It seems like we can not get away from the topic of duplicate content. A recent post at the Google Webmaster Central blog named Deftly dealing with duplicate content by Adam Lasnik, gives more insight (possibly) to what is duplicate content in the eyes of Google. Yes, I know we just wrote about it; Duplicate Content: What Is It 12/2006 but that was based on hearsay.
FYI - I believe the first time we ever wrote about duplicate content, with the terms "duplicate content" was on May 6, 2004. Aspen, a guest author back then, wrote What is Duplicate Content based on a lot of discussion about it back then. Yes, the discussion continues, but we do have a clearer picture of what it is and what it is not, now.
In short, Adam gave some tips, most we should know already, on how to prevent some duplicate content issues, they include:
- Block appropriately
- Use 301s
- Be consistent with your URLs
- Use TLDs for language specific content
- Syndicate carefully
- Use the preferred domain feature of webmaster tools (easy, so why not)
- Minimize boilerplate repetition (sometimes hard to do)
- Avoid publishing stubs (empty pages)
- Understand your CMS (common sense)
- Use the DMCA form when needed
Some of these answers went into question in a WebmasterWorld.
The first was "Minimize boilerplate repetition" where they ask about navigational elements and quoting other sites. Adam responds that those areas are typically not a major issue, he says;
I wouldn't worry about a 40 word snippet of that sort, unless it's the primary content on many of your pages.
The next question was on using country specific TLDs. Should I or shouldn't I. Again, more practical advice from Adam.
If you already have German language content that's indexed / ranked decently in search engines, then I'd hesitate starting over, but otherwise yeah, I think putting German language content (or, more specifically, Germany-audience-targeted content) on a .de domain is a good idea.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.