For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound linking strategies. Since, this has changed. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. Google alter the algorithm to identify the exchange of links by two parties for the purpose of increasing their number of inbound links.
The concept of reciprocal linking defies Google’s original intention with the algorithm. Quality content should attract links. The exchange of links is nothing more than a mutual agreement to unjustifiably promote others’ content with the end goal of promoting your own. Google doesn’t particularly like this.
Some even claim that Google can now 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 centered around reciprocal linking. Nobody receive this manufactured form well because it is ultimately a waste of time. Instead, focus on creating unique, high-quality content in a given niche. The links will ensue.