Matt Cutts, today in his recent video advised publishers to use “rel=canonical” tag to solve the problem of duplicate contents for similar stories on different URL’s, however seeing the nature of news and publishing websites, its bit difficult task for them to implement the same. Matt said doing this can help in their search engine ranking related aspects of contents.
Matt in his previous posts said that almost 25% contents are of duplicate nature on web and such contents are not major issue to worry about and they would not hurt you.
Sometimes news websites have to publish same story on multiple URL’s for short or long term, in this case they can use canonical tag to let Google know which the primary URL is. Interesting to see because in news industry, sometimes same story is published by different writers with different aspects of the story, in those cases, there is not need to have canonical tag.0