A lot of webmasters have been listening to Matt Cutts advice. He says focus on your content and the backlinks will come automatically. This is true for most websites but you really cant compete with the people who build their links and you need links to your website to rank well, otherwise you’re out of the competition.
So get to work and find people you want to trade links with. It’s good if you have at least 2 websites both with some Google Pagerank.
Do not trade links like this:
Your Website link to Friends Website.
Friends Website link to Your Website.
Google wont value those linktrades as much as other links.
You better trade links like this:
Your first website links to friends first site.
And your friends second website links to your second website.
A bit more advance than a regular linktrade but your sites will gain more link-value this way.
Remember to not take SEO advices from Google too seriously. They just want as relevant search results as possible, but you want the traffic, right? 😉