Most savvy SEO professionals understand that Google frowns upon blatant reciprocal linking. This is viewed as an attempt to manipulate their rankings. Before 2007, this was a popular practice, and many websites had a page called “Link Partners”, or something similar.
For example, a real estate brokerage would like their site to other real estate brokers, who would then link back. The idea was to gather as many of these type “relationships” as possible in an attempt to boost Google rankings. It worked, until Google grew weary of people manipulating the system. Google makes a change to their formula AT LEAST once a day according to information released from Matt Cutts, Google Chief of AntiSpam.
Obviously businesses in the same field will do business with each other, and some amount of valid reciprocal linking is OK. While no one knows the cut-off number that triggers penalties from Google, suffice to say, it is best to only do reciprocal linking with true partners on a selective basis. Media Mash has never recommended reciprocal linking to our clients, and strongly caution against employing this method.
A much more powerful and “safe” approach to linking is to build a blog and write regular posts on a variety of thematically related topics to your website. Our team at Media Mash can provide consulting to guide you in the right direction and help empower you to search engine success.