A blogroll is a collection of links to other sites. It's usually found on the main page of a blog, and supposedly represents content the blog author likes and wants to recommend to you. At some blogs, that's exactly what it is, but at others, the blogroll is just a form of link exchange with other blogs, and thus is of dubious value to anyone.
There is absolutely no point in exchanging links just for the sake of exchanging links. If your blogroll is hundreds of random links that are in the list only because they agreed to place you in their equally pointless list, neither of you gain anything. Search engines aren't going to care, and in fact if you do too much promiscuous linking of no value, you may even be downgraded as you start to look more like a link farm than a real blog.
If I link to someone, it's because I found something interesting or important. I don't care if they link back to me; in fact I don't want them to link to me unless they found something on my site that was important to them. I don't exchange links, ever. If you want to make me aware of something at your site related to one of my blogs, I'll look at it, and if it is of interest, and has relevance, sure, I'll throw up a link. Otherwise, no. For example, if you have a site about blogging, I'd mention it here. If it's Unix or Linux, I'd put it at aplawrence.com and so on. But if it's politics, I'll decline, because right now I don't have a political blog.
Don't be indiscriminate in your linking. Link to sites that are related to your blog and that have value only.
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