SEO beginner here. I'm trying to build more backlinks without spending much, so I'm thinking of reciprocal links, where I would submit my site to some localised business directories with fairly decent page ranks ( 3-4 ). These directories claim to offer a free listing in exchange for a link to them on my website. Presently, my page rank is still quite dismal.
On my website then, I'll create a page where I can stick links back to those directories. Of course, I don't want these to be prominent, but I won't intentionally hide them either.
I've read many people advising against these exchange links, both because search engines may not like that, plus the face that the value of the inbound links become much less. I would to know if this is true, and if I should bother doing this link thing at all?