|PR dropped to 0. What does it mean?|
I have 2 forum websites on the same theme that are very well positioned in Google for the main keywords of the market they are about.
Recently, I wanted to strengthen one of the sites by using the other, and I followed 2 strategies:
1) I modified some of the messages in forum #1 and linked one word (only one and always the same, which happens to be the most important keyword for that market) to forum #2. I did this in 10 messages or so.
2) I exchanged links with some other websites that are important on that market, requesting them to link to site #2, in exchange of a link from site #1 (triangular link, not reciprocal)
I've now discovered PR for both sites has been changed to 0. It was 3 before. Rankings are the same they were.
Considering that scenario, I have the following questions.
1) Do you think the PR change is a penalization from Google?
2) Do you think it will be followed by a ranking penalization?
3) Is any of the actions mentioned above forbidden by Google?
4) Has somebody experienced a similar issue. How did you solve it?
I would be very grateful if you could through some light into this. I'm totally lost at this point.
|...triangular link, not reciprocal... |
Let's clear up a misconception, before anything else. Triangular links are reciprocal. They are exactly the same as a two way link scheme but involve a third party. There is a pattern of reciprocation that emerges.
|PR dropped to 0... Rankings are the same they were. |
First off, what the toolbar shows and what the REAL PageRank is, are two different things. Zero on the toolbar does not necessarily mean the sites PR is really zero.
The toolbar is sometimes used to influence the way webmasters promote their sites. For instance, the toolbar goes to zero on pages with lots of outbound links and not much content. This is to discourage the commerce of links on directories. The toolbar goes zero on Links Pages. This is to discourage the practice of link exchanging. That last one really shook the community up a few years ago, sometime after Update Florida as I recall. 2003? Anyway, I remember that even corporate partner pages on sites as white hat as IBM.com were showing PR zero. That was back in the heyday of directories and recips. There were some guys who were sending out thousands of emails per month, all automated, building reciprocal link relationships across scores of thousands of websites. I knew guys who were selling packages of 10,000 links, 20,000 links per month, etc. It was crazy. So Google tweaked the toolbar, apparently for the purpose of influencing where and how webmasters get their links. I really don't know why this is not more well known.
Quite possibly you crossed a line with your reciprocal linking or quite possibly it's a glitch. Triangular linking is stupid to begin with so I would suggest undoing that and engaging in a straight link swap or nothing at all. Then try to get links from solid websites that are about your niche. But do NOT, DO NOT, use the toolbar as a metric for judging the quality of the site. You're going to overlook the best links.
Thanks for the reply
If it depended just on me, I would completely dismiss PR and would only consider rankings.
However, there are still many webmasters that avoid linking to a site with PR0.
In that sense, I feel the recent drop of PR on my sites hurts me big time, as it limits my capacity to obtain new links.
Furthermore, the PR drop affects all the websites pages, not just the links pages.
I would appreciate if anybody who has gone through such a PR drop could tell me what he did in order to go back to normal situation.
Whether the page indicates a PR0 or a PR8, as long as it is ranking well, who cares?