The overall understanding from the thread is that reciprocal links still work and work well. The issue comes up when you do it "excessively" where your links are coming from unrelated web sites and you are linking back to unrelated pages.
Senior member, Whitey is asking if there is a way to automate the reciprocal link request emails to see if they don't appear to be automated and excessive to Google.
Martinibuster, the moderator of the forum goes into the issue:
What has changed in the last five or six years is that excessive recips became a reason for scrutiny. Prior to 2005, there was a misconception that reciprocal linking was white hat- even though Google's webmaster guidelines did not state any such thing. The thinking was that as long as your linking is relevant then Google is going to love it, even if you recip with thousands of sites.
But let's be clear about recent history. There have been bannings of specific reciprocal link networks that crossed the line of "excessiveness." In general, I think it's a good policy to cycle through various link strategies so the backlink profile isn't heavy in any one kind of link.
As one member said, reciprocal links are unavoidable, in a sense.
What is your take?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.