Workfriendly, a site previously reported on Plagiarism Today back in November 2007 and again in April of this year, stopped functioning sometime within the past few days, bringing an end to the problems it created for many Webmasters.
The site currently is just a “parked” domain page running ads for the domain’s registrar, GoDaddy. According to the whois information for the site, the domain was “updated” on the eighth, indicating that it possibly expired and was transferred to another owner.
Workfriendly attempted to disguise Web surfing as a Microsoft Word document by formatting Web pages to appear as text in a Word file while bordering the site content with a fake border designed to look like the application. This was supposed to make it “safer” to surf at work as it would raise less suspicion should anyone see your monitor.
The site created problems, however, when it allowed search engines to index its modified pages, injecting many thousands of of pages worth of duplicate content into Google. It also created headaches by not obeying certain meta tags, causing links to break on some sites and for Google to report those errors as broken links on the original domain.
It is unclear at this time if the outage is temporary or permanent, however, the site has been down for at least two days, making a temporary outage increasingly unlikely.
Hat tip: Special thanks to David Bradley of Sciencebase (stupid typos, thanks for the catch!) for letting me know that Workfriendly is not working