sundaridevi - 4:21 pm on Nov 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Thanks for the examples. I did some research on this and found more or less what I was looking for; some credible stuff from 7 or 8 years ago. If it's true, then the outbound linking would fall into the underlying theory of google's algorithm as part of "authority sites". The idea being, to be an authority site, you need to link out to other sites. I've always thought that google manually identified authority sites (e.g. Yahoo.com as described in the original prototype), but this suggests that they may be algorithmically identified in some way. And it also suggests that "authority site" is not a boolean on/off, but that sites can have more or less authority. It also suggests that Panda may have "dialed up" the authority factor, allowing sites like wikipedia and about.com rank more highly post panda.
But again, if it's true, then as I understand it, not every site will be able to benefit by adding in some links to authority sites to complement its existing links. It's much more specific than that.