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CSE Excel Formulas: Find Specific Words With-in a Column of Keywords

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CSE Formulas are a lost science to the vast majority of Excel Users.  CSE stands for Control+Shift+Enter.  CSE formulas allow you to perform array calculations.  Let’s see how it works:

To calculate to total product sum of each row, you will need to write 4 short formulas (see image) or 1 long one = (A2*B2)+(A3*B3) )+(A4*B4) )+(A5*B5) )+(A6*B6)

To utilize the power of CSE formulas and simplify your calculations you would enter the following formula in Cell C4 and get the same result:  =sum(A2:B6*B2:B6).  Before you press enter, Remember, you must press (CSE) Control+Shit+Enter.  This is the only way to convert your formula to calculate Arrays.  You will notice that your formula converted from =sum(A2:A6*B2:B6) to ={sum(A2:A6*B2:B6)}. This may sound like its not worth the time, but consider more complex formulas over 1,000s of cells!

Now, like a child in school you are asking yourself: “How am I going to use this in the real (SEM) world?”  Lets take a look…

Say you have 2,300 new keywords in a massive list targeted to provide physical therapy to people with back issues, but it’s a dirty list and you want to exclude any keywords related to surgery.

  • Column A should have your keywords
  • Column B should have your negative keyword list
  • Column D will be where your CSE formula goes

Use the following formula in Cell D2: =IF(SUM(NOT(ISERROR(FIND($B$2:$B$6,A2)))*1)>0,TRUE,FALSE) & CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER
The only variable you need to change in this formula is $B$6: The 6 represents the last row on which you negative keyword list ends.  In this example, it ends on Row 6.  If it ends on row 50, then the formula would change to $B$50 or ={IF(SUM(NOT(ISERROR(FIND($B$2:$B$50,A2)))*1)>0,TRUE,FALSE)}



Copy the formula down to the last row in Column A.  Turn on Filter and select True from Column D or sort by Column D.  You can now delete those rows which you do not want and continue with your clean keyword list.

You can also use this formula to build an account structure. Instead of using negative keywords, add a list of like minded words to help you group into campaigns and adgroups.

At the recent PubCon conference in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Matt Cutts of Google and ask him a few questions regarding SEO. Instead of the usual questions he gets about link weight, though, I wanted to get his thoughts from Google’s perspective on what search marketers should be doing during these rough economic times.

Watch the interview at