A patent application filed by Yahoo provides hints as to how the search engine may deal with reciprocal linking in the future, according to Bill Slawski. The U.S. patent application No. 20090013033 identifies "excessively reciprocal links among Web entities." It discusses how Yahoo might look at those links between pages for reciprocal links and attempt to determine whether those links exist to manipulate search results, he explains.
Yahoo has combined this patent with several other filings. One patent uses "Exceptional Changes in Webgraph Snapshots Over Time For Internet Entity Marking," Slawski notes. The patent application continually looks for changes to identify suspicious activity. Another, "Link-Based Spam Detection," addresses links from sites the search engine has already identified as "suspicious." Slawkski analyzes each patent.