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Reciprocal Links - Be Selective

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You give me a link on your page, I'll give you a link on my page.
Sounds good. Sounds fair. Whether or not it is, depends. As always, the trick is linking to sites which share similar keywords (content) and also have more traffic than what you have. And when I say more traffic I mean considerably more traffic.

If you link to "lessor" sites, that is, if you grant an outbound link to sites not having more traffic than yours, it can actually hurt you in the search engines. It is all about popularity of the sites. We all get people who want to link with us because they know it will help them. My recommendation is to be extremely selective in linking to sites having less traffic than yours.

If you want to help a local fishing guide or similar, that is fine. Just don't get carried away thinking that just because you have all these links it is going to automatically help you in the search engines. Again, time for the broken record: It is not about Quantity, but about Quality.

The good news is that very few people actually click those outbound links on your site. You don't have to worry too much about losing your readership that way. But you do have to worry about slipping in the popularity race. It  may, or may not happen. But as long as the risk is there don't grant a whole lot of outbound links