When you start a new business it is important to have an online presence specifically a website. When you have a website it can be a mission trying to rank higher in the search engine results like Google. One of the biggest factors in rating highly in Google is the number of inbound links your site is receiving.
Many sites engage in link exchanges, where you post a link to another site on your site and they do the same for you. While this can be beneficial in raising the number of inbound links to your site, it can sometimes actually do more harm than good.
Links placed on spammy sites with no relation to your site content and that have tons of seemingly random links unrelated to each other, will not be seen as favorable by Google.
While it can be tempting to increase the inbound links to your site when you are just starting and looking for every possible way to increase traffic, just beware that some actions can be more harmful than not.
Here is an example of an email I received today:
My name is Lois Carter, Web Marketing Consultant. I've greatly enjoyed looking through your site and I was wondering if you'd be interested in exchanging links with my website, which has a related subject. I can offer you a home page link back from my related websites all in google cache and backlinks which are:
brumbyst(dot) com PR 7
minorheronpress(dot) com PR 4
If you are interested, please send me the following details of your site:
I'll add your link as soon as possible, in the next 24 hours. As soon as it's ready, I'll send you a confirmation email along with the information (TITLE and URL) regarding my site to be placed at yours.
I hope you have a nice day and thank you for your time.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE SURE WE DON'T CONTACT YOU AGAIN, PLEASE FILL IN THE FOLLOWING FORM: emailsnomore(dot)com ; PLEASE ACCEPT OUR APOLOGIES FOR CONTACTING YOU
As you can see on those sites the sidebars are full of unrelated links, that's where your site will be. It's unlikely you will get any decent traffic from the site and it won't help your Google ranking, so best just to stay away really.
Just a little heads up.