My niche is primarily destination guides and the sites are basically informational. Like many folks I have seen my previously well regarded white hat sites slaughtered by Penguin and I am at a loss to understand why. Sound familiar?
One thing my sites have in common is outbound links to authority sites to supplement my own extensive on-page content and thereby deliver a better user experience. That has been a cornerstone of quality sites as far as I know since the earliest days of the web.
One of the resources I frequently link to are Wiki pages (Wikitravel and Wikipedia) and I have recently been wondering if I might be (metaphorically) shooting myself in the foot by doing this.
It would not surprise me if Google thinks "How can a site be providing quality, unique content and be an authority in it's niche if it needs to send viewers to Wiki to get information?"
Hence the topic subject "Can Lots Of Wiki Links Hurt A Site?"
Am I becoming paranoid?
To add some context to "lots"... on a site of approximately 150 pages with an average of about 1500-2000 words per page, there would be around 25-30 Wiki links scattered across the site.
I haven't heard anything about links to wikipedia hurting a site.
But I wonder how much they help your visitors?
Maybe instead of linking to wikipedia, it would be a good idea to find the site that the wikipedia article references. I say that partly to help out other webmasters, because if you link to a wikipedia page, that page rank doesn't get flowed to the external pages that wikipedia links to since wikipedia uses nofollow links.
also, I think you people will see you as more of an authority if you link to the direct source instead of the wikipedia page.
for example, if someone were searching for SE information, they would probably expect your page to link to page from Matt Cutts or Hone Mueller or webmasterworld than to wikipedia pages.