Shaddows - 12:42 pm on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
I broadly agree with Kaled, and can even give you a reason for the apparent deterioration of the perceived "filters".
Google used to revere "age" for it's own sake. Older was better, whether it be domains or content. IMHO, it wastn't just valued, it was overvalued.
Recently, the value of "age" has decreased and "Freshness" is the new UberValue.
So, what's the real world implication of this, as it relates to scraping? Well, the first thing to say is that Original content used to outrank the scraper because it was older. Only older, not because it was original, although this was a happy coincidence. Older scrapings might eventually outrank the original, but usually it had been penalised into oblivian before that happened. New scaper sites had no chance, except where the content was also newish. This lead to the myth that scrapers only win because Google could not differentiate the original, when in fact no attempt was made to differentiate.
In the Era of Freshness, "Age" might be a tie-breaker, but it's not a defence against scrapers- especially if the scraper "buzzes" it's content through social media.
Result: Scrapers outranking original content becomes more common.
Solution: Probably can't be tackled from inside the system (i.e through SEO). DMCA is one option. Class action suit might be an option- I suggest it be filed in Europe, probably Germany or France. Much better chance of scaring Google, but with the potential downside of uniting America against those pesky, interfering, anti-Amercan Europeans. Also, the financial settlements are historically smaller outside the US than within.
Otherwise, its long and messy .htaccess files to block at point of scrape. Which silly, because Google could stop this very easily. The overwhelming majority of content will be indexed before it is scraped- Google HAS the age information, it should use it.
Although, of course, ecommerce and afilliate sites would be in a fix, because most product pages use manufacturer information, for the very good reason of not misdiscribing goods for sale.