Alexa, the traffic gather and web research giant, uses a pretty neat trick on their traffic ranking pages when hiding domains.
First of all, I don’t know why they want to hide the domain, but possibly because some spiders might parse out the url anyway and since Alexa would then be linking to some insignificant website, it could mess up results. That’s just one reason they might want to. Maybe there are more. I hope.
I found this because I was looking at ifupdown.com’s ranking and I looked at the section where people go on ifupdown.com. It listed walkthorugh.ifupdown.com and dev.ifupdown.com.
I wanted to check out the ratings for the mooWalkthrough but of course, being as lazy as I am, I wanted to just copy and paste the url. That would’ve been too easy. Look at what I got from copying that!
Do you see any of those things? No, you don’t, at least not on Alexa’s page. A quick hop to firebug reveals that they hide some things and let other parts of the url remain, as they should. They use tons of span elements for that, some are properly placed parts of the word like the al in walk. Others are just garbage to throw off crawlers, also placed in spans, but hidden to browsers using display-none.
Alexa was pretty clever in obscuring my domain name, and at least, I thank them for it it.