I’m not a huge fan of reciprocal linking, and many recent forum posts and blogs have claimed that reciprocal linking (exchanging links) is a thing of the past. While I’d like to think that’s true, it doesn’t appear to be the case.
For one client’s competitor’s website in particular I have seen dramatic increases in ranking due solely to reciprocal linking. Having monitored their link progression over the past few months using link diagnosis, I am certain that they are obtaining most if not all their links from reciprocal links. These reciprocals all have relevant anchor text and most of them appear on the homepage of the reciprocating site.
It should be noted that the reciprocals are from homepage to homepage and, while the links at the bottom of the competitor’s homepage look like complete crap, they seem to be effective. I can only imagine that they are proposing link exchanges with other companies in the industry (they are a limo company) and promising a homepage link.
While I only offer link exchanges as a last resort, this is certainly something to consider, and it looks like link exchanges haven’t quite become obsolete.