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As bad as the scraped content situation can be, I wonder if most of the examples we are discussing are not actually displacing the original for a real traffic driving query. In other words, Google is focusing only on high traffic searches and not currently addressing the exact phrases very well.
[edited by: indyank at 3:44 am (utc) on May 6, 2011]
[edited by: tedster at 4:06 am (utc) on May 6, 2011]
[edit reason] sorry, no specifics [/edit]
. In other words, why should Google even care about getting that result "right"? Actually, on an exact title search (no quotes) Amazon outranks both of them!
I'm not bringing this up to defend Google - I'm bringing this up because I believe the situation can tech us something about the way the algorithm is actually doing things right now. Search has not been a pure text-match document retrieval system for a long time.
[edited by: indyank at 4:09 am (utc) on May 6, 2011]
Small business: Google will penalize you heavily for things you don't know about and never tell you why.
If anything the 'biggest bias' now is the lack of quality commercial results when looking for actual products or services.
I've been wondering about other possible examples, such as small sites vs. large sites, new sites vs. old sites, ad-free sites, etc.
Now either money is changing hands under the table or google is allowing these conglomerate monster sites get away with murder.
October update update and see if possibly the decrease in commercial sites
Fact: Big business are treated differently by Google than small business. Big businesses are not penalized for doing the exact same thing as small business... That is a clear bias in favor of big business over small business. Two sets of standards.