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ranked by importance IMHO
1. When you link to someone, the leak of link juice counterbalances the benefit of the link juice you gain.
2. Reciprocal links generally come from resource pages with so many links on them that the link juice passed is low
3. Google recognizes reciprocal links and devalues the links above and beyond the effects of 1 and 2 above.
It is proven that there is a significant penalty for reciprocal linking between websites owned by the same entity but, I would be curious to know if anyone can comment on number 3 assuming reciprocal links come from websites owned by entirely different entities.
To tease out the importance of this factor, you could apply no follow to the reciprocal links on your resources page and look for a boost...
Your thoughts? Have I left out some important factors? How do you get the most out of reciprocal linking?
It is proven that there is a significant penalty for reciprocal linking between websites owned by the same entity
Only for "excessive" and "manipulative" cross-linking. Mostly the links just see their effect dampened/
Google recognizes reciprocal links and devalues the links above and beyond the effects of 1 and 2 above.
I would add "above a certain threshold." But I would not get crazy trying to measure that threshold. Rather I would focus on attracting a wide spectrum of backlinks to create a healthy backlink profile. I even have some suspicion that the threshold for reciprocal links may go up as the rest of the profile fills out. But even if I'm not correct on that, you're still not doing any harm by creating enough value on the site that you get more natural, editorially given backlinks.