Amazon Down? Only For The Web Monitors

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.