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sarmcl

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Hi there

So we had to reclaim all of our clients listings. Very long story but their previous vendor deleted their locations. Because of this, they lost all of their review responses.

The question came up---how far back should they go to re-respond to the reviews? Some of these reviews are from 5 years ago.

Thank you!
 
Great question! We normally deal with this type of question when we first take over a campaign for a client and our default has always been no more than 3 months. Usually, if it's older than a month, we might even hesitate. Remember, those past clients are going to get notified of the review update too, and sometimes, depending on the industry, they may not be as happy today as they were last year.
 
Great question! We normally deal with this type of question when we first take over a campaign for a client and our default has always been no more than 3 months. Usually, if it's older than a month, we might even hesitate. Remember, those past clients are going to get notified of the review update too, and sometimes, depending on the industry, they may not be as happy today as they were last year.

That's horrible advice.

Respond to every review.
Might some of the previous reviewers have decided to change their life goals and by extension, be full of hate? So what?

Google isn't interested in a business providing psychiatric advice, unless their in the psychiatric field.
 
Jeez, tough crowd here, haha. I'd land somewhere in between the above responses and respond to all the *negative* reviews going back as long as possible.

Why? The primary audience for these responses is not Google. It's potential customers who want to see that the business is responsive to problems.

They care a lot less about seeing responses to positive reviews ✌️
 
Great question! We normally deal with this type of question when we first take over a campaign for a client and our default has always been no more than 3 months. Usually, if it's older than a month, we might even hesitate. Remember, those past clients are going to get notified of the review update too, and sometimes, depending on the industry, they may not be as happy today as they were last year.

I agree with this. Going back too far can open you up to various negative reputation implications, in addition to reminding people the business wasn't paying attention at the time their review was left, which can make responses feel desperate to angry reviewers. They don't care who was in charge at the time or what has changed. Pick up a few months back and focus on a great review strategy for moving forward. Spend the extra time formulating a review request AND response strategy for all reviews -not just negative.

Responding to all historic negative reviews is not something I'd recommend, as you're floating all of those bad reviews back up to the top.
 
As @Conor Treacy and @ErinJones, we typically don't suggest replying to reviews older than 3 months. However it has more to do with best use of time than anything else. The more reviews a business has, the less important/impactful older reviews have on prospective customers, Search Engine Journal study: 85% of Consumers Think Local Reviews Older Than 3 Months Aren't Relevant

Like Erin said, we typically tell our new clients to focus on replying to reviews starting at 3 months old and going forward.
 
That's horrible advice.

Respond to every review.
Might some of the previous reviewers have decided to change their life goals and by extension, be full of hate? So what?

Google isn't interested in a business providing psychiatric advice, unless their in the psychiatric field.

I agree, your reply was aggressive.
 
Echoing Jon's message above, the responses are primarily for potential customers reading the reviews and responses going forward.

Our advice has been to limit the look back period for reviews to some reasonable time (given the business vertical) unless the business has made tangible changes to address the review. If the complaint was about a lost reservation last year and you've added a new reservation system or process, the new response shares to potential customers that this issue won't effect you - and shares with the old customers that you have acted on their issue.
 
How many users are really looking back far enough to justify the time spent. If you are trying to let old customers know that you are under new management or like @Henry LocalClarity pointed out that you have a new system in place then maybe. I would focus on the top 5 most relevant reviews since they appear on top and never really recommend that my clients go past 2 months. The number of recent reviews also play a factor.
 

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