Business Owner Responding vs. Not Responding Effects to Positive Google Reviews or Feedback

So I've received a number of positive Google reviews over the year, but I didn't respond to them.
Does responding or not responding to them make a difference? Does it have a bearing on my local SEO
And if I should respond, would it mess things up if I were to respond to all 40 of them today!( these 40 reviews have spanned over the last 7 years or so).
Thanks 🙏
13 👍🏽1 💟14
30 💬🗨

The speed at which you interact impacts your rankings, the content in reviews and questions & answers impacts rankings.
If you get a question, reply immediately, if you get a message, reply immediately.

Sheppard » Edward
😅🤣😂🤣😅😂😂 please share with me your data or case study. This is the biggest load of absolute poop I've ever heard. The context absolutely does but the time of response has absolutely nothing to do with it. Responding does, this is proven. Definitely reply. But the speed in which you do so plays absolutely no role whatsoever. I'm sorry but that's fake news.
I've had someone who didn't reply to 200 reviews who wasn't anywhere to be found. Replied to all of them in an hour and every 20 i did id rerun tests and I literally watched them climb rankings as I replied. Some reviews were 3 year old.
When you make bold claims with such confidence you will get called out.
Edward » Sheppard
call me out all you want. I have tested ignoring and replying, and replying resulted in higher rankings, especially on Google guaranteed.
Just for clarity, you are claiming my statement that replying to questions, inquiries and reviews quickly increases Rankings, is 100% wrong.
Is that correct?
Not sure why you feel the need to be so aggressive, maybe you are just one of those guys, who knows?
You do realize that you have just made yourself look completely unprofessional, maybe you are, again who knows?
See right now I am struggling with this massive contradiction you make. where you say 'the time of response has nothing to do with it', responding does.
That actually agrees with what I am claiming and you ranted about being wrong, in fact you claim it's "the biggest load of absolute poop I've ever heard."
According to your own words, 'responding is what matters' ergo, if you don't reply quickly, it matters because it only matters after you reply!
Just for good measure' here's what Google claim'.
May be an image of text that says 'Your responsiveness to customer inquiries and requests. Missed calls and unanswered message leads will negatively affect your responsiveness.'
Sheppard » Edward
I agreed with you… I said I agree with you in my comment. But you blatantly say "responding quickly does impact rankings" that's factually incorrect. I'm sorry, responding is, the speed In which you respond is not. If you want to delay your rankings for a week and take your good old time responding that's fine, when you choose to reply you will see the increase irrespective of how long you take. I disagreed with only one part of your claim. It came across aggressive and I apologize, but if you have been in the industry as long as I have, I'm not doubting you have, I'm just saying. You would/do know that spreading miss information is toxic. Because people then share it like it's factual and it spreads quickly and then clients pay these idiots who make claims they read on Facebook as facts and the client is out of pocket thousands of dollars and has no results because someone read bad advice.
So I come in and clear miss information. It wasn't aggressively toned in my head, but I understand how it reads.
When I do know the facts I will step up and clear it. I spend my days running tests and experiments, collecting data and for this exact reason. I don't trust claims made in this industry because I've proven them wrong so many times and by a lot. It always stems from he said and zhe zaid. And at the end of the day innocent clients lose thousands to inexperienced professionals.
Whilst I'm not saying that is you, making stern claims is where some idiot is going to get his "facts" from and their the person I'm trying to stop by spreading true information.
Apologies, I do agree with you, but the time of response is not a factor.
Edward » Sheppard
We actually agreed.
My reply was in general and about a wider scope including questions etc, where I stated speed of reply matters (because it does).
I really am not going to get into a dick measuring contest with you with regard who has the most xyz… as I don't have any intention (or need) of credibility building, regarding experience, testing etc there's no point and I will not allow myself to be dragged down to that level..
Regardless of what you say, claiming you never meant for it to be aggressive etc, when you use a massive amount of laughing emoji's in an aggressive and dismissive way, followed by a demand for proof. You were being very aggressive and unprofessional to the point of arrogance, so I called you out on it.
As that's what I do, often while supporting my position with Fact, by the way of information provided directly from Google which I have done in this case.
There was opportunity here to share knowledge, to have benefitted everyone who reads this discussion, but for whatever reason, you decided to throw a hand grenade in, and then attempt to claim said hand grenade was not intended to harm 😛
Peace and love brother, that's what the world needs, and not more confrontation and hate.
Puneet ✍️ » Sheppard
and Edward, so coming back to MY question…. Would it be wrong for me to respond to them now? Do I need to space out my responses?
Sheppard » Puneet
You can respond to them all now, no need to space them out. Just zo them all now.

Don't think you should touch them at all as there been there to long to get replies.
I think you should only reply to current reviews only.
If you want to fill in old reviews do over long time.
The indexing algo don't realise on review no more, that old hat, reviews are still needed but it old hat for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and indexing.
Replying to reviews is important, Google uses different signals to know how active the business is and this is one of them.
As per bright local study, 79% consumer trust online reviews as much as giving personal recommendation.
So, reviewing all of them right now will not mess up ranking but it will also not be a good sight for users coming to see reviews that are getting reply after years.
I would respond to your reviews. Google has said that yes, it does impact ranking:
Google of course, wants to see you active on your Google My Biz (GMB) (or Google Business Profile (GBP)), but it's so much more than that. Like Elan said, I use keywords when responding too. It may not have a big impact doing this, but every little bit helps, right?
But Google (and people!) like to see a business answering reviews. The good and the bad. Both want to see that customer interaction and the business taking ownership. Not responding can actually lose customer trust, and they could just go somewhere else:
How to improve your local ranking on Google – Google Business Profile Help
How to improve your local ranking on Google – Google Business Profile Help

To clarify on the keywords in reviews thing, Google will also make filters for the reviews, so that's another big reason I do it.
I also took advantage of this review response template from bright local. I made edited them and added in keywords, etc., to make them more personalized but I definitely recommend it:
Review Response Templates for Speedy Replies to Customer Feedback – BrightLocal
Review Response Templates for Speedy Replies to Customer Feedback – BrightLocal

Puneet ✍️
So I'm gathering that responding is essential. But I haven't done so. Do I do it now…. For the old reviews?

Bailey » Puneet
Can't see why not

Hi Puneeta, definitely respond to them.
I once responded to 30 in a row and it didn't flag anything.
If you want to be super cautious do it randomly over the next couple of weeks.
I've found over the years that if there's something that Google wants you to fill in or they specifically ask you for an action then it's beneficial to do.
Just because something isn't a ranking factor today, doesn't mean it may become one down the road so it's always good to keep on top of it.
Keep it simple, stay active in your profile and give the customer what they want and you'll be fine.
All the best.

Puneet ✍️ » Ross

Yes it makes a difference. It keeps your listing active and encourages engagement. Yes you can sprinkle in some keywords in your reply however; it's more powerful when the reviewer uses such keywords. There is also a second benefit of replying now…. I believe that your initial concern was about replying so late (7 years). Whenever you reply the reviewer get a notification of your response. This could be a good opportunity to invite them to come back and see you again.


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