We typically only use recipricol links especially on the smaller sites which do not generate a lot of traffic. However, when we do promotions for larger corporations or companies, we'll typically set-up a one-way link for that specific company and provide them with 'traffic' reports, etc.
Many people agree that backlinks (related to your field) are the single most important element to getting a better SE ranking. You can do the following query in Yahoo site:www. competitors page name .com/ (don't include spaces) to check backlinks for competitors' sites. I know that the google #1 position for my most important page is held by another competitor's page that has over 20,000 backlinks!
I think you will find that everyone has an opinion on this, but no one can definitively say what best SEO tips are. In regards to link building, I try to keep it simple. The more the merrier. If you can only get some one way links to you site, then do it. If you can build reciprocal links as well, then do that too.
At the end of the day, any link must be a positive for your site, cause hey, someone might click on it too at some point!.
Any link, anywhere... like links in signatures and so forth.... hahahahah.
All links are not equal. The reputation of the site from which the link comes matters greatly. If most of your links are from sites that the search engines consider to be low reputation sites, it can hurt you. You're better off having fewer links from reputable sites.
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