How Google Treats Trusted Sites Differently With Duplicate Content

One of the things that a lot of people don’t get about the new Google is the over-reliance on trust in the algorithm. It’s this over-reliance on trust that puts wikipedia at the top of so many searches. However if you have this trust it’s like having a laminated get out of jail free card for what you can get away with in google. Don’t believe … ok here’s a nice example.

Back in October Christopher Elliott wrote a nice post entitled Dump this! 7 things airlines should jettison from their planes now. It was a good piece and it made the rounds on the popular social sites. Mr Elliot is also a well know travel writer and has existing syndication deals with websites like MSNBC and Frommers. Now Google thinks they have duplicate content like this licked they said so much on their official blog

Generally, we can differentiate between two major scenarios for issues related to duplicate content:

* Within-your-domain-duplicate-content, i.e. identical content which (often unintentionally) appears in more than one place on your site

* Cross-domain-duplicate-content, i.e. identical content of your site which appears (again, often unintentionally) on different external sites


To conclude, I’d like to point out that in the majority of cases, having duplicate content does not have negative effects on your site’s presence in the Google index. It simply gets filtered out.

Well Google I’m calling BS on your ability to filter out duplicate content, and I’m prepared to prove it. Lets take a look at the SERP for the title of Mr Elliot’s Post [7 things airlines should jettison from their planes now] screen shot below (yes google it’s going to get worse much worse)

So what do we have, 7 of the 10 pages, are in the words of My Cousin Vinny Prosecuting Attorney Mr Trotter (wait for it) … eye-dentical, don’t believe me check them out.

Way to go Google I’d say that was a failure of epic proportions as far as filtering out duplicate content is concerned.

Now gadling at least went to the trouble of rewriting the post, but not to worry the Digg submission which contains another eye-dentical (heh) copy of the first paragraph got listed twice. Lastly the reddit post has no content or comments but has title that is eye-dentical to the titles of the other posts.

If the people people who are responsible for programming the duplicate content part of the algo worked for me I’d make them wear these shirts till they got it fixed.

Perhaps I’m being a little harsh, maybe it’s not the people who worked on the duplicate content part of the algo who should be swimming with the fail whale, but maybe it’s the folks who built in the over dependence on trust into the algo.

If that’s the case then Google problem stems directly from the top since Eric Schmidt was quoted as saying:

Internet is a “cesspool,” a festering sea of bad information, said Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, yesterday while speaking to a group of visiting magazine executives at the company’s Mountain View, California Campus during the American Magazine Conference. Schmidt suggested that “brands” are more important than ever and key solution for this problem is brands. “Brands are the solution, not the problem”

Sorry Mr Schmidt brand’s aren’t the solution, they are just as much of a cesspool as the rest of the web, they just happen to have bigger PPC budgets that line your pockets.

Oh and for the pesky google search engineers at their desk muttering “but but this is an isolated incident, caused by a long multi word long tail search, this isn’t a systemic problem“. As soon as you finish your trip down the river called de-nial check out [Palin pipeline terms curbed bids] and [Arab diva’s necklace sold] and get back to me, maybe if you’re lucky you guys can get a bulk discount on those shirts if you order now. runs on the Genesis Framework

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