Dirk, I detect a little bias in your post since much of what you do
is now under scrutiny from Google. You sound like you think these
pages with 100's of "reciprocated links" should be valued as highly
as sites that actually take the time to categorize them carefully
and embed them in content that is relevent. Sorry, IMO,
directories of/and/or link pages aren't as good and don't take full
advatage of the HUB factor. Most would not be included if they
weren't reciprocated. In many cases these link pages are hidden
from public view but made easy for spiders to find.
Google IMO, is returning PR to what it used to be, a measure of
a page or sites importance not a measure of how well the site has
been promoted. Of course this isn't very good for your business
because link popularity from reciprocated links is being weighted
differently. Notice I didn't say penalized! They aren't penalizing
anyone, Google is simply weighting reciprocated links differently.
Sites with lots of unreciprocated links don't suffer as much. I
wonder if it has to do with the links being a "real vote" for the
content rather than a "favour or scheme" for linking to a site.
When the first recommendation for higher positions is reciprocal
links or when you promote reciprocal linking as an SEO strategy
then it doesn't take the sharpest tool in the shed to figure out
things would change, **they always do** and they finally
appear to be addressing this scheme/issue. I for one will be
very happy when it sinks in with people and I cease
getting useless requests from sites only those running a "link scheme"
would link to. Thank you, but I find my own content to link to
and I couldn't care less if they were PR0 or if they link back
because this is done for users not SEO!
Next, if Google would do the same with web design and SEOs linking
to clients or vice versa they will have removed a lot of inflated
link popularity and truly returned to PR being what it is supposed