For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound linking strategies. This is has to change. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. The algorithm has been changed to identify the exchange of links by two parties for the purpose of increasing their number of inbound links.
The concept of reciprocal linking goes against the original intention of the algorithm set out by Google. Quality content should attract links. The exchange of links is nothing more than a mutual agreement to promote others’ content with the end goal of promoting your own. Google doesn’t particularly like this (see Link Schemes).
Some even claim that Google is now able to identify three-way linking schemes (i.e. website A links to website B, who links to website C, who links back to A). Whether this is true or not is hard to say. One thing is for certain though: inbound linking strategies should NOT be centred around reciprocal linking. This manufactured form of link creation is not well-received and is ultimately a waste of time. Instead, focus on creating unique, high-quality content in a given niche. The links will ensue.