In a way it's true: Google Hates Farmers, but not those of the agricultural persuasion. What Google doesn't like are Scrapers ... but few people have a soft-spot in their hearts for scrapers of any kind. Back in March of 2011 Google implemented a new algorithm hoping to give less weight to scraper sites. Many people in the web community feel that this was not very effective. Google decided to take it personally (in a good way). Matt Cutts, head of Webspam for Google, even tweeted a request for scraper sites that you see in search results. The second sweep is on it's way.
So why does Google dislike Scraper Site? Come to think of it, what are they, and what could they possibly do about them?
What is a Scraper Site?
Simply put, a Scraper Site is a website that does not generate it's own content. They copy information from other sites and display it on their own site. It can be displayed in part or (at times) in full.
Isn't that Plagiarism?
Strictly speaking, scraping is different from plagiarizing. Scraper sites don't necessarily attempt to pass off the content as their own. They will ordinarily credit and even link to the original source.
Oh, well then isn't Google a Scraper?
There is a significant difference between Scrapers and Search Engines. That difference is in display. Google will index sites with snippets of their content pertinent to your search. Scrapers will display content and credit site. The variance is that a Search Engine wants you to find the owner of the original content; a Scraper wants you to find the content without the original owner.
Why does Google care?
As far as a good Search Engine is concerned, Scrapers are SPAM. Google doesn't want you to find them on their site because no one wants to see them. Remember that the goal of any good Search Engine is to connect searchers with live, applicable sites. Google doesn't want you to have to avoid the landmines of Scrapers to find the product, service or company for which you were looking in the first place.
Isn't Google protecting their own interests?
Yes; absolutely. But, if you or your potential clients google then they are protecting your interests too.
What can Google do about it?
I'm glad you asked. You see the internet is really just a complex series of tubes that ... Oh wait. That's not right.
This gets complicated, and I can't give you very many specifics because I don't know many of them, but Google uses a series of algorithms to determine the ranking of sites. They look at everything. They look at your involvement with Facebook and Twiiter, the publication and syndication of posts, the inbound and outbound links, you name it. The algorithmic updates known as Panda dealt specifically with originality of content. They gave (at least in design) less weight to non-original content and more weight to genuine content.
What can I do?
Well, you can do what I've been pleading from the beginning. Have frequent updates to your site.