How reciprocal linking works
The way reciprocal linking works most effectively is when you – with the agreement of another webmaster – place your link on his/her website and they in return will be permitted by you to list link(s) to their website on your site. It is a trade off. However, there have been quite a lot of controversy in recent years about these linking arrangements.
Do they work to help improve your page rank in search engines? Do they hurt your page rank? Should you bother investing in them? To answer these questions, you’ll need to take a moment and consider both sides of the equation. The bottom line, to most webmasters, is that they are capable of working for you.
Why they may not be good
When reciprocal links were first introduced, they were used as a trade off between one webmaster and another. If you were in the home decorating business, for example, it would be beneficial to work with and have a link to a company that provides windows. You both would benefit. When the webmasters did this, they found that their websites did in fact rank better. In fact, it worked so well that they went out and sought more and more of them.
Therein lies the problem. Instead of working with other website owners to develop a relationship and create reciprocal links that benefited both parties, many website developers found that they could buy these links instead.
Now, they did not have to go to the trouble of luring in those that they would like to have links from but they could just buy them. Okay, this is not so bad right? The problem was that people were buying and using thousands of reciprocal links on their website. This is completely unnatural and it just didn’t work well for them.
The search engine factor
The search engines soon became wise to this scheme of getting your website to rank well. They developed programs that would spot this problem and in fact people that used this large amount of reciprocal links, in this fashion, were ranked WORSE! They would spend top dollar to get these links from companies that were all too willing to sell them and would end up well back into the search pages.
Keeping these thoughts in mind, you need to consider wisely if you should in fact use reciprocal links for the websites that you put up. In most cases, if you take the time to work at getting reciprocal links from qualified webmasters instead of buying large amounts of them, you will improve your ability to secure a sound method for increasing your page rank. If you decide to purchase hundreds of them and slap them on your website quickly, you will face a worst case scenario of lowering your page rank.
Linking path of the least resistance
Keep in mind as well that one of the best ways to increase traffic to your web page with links is to use one way links. You can get these by using article directory sites. There may not be a sure-fire way to take a brand new site and get it as number one in the search engines, you can gain some movement upwards if you use links properly.