First of all thank you SO much to people that have contributed on this particular forum. The information has been invaluable.
I'm finally taking the plunge on exchanging links with other sites. I used to think this was a waste of time but with engine changes and new viewpoints of what spam is.....well...you know.
It's taken a lot of work to develop, but I have a custom software program developed for me for managing directories from a centralized location. I have a staff of three contacting sites that are on target and useful to users for particular categories. I have told them NOT to worry about PR unless it's penalized, only worry about the info being useful.
We are doing this by hand, but our program will check for reciprocity.
I am removing most of the interlinking of my sites. I have a lot of free service sites that are fairly popular and also have one way links from universities, etc.
I guess my questions would be:
1) What pitfalls do I need to watch out for so I stay clean
2) How many reciprocal links are too many?
3) What percentage should links be between one way and reciprocal
4) What percentage would be ok to link to other sites I own, granted they are unique content and of interest to visitors.
FYI, because my directories are new, they don't have any PR yet. The main sites are all PR 4-7. Something to keep in mind if you get an e-mail from a directory that has no PR yet. They might just be new.
Thanks in advance for your input!