Dan01 - 12:56 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0) [edited by: Dan01 at 1:23 am (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]
outgoing links (no matter if follow or not) to content that contains large parts of your copy could connect you to a "less important" evaluation (penalty would be too much) farm aspect.
A while back I read about how the big sites don't link to the small guys. I think it was Danny Sullivan that said he was referenced by a NY Times article but they said "One report suggested" (or something like that). No links.
The bottom line is: they were worried that sites would be afraid to link to anyone and that would basically kill the Internet. What would the net be without links?
Mad Scientist - I think you are right - linking to a low grade site can drag down your site (I think that is what you were saying).
Here is some speculation - let's say you take a paragraph from a source and then link to it. Now the SE may look at you as less important as the site you are linking too.
When I put up articles on other sites (I rarely did that) linking to my site, I would also include a link to a government site as a source. I doubt Google would downgrade a site for linking to a site to .gov.
[edited by: Dan01 at 1:23 am (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]