In the May issue of Website Services Magazine, we feature an article discussing the hazards of having duplicate content on your site. Duplicate content can cause the major search engines to dismiss your site entirely, or pages on your site that are too similar to the others.
Many Web business use verbage found on other sites to "fill in" their content. This will certainly cause search engines to overlook your site, or move it down in the organic rankings. Some website owners may feel that by duplicating content on their pages, it gives thier site a feeling of consistency. However, that strategy could cause search engines to dismiss critical pages on your site.
A new tool has been developed, Site Wide Duplicate Content Analyzer. This tool will crawl your site and look for duplicate content. It is not intended for large websites and it is still being developed, but it can help discover potential problems with your content.