Christian Louboutin’s Bulldozer Still Misses the Point

A video and an entire website dedicated to fake Christian Louboutins make it clear that someone at the famous cobbler’s maison is paying attention to what shows up on a search for the designer’s shoes – and they aren’t happy with what they see.

Fake Christian Louboutin's crushed by bulldozer

Sea of (fake) shoes

There’s only one problem: none of it is likely to make a significant difference. details legal actions the label has launched against counterfeiters, from raiding Chinese factories, to seizing inventory from online resellers before they could sell the fakes on auction sites.

But the biggest problem is Louboutin’s own site. Outside of gaming and fashion, most commercial brands have abandoned the all-Flash website in favor of more accessible technology that makes the content available to a wider audience, including search engines and mobile browsers. With Apple’s decision to not support Flash on the iPhone or iPad, one might hope that even online and fashion would move towards the best practice of using flash only for certain elements (like video).

Unfortunately, many labels remain stuck in the year 2000, and assault visitors with music and video that plays unprompted, enormous Flash sites that take minutes to download even on broadband (forget about a mobile connection), and no clear way for visitors or search spiders to navigate the sites outside of flashing images that force you to chase them around the screen to find out what they’re about. According to Google’s Search Keyword Tool, 12,000 mobile users search for “Christian Louboutin” each month. While that may not seem like a huge amount of people compared to the 1.8 million web users who search for the brand, that’s still 12,000 people who wouldn’t be able to find retailer information or addresses, style information or anything else on the official Louboutin website, because it’s not designed in a way that would allow mobile visitors to see anything. Search spiders? They’re seeing the same nothingness.

Is it any wonder visitors abandon official sites in favor of counterfeiters who offer a wide array of shoes, ready to purchase with a click of the mouse?

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because it is. We looked at similar issues plaguing Louis Vuitton’s search results, but it appears Louboutin is following a similar, expensive path which will end with no better results. You see, in addition to the video of fake Louboutins being run over by a bulldozer, the site lists recent legal victories. While shutting down the warehouses that manufacture the fake shoes is a smart move, listing websites selling fakes is probably not the best idea.

In what has to be a bit of unintended irony, the simple HTML references to the sites mean that there’s a better chance of Google and other search engines indexing the content of those sites before they “see” anything on Louboutin’s official site.

Louboutin is obviously in the shoe business, not the internet business, so we don’t hold it against him that there’s been a bit of a learning curve. We wish the company the best in protecting their brand against counterfeiters, but if they spent half the amount dedicated to legal costs to building a modern, accessible site the battle might take a fraction of the effort to win.

Otherwise, it turns into an endless game of whack-a-mole (with much prettier moles, of course) where one fake site goes down, and another pops up weeks later.

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