MikeNoLastName - 12:32 am on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
We were hit big in most Panda versions, but not, as far as I can tell, Penguin at all. We dropped from all page 1 competitive keywords to 300+.
Well, I recognized the effect being discussed here a couple weeks ago and even mentioned aspects of it along the way on here, but in the meantime I have been running experiments. In multiple cases now I have posted new articles and have submitted them via various methods: WMT get as googlebot/submit, pubsubhubbub, Sitemap submit, etc.
In each test situation I was able to get our copy IN THE G INDEX, ALONE, and confirmed as the SOLE result (based upon excerpt search). Other copiers who submitted theirs as much as a day or even two later STILL eventually supplanted us as the top source and relegated us to the supplemental results at the bottom. There was in one case even one idiot copier who posted later who had 7 copies indexed with different tags (lack of canonicalization) whose all 7 duplicate pages on his site were ranking higher!
I think the term "loss of authority" is very accurate. Our PR hasn't changed and in most cases are higher than the pages we're listing below. I suspect it could be if your content is copied a page or two each by too many DIFFERENT sources, as many of ours are, YOU start to appear to be the copier, compiling content from many different sources.
The other aspect that you apparently have missed in the articles mentioned, is that when you are suddenly determined NOT to be the "authority"/original source, that the PR from links to YOUR copy (and all the other copiers pages presumably) gets transferred to that of the recognized authority copy! Therefore, if this is true, not only do you lose credit for the page itself, but you leak additional PR from ALL the pages on your site that you yourself link to this content. Basically you now link to the copier. These pages on your site effectively become toxic hotspots with leeches sucking away your lifeblood. Get enough of them and you die, while the top copier, like The Blob, gets exponentially bigger and better PR with each copied page they munch on! Sounds to me like an out of control algo aspect with insufficient dampening factors. Eventually G, by virtue of a PR10, will be the only one ranking for ALL the copied content on the net (which I'm sure is their intent anyway.)
My current desperate experiment is to simply de-index (rel=noindex)(JUST on Googlebot) all the pages that I can find that we rank below others for, to see if we can get out from under the effect and reverse our being seen as a copier.