For many years the idea of reciprocal links has defined inbound marketing strategy. Due to changes in the Google algorithm this approach is no longer as valid as it once was. Changes mean that Google now discounts the exchange of links between two sites where the intent is to increase the amount of inbound links.
Google has repeatedly emphasized that it is quality content that should attract inbound links. Exchanging links is an attempt to ‘game’ the system. This approach which is in essence a ‘link scheme’ goes against the spirit of Google’s initial intent for reciprocal links. Promoting the content of another website in order to get more traffic to your own is something that Goggle frowns upon – to put it mildly.
Given the increasing sophistication of Google’s algorithms it is now likely that the search engine can spot three way link schemes. (when site number 1 links to site number 2 which links back to site number 1).
Even if the algorithm is not capable of doing this inbound strategy which uses reciprocal links is now recognized as a bad idea. Google will eventually punish this strategy and in any case it’s more or less a waste of time. Quality content is king – create content that enriches the Internet users experience of your niche and Google will reward your behavior.