Google has recently delivered penalties for any “unnatural outbound links.” The penalty, issued by the Google manual actions team, is to control Google’s search results over sites that link to other sites. In the event you receive a penalty, it’s due to Google not trusting the quality of the links/websites.
The following was an e-mail sent to webmasters regarding this problem. It read as follows:
If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to the affected portions of your site. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches. Actions that affect only part of your site and/or some incoming links to your site are listed under Partial matches.
The actions Google listed to solve this outbound links problem is:
Log into your Google Search Console account and be sure to review all your messages to see if you have received this notification. For a more detailed overview of how to fix these outbound link penalties, please visit here to learn how to resolve this issue.
While it is still unknown if sites on the other side will also be penalized, linking to these sites will cost you.
There has been no official comment from Google regarding this issue thus far.