Link building is the most important factor in terms of SEO and Google PR factor also heavily rely on link building. However link exchange is useful for webmasters but it also leads to some bad factor if we don't follow the proper guidelines. So I'm come up with an article on how to make the most of link exchange scheme.
Mostly site owners believe in direct link exchange like making a section on menu bar named "Our Partners, Blog Roll" etc and linking all partner sites here. But in reality it does not make any sense and doing it means you're violating the Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Google have written in clear words in "Link Scheme" content guidelines that some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results.
The only best way to make the most of link exchange scheme is to ask your partner webmaster to write an article or include your site link on any relevant place of his/her site and the reverse process for you too. It's the genuine way to link exchange with your partner site and for Google, quality and relevance of links which are pointing towards your site matters, not only the number of links.
Link exchange also have disadvantages of potentially distracting visitors away to other sites before they have fully explored your site that the original link was on while webmaster think it would help in driving more traffic to their sites.
You can check out the Google "Link Schemes"content Guidelines from here.
So I recommend not to involved in direct link exchange and in reality it makes bad impression of sites.