Are outbound links a signal of quality? Is this one of the over 200 signals used by Google to rank a web page? How big of a factor can it actually be?
Before you suggest that outbound links are not a factor, consider that you can get penalized for linking to what has been referred to as “bad neighborhoods” on the web.
If you can link to the wrong sites and get penalized for it, why wouldn’t you be rewarded for linking to the right sites?
Citing authority sites in your articles, blog posts or content contribute to your credibility, assists your readers and can help to establish your own site as an authority on a subject and may very well invite inbound links and citations from other sites. Sound far fetched? Google doesn’t think so.