Reciprocal links do not guarantee link popularity or increase traffic unless they are links from high traffic web pages.
Reciprocal linking, like most other Internet marketing strategies has been hijacked by unethical and misguided individuals out to profit from the ignorance of webmasters who do not understand the search engines.
Originally, the idea of exchanging reciprocal links was designed to provide useful information to website visitors and profit from quality traffic to each other's sites. This helped the search engines determine the popularity and relevance of a website or web page.
It didn't take long for some companies to recognise the income possibilities of providing link exchange services under the guise and promise of increasing search engine traffic and the whole system was corrupted.
Exchanging reciprocal links with all and sundry became the order of the day, with web directories holding lists of thousands of unrelated links and companies plaguing the life out of busy hub sites to exchange links with their clients worthless websites.
Despite all the rubbish you will read on the Internet about exchanging links with other websites, it only needs a little commonsense to untangle the realities about reciprocal linking strategies.
These companies are investing fortunes in their online strategies and only a very na´ve business person would think they could compete without the backing of a major Internet business partner.
When you have a website that is receiving high levels of traffic and being seen in the top ten of the search engines, you will have a good flow of website owners either asking for a reciprocal link exchange or simply linking to your website. This is the only way to guarantee link popularity.