The Duplicate Content Syndrome
We have known for a while that duplicate content, especially in the form of content farms, can hurt our websites in more ways than one. This was true even before the arrival of the Panda. Some called the Duplicate Content Penalty from Google a myth and chose to ignore it until, one bright and sunny morning, they found to their chagrin that Google had dropped their websites altogether from its master index. To make sure that you continue to remain squeaky clean, you should ensure that you:
1. Do not, knowingly or unknowingly, copy content from a published source with or without permission
2. Immediately take action against a website that copies your content because you are subject to a Google penalty even if someone else copies you
3. Never use auto blogging tools and APIs such as scraper websites do because all they do is to generate duplicate content
4. Attempt sincerely to transition from a "thin site" to a "thick site" as per Google's norms with tons of original, meaningful and relevant content that adds value to the search experience from a user's perspective
5. Refresh your content on a regular basis so that Google has a good reason to index you on a schedule
6. Avoid duplicating your content even within your website as diligently as possible
Focusing on a Genuine and Positive Search Experience
Google's primary customers are the millions of searchers who visit its various search sites daily. It remains committed to providing them with an enriched search experience. In spite of the fact that much of the process continues to remain automated, human intervention from the various Googleplexes around the world is a known reality today. Odds are million to one that you will know when your website comes up for human review. Therefore, the sooner you take action, the lesser the likelihood is that your website will be singled out for any negative repercussions from the universal search master.
We will conclude this series with a quote directly from Google itself which also tells you what to do if you believe that Google has been unfair to you:
Sites that believe they have been adversely impacted by the change should be sure to extensively evaluate their site quality. In particular, it's important to note that low quality pages on one part of a site can impact the overall ranking of that site. Publishers who believe they've been impacted can also post in our webmaster forums to let us know. We will consider feedback from publishers and the community as we continue to refine our algorithms.