"Lose the focus on how much PR is showing on the toolbar. You will never get anywhere if the focus of your efforts revolve around the toolbar."
I'm having a hard time finding link swaps, but I believe it's because I'm being too picky. I tend to focus on the PR of a potential candidate. If it's too low, I don't bother. What happens if I swap links with a PR1 site that has content relevant to my website (PR4)? Will I be penalized in the SERP's? Or will the search engines recognize that I'm trying to provide my users with links to relevant content? Lots of sites in my niche are PR1 and PR2, so I'm a little hesitant to even try.
Next question: Let's say I run a website about "widgets". I decide to swap links with a site that is focused entirely on "blue widgets". They point the link on their site to a page that I have that talks all about "blue widgets". I place their link on a different page of my site that is devoted entirely to listing sites about "blue widgets" along with a short paragraph that describes what their website is about, their location, and other good information (like a directory listing). Is this considered a reciprocal link? They are pointing to one page, I am placing theirs on another.
"Focus on links that will help with ranking. Eliminate from consideration all links that will not help you with ranking."
So, how can I tell if a link will help with ranking? Is there some kind of short list or description about what to look for?
Thx in advance for your insight!