Google's Matt Cutts has put out a new Webmaster Help video once again discussing duplicate content. This time it's about duplicate content with regards to how it relates to legally required content, such as disclaimers and terms and conditions. The exact question Cutts responds to is:
How does duplicate copy that's legally required (ie Terms & Conditions across multiple offers) affect performance in search?
Cutts notes that there was a follow-up comment to the question, saying that some in the financial services industry are interested in the answer.
"The answer is, I wouldn't stress about this unless the content that you have is duplicated as spammy or keyword stuffing or something like that, you know, then we might be - an algorithm or a person might take action on - but if it's legal boiler plate that's sort of required to be there, we might, at most, might not want to count that, but it's probably not going to cause you a big issue," says Cutts.
"We do understand that lots of different places across the web do need to have various disclaimers, legal information, terms and conditions, that sort of stuff, and so it's the sort of thing where if we were to not rank that stuff well, then that would probably hurt our overall search quality, so I wouldn't stress about it," he says.
So, long story short: don't make your disclaimers and terms spammy, just like with any other content. As usual, if you play by the rules (Google's quality guidelines), you should be fine.