This week was the best week of 2021 so far and I’ve had some good weeks this year. I took my 14 year old and 3 of her friends to the beach Sunday-Tuesday where they were mostly self-sufficient and I got to work on the screened porch in perfect sunshiney, not too hot weather. We returned to Baltimore on Tuesday evening because Wednesday was team ONeil’s first in office day since March 12, 2020 and it was all that I’d hoped it would be and more. You all, my coworkers are the absolute most and the best. I’m so lucky and Wednesday filled my cup up to the tippy top. I followed that up with a wonderful night out with friends and another night bidding adieu to my responsibilities as the president of my kids school’s parent’s association; a position that I agreed to hold long before anyone knew that a pandemic would turn our world upside down. To say it was a challenging role would be an understatement. And here we are on a beautiful Friday that is absent the noisy raucous of cicadas and is at the forefront of a weekend with absolutely nothing on the agenda; even Father’s day is absent a plan. I told you it was a good week!
As for the news, there’s been a lot of action on the privacy and big tech front as well as the ever present housing issues; meanwhile Google just keeps rolling along and making updates to their products.
Poor Google is taking lots of hits this week. First up is the news out of the UK that Google has agreed not to favor its own product with regards to FLoC’s. Turns out Google’s plan to only allow ads based on FLoC’s is not going as planned and this is a big blow. Alongside this news was the announcement from Amazon that they would not be allowing FLoC’s on their platform. Earlier this year, WordPress also proposed blocking FLoC’s so it would seem that there is mounting evidence that FLoC’s are for the birds.
While all that is going on, here in the states, the Government is coming after big tech. Aimed at Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, some of the proposed bipartisan legislation included breaking up the giants into smaller businesses. There’s plenty more that has to happen for these bills to move forward but there’s definitely momentum and growing concern about the role big tech plays in our lives.
BLUE SKIES FOR THE GOOGLE
In the words of one of my all time favorite songs, the Allman Brothers Blue Skies, “it just keeps on flowing. They don’t worry ’bout where it’s goin’, no, no”. Even the above news doesn’t slow the Google down. First up, Page Experience has begun to roll out. Get thee to a developer and have them examine your Core Web Vitals STAT. Or just open up your Google Search Console and see what it says.
While you’re in the Search Console, check out the newly released Search Console Insights. The tool will help you identify content that is performing well and direct future SEO moves. It’s combining data from Google Analytics and the Search Console into a way to easily digest data for content production purposes.
GOOD NEWS ON HOUSING
First and foremost and most exciting news of all, as I’m sure you already know, lumber prices are falling!! As if that wasn’t enough good news, this handy chart shows why we’re not headed for a repeat of 2008. It’s all about that equity (not the bass as Megan Trainor would have us believe). Even if home values fall, consumers have an equity cushion that’ll soften the blow of any market volatility. Plus, as has been said before, the demand remains strong while the supply remains weak which continues to provide a recipe for a solid housing market.
So there you have it, my personal and professional life are full of sunshine and roses. Things are really looking up folks and this post pandemic life is where it’s at. Use this good news to carry you into a glorious holiday weekend. Happy Juneteenth and Father’s Day! See you next week.