I'd rather see a mix of one e-commerce site plus 9 informational sites than that kind of duplication.
I'm sure everyone would want to see that, but is it reality today? I'm inclined to think not particularly since Google became a public company. It’s almost as if the algo is being fine tuned to think big business or almost becoming a shareholder voice. “We want profits.” There’s far too much emphasis on big brands, but I do see the reason behind the intent; Schmidt: “clean up the cesspool.”
I could bring up another point about big brands. If you look close enough, a good number of these sites (ecommerce as well) have similar characteristics with thin or spun content. Of course this can only be seen if you look back from the forest. Additionally, I found many of these sites conflict with two of Amit Singhal’s 23 signals that help determine a high quality site pointed out in May 2011.
I’ve added the word “big brand” to emphasize.
Does this big brand article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
Not often because they’re general in nature.
Does the big brand article describe both sides of a story?
Rarely. It goes back to a point I’ve mentioned several times about how anyone that sells a product or service will never offer both sides because it places doubt in the front of consumers. Doubt that turns away sales.
Looking closer at the 23 signals that count as a quality site you could probably throw in more. Read into it. It’s obvious to me. I’m not saying all big brands have low quality, thin or spun content. It’s just that a number of interior fluff pages are showing up more and more. It’s almost as if all they have to do is create a title, slap a little content on it and bingo, it sticks to the top of the SERPS. The SERP landscape is also becoming eerily similar to the affiliate days with some searches providing nothing but sites that sell a product. Sites that also have pictures, price tags and very little content.
Is it done purposely? Are these sites farming and taking advantage of the algo? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is clear however, it ain’t good content.