I thought I read a while back that Google search rankings penalize pages with many links that go offsite. I believe the logic was that the content is deemed poor or less original if many links are found leading elsewhere.
So I implemented a system where all external links are replaced with an internal one with the link store in a database. A click to the internal link calls redirect.php which gets the link from the db and forwards the user off site. I don't send any headers with the redirect. The site is forum-like and can have posts from users, although most of the content is from me.
Now, years later, I know I was naive & inexperienced and now I am trying to really understand the impacts and do it the best way.
What is the impact of having anywhere from zero to a hundred (average 10) offsite links per page where quality of links can vary?
What is the SEO impact of having all links redirect in the way I've implemented it?
I've read all the links which come up regarding this, but I haven't found a clear answer.
Thanks in advance.