tedster - 4:24 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Is duplicate content even a Panda issue?
I'd say it is - but one of many areas Panda scores against. I have two reasons for this opinion. First, Panda's initial roll-out was immediately preceded by the Duplicate Content update [webmasterworld.com], commonly called the "Scraper Update".
Additionally, I've seen one site recover to better than pre-Panda traffic levels only after directly taking on the "original author" area and strengthening the signals around their authorship over scrapers and syndication or mash-up sites.
I'm aware that Panda seems to parallel a rise in Adwords income for Google. However I think it vastly overstates the case to say Panda is "just" a smokescreen, or indeed to say it is "just" any one thing.