In Terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing take into consideration a broad variety of factors when ranking sites. One of these factors is a site's outbound links (OL). Though, outbound links are possibly one of the smaller elements that factor into how a site is ranked in search engine listings (the big ones being inbound links and tags). Nevertheless, they do seem to makes some difference. Having OLs to quality sites appears to really help your search engine ranking. But, if your site has too many OLs, search engines may actually frown upon it. Depending on what else you are doing to optimize your site, though, this may or may not actually matter.
A few good, general tips to follow in terms of managing your OLs include, keeping your links relevant (that is link to site's your visitors might find useful/interesting); try not to have too many OLs; try to link to high-ranking sites (again, though, keep these relevant, don't just do it as they are high-ranking sites); also use good keywords in the link's anchor text.
In Terms of Visitor Satisfaction
When it comes to handling OLs on your website, it is more important to keep your readers in mind than it is to cater to search engines. When deciding which or how various OLs to include on your website, think about your readers first. Would they find this link helpful or interesting? Keep in mind that the goal should always be to make your website into a valuable resource that will maintain visitors coming back.
Other Benefits of Outbound Links
Outbound links can be a good way to establish good relationship with other bloggers and webmasters who are involved in the same industry like you. You will be sending traffic from your website to a well established industry website can be a good way to get on their radar or open up a discussion with them. Having quality OLs is also good ways of showing your visitors that you know your niche fine.
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