What's going on with this site?
March 15, 2004 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone explain to me what's going on with this site?

I know such sites have popped up from time to time in the blue, but I can't remember whether there was any consensus on what they were for (if they in fact have a raison d'ĂȘtre other than their stochastic beauty.)
posted by Johnny Assay to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)

It also looks vaguely like a spam trap, but I don't see any e-mail addresses.

I would guess some kind of search engine trap? But other sites that do that random words in urls thing to trap search engines are chock full of ads, but this one has none.

Further google searching reveals more mystery clues (search for ("johlan.trejd.nu") reveals that:
-There are forum spams pointing to this url.
-Several sites seem to be weird fake-search engines like www.mainseek.com, search-safe.com
-The domain trejd.nu is registered to andreas trapp (hehe).
-The only other site of any sort that seems to have been hosted on that domain is a Swedish(?) warez related web log, now defunct.

So, um, still a complete mystery, but now I'm really curious too. Surely a scam of some sort, probably search engine related, but what?
posted by malphigian at 10:32 PM on March 15, 2004

Johnny, how did you find the site?
posted by tomharpel at 11:44 PM on March 15, 2004

Malphigian: yes, that site is in Swedish; .nu domains are quite popular here as nu is Swedish for now.
posted by misteraitch at 1:18 AM on March 16, 2004

This seems definitely tied in (for whatever reason) to the ARTFL Project site, which I discovered by doing searches on some of the stranger words I could find, such as "szimtas" (seen at ARTFL here).

It looks like you can find just about every word listed on the johlan.trejd.nu site in ARTFL. But still, it's not even that straightforward. It looks like it is also including at least some terms from link pages that list ARTFL. This page, for instance, lists both ARTFL and ViewSonic. and then we find ViewSonic all over johlan.trejd.nu, but not on the actual ARTFL site.

I've seen other sites that seem similar at first glance, but clearly much more commercial in nature, listing pages and pages of goods and services whose name just link to more and more pages of lists of goods and services... Another mystery, but this seems more specific.
posted by taz at 2:05 AM on March 16, 2004

I found this page when it was posted by someone over at the Straight Dope Message Boards; you can view the thread here. There's been about as much progress in figuring it out as there has been here thus far, though.

I remember the "spam trap" idea as being the most plausible one I heard when this was last discussed, but yeah, the lack of e-mail addresses is puzzling.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:48 AM on March 16, 2004

Wildly speculating here, but they could be trying to get search engine position so that they can later change the entire site content to something else while maintaining position.
posted by mischief at 8:33 AM on March 16, 2004

Again, SugarPlum was the first thing that came to mind for me, but can these words / pages be plugged into babelfish (or its translating equivalent) to glean some meaning in that way? (I'd do it myself, but the version of SmartFilter here at work won't let me use it.)

Also, this sort of discourse reminds me of what urban exploration would be like if it were online.
posted by antifreez_ at 11:25 AM on March 16, 2004

As mentioned in the Straight Dope board, you can use different words and the results are more english-like, some work for me but most will return a 404 error.
posted by golo at 12:33 PM on March 16, 2004

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