We may all be critical of Google but how many of us have had the opportunity to earn good money from appearing free on their site? Quite a few of us I guess.
I make sites with only the end user in mind. One I am currently working on will probably be hit with a duplicate content penalty, but I have no choice because the same content needs to be displayed in many ways on the site in order to satisfy my visitors.
And satisfy my visitors is all I care about. The income will take care of itself.
To be honest, because the site is local, I am more focused on facebook than google and have every confidence of the site doing well due to good old fashioned word of mouth.
I actually couldn't care less about it appearing in Google (never thought I'd hear myself say that!).