For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound connection strategies. This will have to change. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. The algorithm has been modified to identify the exchange of links between two parties in order to increase the number of incoming connections.
The concept of reciprocal linking challenges Google’s original intention with the algorithm. Quality content should attract links. The exchange of links is nothing more than a mutual agreement to promote the content of others in an unjustified way with the ultimate goal of promoting one’s own. Google doesn’t particularly like it (see link diagrams).
Some even claim that Google can now identify three-way connection patterns (ie, links from website A to website B, which refer to website C, which refers to A). It is difficult to say whether this is true or not. However, one thing is certain: inbound connection strategies should NOT focus on reciprocal linking. This invented form of link creation is not well received and is ultimately a waste of time. Instead, focus on creating unique and high quality content in a given niche. The links will follow.