Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting recently had a conversation with Google’s Matt Cutts about what makes a quality website. One of the essential points they drive home is that having a page that’s simply non-duplicative of other pages isn’t enough to gain good rankings.
Inadvertent non-duplicate content
Many car repair websites, for example, have a page about brake jobs for people looking for brake service and/or information about brake maintenance. Typically they all say pretty much the same thing. In fact, sometimes when creating their web page they look at other car repair websites to get ideas about what to talk about. Usually they put everything in their own words and feel good that they don’t have duplicate content.
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t still have duplicate information.
And quite frankly, search engines don’t do consumers of information any service if they display lots of web pages for a query that all just say basically the same thing.
The trick is to make sure your web pages provide an additional value not found on other similar pages. You have to figure out what makes you special, and then create pages that highlight that.
Mat Cutts also talks about a number of other things that reflect on a website’s quality, including their inbound link structure. It’s a thoughtful conversation and I recommend it to you.