SEO professionals appear to be united in their condemnation of reciprocal links as a worthwhile SEO tactic. It is alleged that search engines are seeking to penalize the rankings of sites that engage in the oldest traffic generating toll in the tool box.
I think that this opinion is way off the mark and that reciprocal links can be good for your site.
For example, take a lowly blog like the Enjoy Fly Fishing site. The traffic levels are likely to be unremarkable. The site is hardly bursting with quality content and the brand awareness of this is a big fat zero! If this blog was able to get some good quality reciprocal links from established angling websites for publishers and retailers this would be likely to increase traffic, particularly from website owners with similar properties. Some good unique content may encourage the audience driven to the site by reciprocal links to even set up one way links.
The phrase ‘sprat to catch a mackrel’ springs to mind.
Alternatively, the site could resist reciprocal linking and continue to stagnate forever.
On a more extreme note: Could a credible web marketer turn down a reciprocal link with the BBC or the public sector?