joost - 3:27 pm on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
Sure link exchange works. Maybe not in the way it used to, but still. Incoming links are incoming links, any which way you look at it.
Whether or not they will rank your site on the first page depends on what your competitors do. If they have thousands of relevant, high quality one-way inbound links, your link exchange directory approach may not be sufficient.
In your case, since your site has first page rankings, my advice is not to make radical changes. If it isnít broken, donít fix it, is my idea. Maybe clean up outgoing links to crappy sites, get a few new one-way inbound links, and maybe you can enjoy a few more years of first page ranking.
Maybe have a look at the inbound link patterns of your competitors. If those are way better then yours, prepare for future adjustments to prevent deteriorating rankings. But just donít get carried away.