An interesting article from yesterday has brought to light a potential problem with Google’s search algorithm concerning attribution.
Briefly, attribution, in search quality speak, is ‘credit where credit’s due’. In other words, in the case of duplicate content, making sure the original document, not the dupe, gets ranked. Google tries to ensure this by a)not displaying duplicate content in SERPs, and b) ranking the url with the highest PageRank, whenever a duplicate presents it’s self.
Taking advantage of these ‘rules’, Dan Petrovic of Dejan SEO set out to place duplicate content on his site and out-rank the creators. And he did it. It seems as though Mr. Petrovic was able to hijack a number of SERPs by simply copying content from a high ranking page and placing it on his larger, more authorative site. Read the article to find out how exactly he did this.
So what does this mean? This ovbiously goes against what Google had in mind when they implemented attribution into their search algo. There’s likely not a lot of benefit for larger sites to excercise these tactics, but the negative effects on smaller sites not ranking for their own original content could be devestating.
What do you think? Can we chalk it up to a search algo that is and never will perfect, and expect some collateral damage in the name of cause, or does Google need to get on this?