Check out Framed! by Lauren Wood. There’s puzzling low-grade Internet scamware afoot. Here’s a slightly more detailed description of what’s going on; if you have any ideas, please leave a comment on her blog, not here.

There are a bunch of URLs, aff00001.com through aff000028.com; each of them can produce three distinct results. If you fetch it with curl (a command-line URL fetcher on Unix-like systems) you get a page with a title and meta-tag claiming it to be “Adult Friend Finder”, and whose body is a list, sans markup, of 10,000 misspellings of the URL for adultfriendfinder.com. This is apparently what the google robot sees, so if you google for (selecting one misspelling randomly) adultfriendfindor.cwm, you get this page which looks like a link to Adult Friend Finder. And if you click on that link, dereferencing aff000022.com from the Google results list, sure enough, you get redirected and land on Adult Friend Finder in all its sleazy glory. What's weird though, is that if you go to aff000022.com by typing the URL into your browser, or by linking from another page that isn't a google result page, you get a little <frame> package that pulls in www.laurenwood.org/anyway, leaving no trace of its existence.

The 29th page has only about 7,000 misspellings, so they are capturing about 277,000 potential mis-spelled URLs.

Like Lauren, I’m puzzled. Ideas?



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From: Xris (Dec 16 2006, at 22:24)

Could it have something to do with trying to game the affiliate program?

The redirect to Adult Friend Finder includes what looks to me like an affiliate link.

It's probably a violation of Adult Friend Finder's affiliate terms to spam the search engines. So, by framing an unrelated site, the aff...com people can keep the Adult Friend Finder off their trail, and anybody actually looking for that type of site will click and earn the aff...com people a buck or two.

*shrug* It's a thought.

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From: millenomi (Dec 17 2006, at 04:23)

It started happening on my sites, too; some sort of "referrer spam" which shows up in my stats.

I agree that gaming a referral program seems to be the most likely objective.

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