lifting to get the customers into production. While the old-school field sales model was not particularly efficient, it had the virtue of driving an organization toward making early customers successful.

When you have hundreds or thousands of customers, though, things can become rather anonymous and it’s harder to make sure customers are using your product correctly. If customers…

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