acee - 10:33 am on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
Duplicate content is the soft target of onpage factors that is most likely to get every webmaster wondering if they've had their content copied or if they've over egged the snippets from other pages.
Google has been fighting duplicate content for many years and must be the foremost authority on the planet on this subject. So why are the search results still full of pages that use variations of one article from the same author, thin pages that contain almost exclusively syndicated content with no value add, the same forum posts across several domains, and sites with a large proportion of the same copy on all pages?
If they were unable to totally remove duplicate content with their algo's prior to Panda, I'm pretty sure they would have nailed this afterwards, but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.
Why are the first three results from Amazon whenever you search for consumer goods followed by price comparison sites using entirely affiliate feeds even though you didn't include the words 'price' or 'comparison'?
Because they are engineered, not natural!
If Google wanted to improve the quality of search it might help if keyword proximity played a role more than simply evidence. Google encouraging webmasters to consolidate content is likely to decrease relevancy of many pages because a larger gamut of keywords are present. Surely concise content is the friend of search and verbose the enemy!
Let's be objective, setting aside a pro or anti-Google outlook, and ask yourself if these search results look like (1) they were delivered to your browser purely for your benefit, (2) were they excessively skewed in favour of Google's profits, or (3) were they a compromise that you found satisfactory?