Google's John Mueller said in the webmaster hangout this morning at the 2:40 mark that Google has a "bunch" of algorithms that try to recognize and detect the original source of the content and thus boost that content accordingly, he added.
He said "we have a bunch of algorithms that try to recognize the original source of the content and to boost at accordingly in the search results." He also added that is is very possible that sites using your content may rank above you when the other page is "more relevant" because of the extra value that other site added to your content.
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Here is the transcript:
So I think it's this is a really tricky situation sometimes.
In practice, we have a bunch of algorithms that try to recognize the original source of the content and to boost at accordingly in the search results.
So it's not just a matter of like this is a popular site and copied your content but we we do try to find the original source. But there is no automated way for you to say this is my content because the other people could just as well say oh this is my content too. And someone might be out there who has like a really fast system to recognize content on the web and picks it up first and shows it to Google says this is my content.
Then someone asks what if CNN steals my content?
I don't know. I think it depends a bit. But again even in that situation we do try to show the original source where we can. Sometimes it's it's not so easy so maybe taking an extreme situation if if you're a photographer you put a photo on your website, this is your photo you put it on your website, but you put it on your website in without much much extra data on it. So it has a title, it has like the photo number and a subtitle, maybe the information the technical information that is with take from taking the photo, the exposure, the the all of that stuff. But that's something that we could show in image search, we could say well this is the original source, we could recognize that as the original source. But if someone takes that photo and puts it for example in a forum thread and there's suddenly a lot of extra content there then if someone is searching for content that's more easily found in the forum thread, then we will probably show the forum thread as a page instead of the original page. Just because it's it's a bit more relevant. So it's it's something where we do try to push the original content a little bit but to to some extent sometimes other other sources add so much more value that we think well for this specific query we should be showing that the other site instead. So I I think that's something that as a content creator you you always have to kind of battle with online and in the sense that if you put content online then it's it's easy for for someone else to take, to rewrite, to write about as well and sometimes that the other sources will will rank above your content as well. So it's I I don't think they're there's an easy answer for that that both make sense for for you as a content creator but also for all of the users who are looking for maybe a little bit more context or maybe some different context.
Forum discussion at Google+.