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My question: Google is definitely putting more Algo emphasis on site freshness. If you have content coming onto the homepage from another site's RSS feed does Google use the latest feed date as the last time your page was modifed? And if so is it given the same "site freshness weight" ?
The problem you run into is that usually Google has already indexed the original feed's contents. Your duplication of that content is generally overlooked/ignored from a rankings standpoint. If they didn't overlook that duplication then content syndication via RSS would have resulted in a lot of penalized sites before now.