Linking out to other websites from your own website is not something that every webmaster practices, but doing this correctly will actually increase your authority in the search engines and make your website more useful to your readers. Considering your visitors primarily, if you lead them to other sites that contain additional information to the data you have presented, they will be much more likely to be happy with your site and list you as a resource or bookmark your page.
So what about the effects of outbound linking to your rank? Basically, for each search that a person does, the search engine positions all of the websites it has indexed by considering their content, inbound links and outbound links. Although the authority of a website is heavily affected by the first two criteria, the third affects the ranking as well. When search engines check your content and discover that you have linked to some pages with similar keywords to yours, then they will view your page as something that publishes content that is beneficial to the internet community.
But wouldn’t outbound linking increase the rank of the other site? Yes, it will, but you have to keep in mind that you are also increasing yours. By linking to other websites, you are earning the goodwill of other webmasters, which can be very beneficial. It increases the odds of that site linking back at you. Just remember to limit your connection to web pages that are trustworthy and have content that is relevant to yours.
Moreover, be very careful with the pages you get in touch with. Getting your website associated with spam pages in any way is very bad idea. Getting attached to these might cause you penalties in your search engines rankings or even get your website completely deindexed in some cases.
To protect yourself from these penalties, you need to be able to tell whether of not a website is considered spam. It used to be that spam websites were very easy to detect simply by looking at the content and the layout of the site, but spam page creators are getting to be more sophisticated with their ability to trick search engines and visitors. Thus, with spamming, the quality of the results in queries is questionable. In the cyber world, some websites do not care about their users being satisfied as long as their online business gets to be at the top of search results. That is the reason why the practice of spamming is still so widespread.