StorefrontBacktalk

Amazon Down? Only For The Web Monitors

Written by Frank Hayes
July 5th, 2011
The curse of the Web site upgrade has struck again. But fortunately for Amazon, which Web-monitoring service Pingdom reported to be down for more than three days last week, the E-tailer's site was working fine. The Amazon-is-down alert "referred to a problem we had getting to Amazon due to something they'd done with their system," a Pingdom spokesman later explained. "Amazon started treating monitoring services [and most bots in general, if they presented themselves as such] slightly differently for a while. Most likely it wasn't even intentional, just some side effect."

This isn't the first time E-tail updates have wrecked havoc with uptime tracking systems, as 1-800-Flowers discovered in February. Exactly what Amazon changed to confuse Pingdom's bots isn't clear; Amazon wouldn't comment. And in fairness, it's not an E-tailer's job to play nice with monitoring services. But something at Amazon continues to drive monitoring sites a little crazy. On July 1, after the Pingdom problem was cleared up, there was a rash of Twitter reports that Amazon was down. They were based in part on the popular downforeveryoneorjustme.com site, which reported: "It's not just you! http://amazon.com looks down from here." As of tonight, that site still thinks Amazon is down.