here's an issue thats dogged me for years, can anyone shed any light.
1. As we all know google doesnt like duplication, I have seen a duplicate site rank well while the original was dropped out, so google cant even determine which was the original. I have also webmastered a few franchise operations where numerous franchisees get their own website for their own geographical area - the business is the same in each case - of course thats what franchises are. Therefore apart from tiny changes re area info the sites are duplicates, and legitimately so. Each site should be able to rank on its own for a search involving its own area, and yet google sees this a duplication. Thats wrong.
2. Many ecom sites will share ther products and therefore descriptions, texts etc across various / many domains, some owned by themselves, some owned by partners. Google will tell you that adding value to each product description ( probably extra text ) will create power and uniqueness. How can this be done with products like nails or A4 paper, and will owners / managers really do this ? nahh. And yet it seems to be product databases dont seem to have the duplicate penalties applied, or have i just not seen one yet ?
3. A competitor of one of my clients has a high ranking site, we battle among the top 3 positions. Ive lately noticed that this site has at least 3 duplicate sites and I mean duplicate sites, everything the same except the logo and header background colour. These sites are very low in the rankings, but some do appear in the top 100 results. This is clearly breaking googles guidelines and black hat seo. Do you think they should be reported ? In this case the first and orginal site has not been penalised, although others that i may or may not be aware of may have been - what to do ?