Joined: 01 Jan 10
04 Oct 11 12:22 pm
It is my understanding that the penalty for duplicate content is that you do not receive positive credit for the duplicated content. Assuming this is the case, the duplicate content would not be the deciding factor as to why your site has not ranked.
How competitive is the niche you have chosen? What is the on-page search engine optimization? What actions have you undertaken in regards to off-page search engine optimization?
The search engines are very good however they do not discover everything at the time of occurrence. Often published articles, forum comments, etcetera are not indexed providing a site with credit for its links. It takes time for the search engines to discover and acknowledge backlinks to a website.
Not all backlinking efforts are productive. Some backlinks have little or no value to a particular site. Many affiliate marketers in the hopes of avoiding manual labor will acquire links through a link-farm arrangement of one sort or another. These types of backlinks are not beneficial to a website over the long term. The search engines want to see relevant backlinks created naturally over a prolonged period.
Assuming you have done everything correctly there is still the factor of time. It takes time for your backlinks to be recognized. Using a service such as pingomatic.com helps lessen the time of recognition however the search engines still may ignore the pings as the numbers of pings have increased over the years drastically.
Start with your on-page seo work. Bring it up to A+ quality then begin working on your off-page seo work making sure your links are relevant to your site. Also add content that is NOT duplicate content.
Good luck in your efforts.