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.