tedster - 3:57 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
However Google isn't doing any one thing consistently, especially given the long tail nature of the queries. So somehow the algorithm itself is trying to adjust for different situations. And as I recall, this is not anywhere NEAR a new situation. If anything, I think it's more limited than it was a year ago.
Another factor here is that the case studies are relatively new, and freshness also can tilt results toward a "copy" for a while.
At any rate, we're here in this forum to discuss the SEO aspects, not to somehow pass judgment on "right or wrong." We've got a situation that we work within, like it or not, and the better we understand it the better we can do within it. Google is not waiting for site owners and SEOs to vote on what they do, after all ;)
These case studies are very interesting for the light they shed on various corners of the algorithm and SEO. There are a lot of factors being reported on or at least hinted at here. Well worth a close look.