For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound linking strategies. This is going to have to change. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. The algorithm has been altered 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 (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 centered 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.
Placing reciprocal links within an article will improve your ranking?
Not if you live in the present. Reciprocal links, or also called trading links, used to be an ex-deal of inbound links among websites that may or may not belong to the same niche. Several years back, many SEO articles used to have a lot of reciprocal links just to strengthen their networks that used to be a criterion for ranking. Unfortunately, today, reciprocal links no longer give bearing unless they belong to websites that are closely related and relevant with each other.