In search engine optimization we cannot get natural links from everyone. There are two remedies for this - buying links or adding reciprocal links. But buying links is a costly process. So we prefer going for reciprocal links.
When it comes to link building we should be careful not to link to bad neighborhoods. Linking to a bad neighborhood like link farms, FFAs, Redirect spam sites, etc. might hurt sites. Linking to such sites hurts both the positioning as well as the traffic of these sites. So it is better to be on the safer side and not to do any linking to bad neighborhood. Also check the status of the link often.
Have you seen the Google directory? Some sites on the bottom of the directory are without any Page Rank Most of these sites are in the penalized list by Google. So be careful when you go for link building tactics.