Thanks Chuck... I was about to say the same thing. My business offers earthborn & handmade items. When using educated marketing techniques designed to achieve the highest return on my investment, it is not fruitful enough for me to do the work, or pay the cost of being listed on a site offering automotive parts. Sure, I would love to have my site on all websites throughout the web. But really, I have to think of the visitors also. If they see my site ad (links) everywhere, it won`t be long before my business is the butt of a joke.
So, when creating reciprocal links, I think you have to measure the audience about to view those links. It doesn`t do my business any good to have a visitor of the automotive parts site to `accidentally` click on my link. Only to have then leave once knowing they are not interested in buying earthborn & handmade products.
I think that`s why Google makes it a `crime` to be involved with link farms. Google is doing their best to provide accurate, informative, and directional results to searches of their visitors. If your page ranking raises due to unrelated content, the users of Google will use some other service. That`s not good for Google. Sure you might get away with it for a while, but when it catches up to you... It`s tough to overcome. Be careful out there.
Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
My band: Letters Make Words