When you know you have a great website or product to offer you want the world to know about it too. You could spend a lot of money advertising but in the long run this may cost you more money than you make. Alternately, you could consider reciprocal links to other related websites. This could boost traffic to your website and the links will also increase your popularity with the search engines.
The advantages of reciprocal links outweigh the disadvantages for several reasons. When you link to another website it allows them traffic to click onto your website which increases your traffic.
When you use reciprocal links, their traffic can become your traffic and you do not face any advertising bills. Reciprocal links can be a great idea for those who are just starting out in their own business or website online and can not really afford to pay out a lot on advertising until they get more traffic to their site.
The main disadvantage of reciprocal links is that you share everything, including the customers. By placing links to other websites on your site, you are encouraging them to visit these other sites. So, while you may be getting increased traffic, you may experience reduced sales as visitors navigate away to other websites.
You may also need to watch out for reciprocal link scams. You may have seen emails from people requesting to exchange links to your website. Sometimes, these are legitimate, but often they are not and the link to your website may end up on a non-searchable site with a bunch of other links.
This brings us to the point that the value of reciprocal links depends very much on the site where your link appears. If it is on a popular website with plenty traffic and a good search engine ranking, then a reciprocal link is well worth it. However, a reciprocal link is worthless if it appears on some obscure website that receives few visitors.
If someone offers a reciprocal link to your website, make sure to check them out thoroughly to ensure that the link will genuinely be of benefit to your website and your business.
The benefits of reciprocal links for your website will depend very much on your own circumstances and the quality of links you can find. If you are just starting out and are receiving few visitors to your website, some good reciprocal links could help kick start your website. However, if you are already well-established there may be better advertising and marketing options available to you.