Robert_Charlton - 1:16 am on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google is to clever to just come out and say why link exchanges had to be wiped out...
It's not clear that they have been. I think that "moderation" is a good word to keep in mind, both in the number (and percentage) of exchanges you have, and in the amount of highly focused anchor text you get. I'd look at the number of duplicate anchors and site descriptions going in both directions as well... and at how natural or unnatural these links appear to be.
This thread addresses some of the questions being discussed, and though it's 4 years old, I assume it pretty much still applies....
Matt Cutts on Reciprocal Linking
Matt: Use your gut. Trading links is natural and it's natural to have reciprocal links. At some level, natural reciprocal links happen, but if you do it way too often, it looks artificial. My advice is to go with your gut and if you're worried, you can use nofollow.