Google’s Search spam head, Matt Cutts talks about duplicate content in his latest video. Unavoidable duplicity is the commonest worry of webmasters from all over the world, especially those who are in media business. They have to cover a story and publish them twice or even thrice at times, on different URLs, which is subjected to Google issues.
For such publishers and online news archives Matt has suggested to exercise rel=canonical tag . It will help in uniting the Pagerank of stories published on dissimilar URLs and eliminate the possibilities of penalty or any other harm.
How should I address a small duplicate content issue?
He has maintained it earlier too that 25% of the content is duplicative on web and that is bound to happen for several reasons. But, if it’s lowering down your search engine rankings then, you may use rel=canonical tag, so that Google can detect your primary page.
He has clarified earlier too, how Google handles duplicate content in his last few videos. He maintains this in context of news publishers too that it only hurts those sites, which knowingly indulge in spam related activities.