What is Hagakure method in Google Ads?
Magali Kajingu Enciso

What is Hagakure method in Google Ads?

Hagakure. 4 simple syllables that lately seem to be falling off every SEM Manager's lips.

What does an ancient spiritual guide, born from Japanese wisdom and destined to samurai warriors, even have to do with Google Ads? Nowadays, there are so many new trends, so many new ideas, solutions and findings emerging on a daily basis, that it can be hard to keep up and be on top of every revolutionary concept. 

If you feel a bit like lagging behind on this one or if you master everything about Hagakure and want to go deeper into that subject, don’t worry, in both cases we have you covered. Keep reading to find out more about one of Google Ads latest breakthroughs.

What is Hagakure?

It might sound somewhat complex but we’ll explain it in the clearest way possible: Hagakure is a method. See? Super easy definition. More specifically, it is a method to streamline your account structure.   

Let us refresh the concept just in case. Account structure refers to the way you organize your Google Ads account, in the context of the three-layers design followed by Google (account, campaign, ad group). Having a well structured account is essential to ensure achieving higher CTR, lower CPC, and a higher ROI. To cut a long story short, an optimal account structure is essential to do search engine marketing in an effective way

Why is Hagakure method so popular? 

The truth is that the creation of Hagakure method is not that surprising. It logically follows the evolution we’ve seen in Google Ads over the past few years. The platform was born in 2000, which, as crazy as it sounds, was more than 20 years ago! No wonder things are getting more sophisticated... Google Ads has been evolving from manual activities to an everyday more automated platform and in that context, the introduction of Hagakure is no exception. 

This method is specially designed to take full advantage of features based on machine learning such as automated bidding and dynamic search ads (DSA). The thing is that, although machine learning has brought a lot of advantages to online advertising and has helped perfect it, we can’t deny that it has also brought its own share of complexity. As advertisers work everyday harder to closely match users' needs, campaigns are getting more and more precise, encompassing a considerable amount of data. This has led account structures to get really complex, including high volumes of keywords and other information to manage. From that observation arose the need for account structures capable of easily managing the necessary volume of data required by machine learning, for enhanced performance.  

How does Hagakure structure work? 

We’ve seen that throughout the evolution previously explained, online advertising in Google Ads has gone from a very manual process to an everyday more automated one. Previous structures were then more segmented, organized in numerous ad groups with few keywords. 

Hagakure structure works a bit differently. It is based on the use of fewer campaigns with large ad groups batching high volumes of data. This kind of organization provides a flow of information great enough to allow Google Ads algorithms to deploy their maximum potential and fully optimize your campaigns. To fully understand the trick here, it’s important to take a look at Google Ads machine learning technologies.

Smart bidding for example, allows you to get automatic adjustments on your bids according to where they’re likely to perform best. And this setting works... at campaign level! So now we see how logical it is to gather these segmented campaigns in a larger one, centralizing information to push Smart Bidding effects to their full potential. 

So now you’re probably asking yourself “Ok, but what’s the deal with account structure anyway?” or if you’re a well-established SEM Manager mastering all techniques, you might be wondering if you should go on and follow that last one trend… Is Hagakure method really the best campaign structure in Google Ads?  Should I move to Hagakure structure? If yes, how? What would be different? 

There are quite some differences when implementing Hagakure method, but the following are some of the most notables:

  • Destination URL is the main reference when structuring the account (not keywords!)
  • Only URLs with high impressions volume are kept (to ensure the algorithm’s efficiency)
  • DSA campaigns are configured in parallel (to counteract possible losses due to focusing on high volume URLs)

What about the other questions then? They’re so crucial that we’d rather dig deeper into each one of them to get you the thorough answers you deserve. So stay tuned, and see you in the next installment of this series specially dedicated to Hagakure method in Google Ads! 

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