Gary Illyes from Google dropped a hint around if signals from other pages in a duplicate content cluster gets passed to the one Google shows in their search results. It is not clear in his response, which is by design but he said “generally the page in a dup cluster that shows up in the results will see more benefits.”
It is important to hear the question and how it was asked in the Reddit AMA. Patrick Stox, who has asked Gary a number of really solid questions, asked the following:
If I syndicate content and the other site has a canonical back or it gets treated as the same page as the original because it is duplicate, do the signals like internal/external links to the content on the other site count for me which seems to be how it would be handled or is this a special case Google looks for and says hey that’s kind of fishy and likely paid, so don’t count those?
Here is Gary’s more carefully worded response:
I can’t give a concrete answer here because spammers would have a field day with it, but generally the page in a dup cluster that shows up in the results will see more benefits.
Of course, my interpretation here is that often Google will pass the signals from the other pages in the cluster to the page Google shows in the search results. But I don’t believe that to be true all the time or even most of the time. But that is my guess and I don’t have any inside access like Gary does.
Forum discussion at Reddit.