Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 22.214.171.124
My Google back links: 19 and Yahoo back links: 271
This drop would not necessarily show up on the simplified toolbar display with only goes 0 to 10. And so, again according to this original math, removing those external links "should" circulate more PR within your own site.
However, that is the original forumla, and Google has definitely changed the original formula - one recent change was just in January of this year.
Google has not told us the exact details of the change, but a lot of people are speculating that there is now a factor that looks at the domain as a whole, and not just page-by-page. The original patent did not talk about domains at all.
In practice, I've never been able to pin down a poor effect on PR from using external links, or a good effect from removing them. And I can only assume that all the talk in past years about "bleeding PageRank through external links" was not a happy thing for Google, either. I'm sure that they would not want their algorithms to cause people to make the web a less useful resource because people are trying to hoard PageRank.
I did an experiment on one of my throw away sites several months ago. I either deleted all outbounds or used robots.txt or the nofollow tag. I left it that way for a month and a half to see how it would affect the SERPs and PR. I saw no change in toolbar PR. The site actually lost a couple of positions in the SERPs for about 20% of the search words/phrases.
Now granted, there were not any big changes and I cannot attribute the drop to the killing of the outbounds specifically, but there were no other changes made to the site during this period. The site had several thousand outbounds from a directory and some highly trusted outbounds from the homepage and several other pages. There were also many outbounds in a forum... I really don't know how many.
Just another one of those grand experiments ;-)
In my experience outlinks on you own page definitely help boost you a few places for the term in the anchor text in the following circumstances.
1. Your site already ranks in the top 20 for that term.
2. The site that you are pointing to is in the top 5 for that term and for other closely related terms. Whenever I've put a link to a top site it has always had the term in its title and has been semantically rich around the term elsewhere on the page
It may also work in other circumstances but this has always worked for me. I personally think that it has something to do with semantic webs.