Do link exchanges work? You bet they do. You will find countless posts in webmaster online forums explaining how exchanging links increases your link popularity, your Page Rank with Google, and your search engine rankings in general. However, I say forget all that. The best reason to do link exchanges is to get the actual traffic that each link will generate.
Suppose you get 1000 people to link to you who each generate just ten visitors per month. That is an additional 10,000 free visitors to your site per month. You do not even need to be listed in the search engines! You have automatic traffic coming in from other sites even if you are nowhere to be found on the search engines. Try multiplying the above numbers by ten and the figures get really interesting!
The key is not to just exchange links with any site. You should look to exchange links which offer similar content to yours. This is just common sense. If you are going to get an additional 10,000 visitors to your site each month they should be targeted visitors. They should be visitors who are already interested in your area.
What about SEO, search engine optimization? Forget about it! The search engines are changing their rules constantly. It is almost impossible to “trick” them. Even if you succeed for awhile eventually they catch on and your site could get banned. So I say just concentrate on getting releavant links to your site. What the search engines are looking for anyway is relevant content and relevant links. So don’t try to trick them. Just give them the real deal! This is how by not concentrating on SEO you will have what all SEO experts are shooting for. Plus, even if you are not listed right away in the search engines you will be getting real free targeted traffic from relevant sites. The SEO will take care of itself.