diberry - 4:07 pm on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
I don't see how this thread is irrelevant to the question of how to rank. When you see SERPs that do not make you happy as a *searcher*, you have to step back and answer a few questions: why are these sites ranking? Does other searchers actually like this, or is this just a glitch Google's going to fix eventually? Should I be doing what they're doing? Is that how to rank?
As a searcher, I get REALLY irritated when I see almost identical content from the first few pages in the SERPs - like, obviously copied, maybe re-worded just slightly. That does not help me achieve my goals. I can't believe any searchers like that, so I have to think it's not what Google intends, but something that's happening despite them.
I also agree with Editorial Guy that I don't need to see near dupe pages from Amazon's various tld's or 3-4 product pages from different vendors for the same product (came across that the other day and my reaction was, "Oh, right - why the heck am I searching Google instead of just using Amazon internal search? What a bunch of crap!"
In those situations, I can't imagine any searchers finding that useful, or Google thinking they would. And yet, they are ranking.
One other situation that's been brought up here: if one company produces three competing websites with DIFFERENT info/products/whatever and it's all quality, as a searcher I'm unlikely to notice it's all the same company. I don't care, because I still achieve my search goals.
I've started adding "-ehow" to the ends of many of my search queries. Seriously, it's that bad, LOL.