Part of the SEO that I carry out on my own sites includes linking out to great resources and authority sites. I do this because it makes sense to do so for the visitor. The more you can help your visitor, the better your web page is, and that includes providing links out to great resources.
You may have heard that Google has started penalizing pages that link out to other sites. Don’t worry, they haven’t.
Earlier this year, Google DID manually penalize some sites for “unnatural” outbound links, so a lot of people have jumped to the wrong conclusions.
It seems that the penalties were actually given for outbound links that had been given in exchange for free products or services. So, a company contacts you and says have our product for free and all you need to do is add a link to our website, social page or somewhere else. Maybe they’ve asked you for a review which would naturally link to their sales page.
Essentially then, these are paid links and paid links are not tolerated by Google in any form.
The advice from Google is to use the nofollow attribute on your outbound links if they could be construed as being added for something in return. This also applies to affiliate links, but I think most people already use nofollow on those.
How to check if your site been penalized
Login to Google Search Console and check your messages. This was a manual action and Google will have notified you. If you have, clean up the links and submit a reconsideration request to Google.
Matt Cutts on Outbound Link Penalties
Here is a video of Matt Cutts discussing outbound links.
You may notice that this video is from 2013, so this is not a new penalty.