This week in a tweet, Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller addressed a user's question about SEO: "Do you really lose anything if you link to a low DR [Domain Rating] website?"
Mr. Mueller's answer was:
"One way to think about this is to consider the ultimate goal: provide relevant information. Does a link to a "lesser" website make a result less relevant? Do links on Wikipedia make it less useful? Not at all. (As an aside, no search engine uses DR/DA/PA/etc)"
If you want to tell Google that you don't vouch for the content of a page to which you're linking, you have your choice of 3 relationship attributes that you can include in the code of the link:
- rel="nofollow" which Google will now take as a "hint" that you disclaim responsibility for the linked content
- rel="sponsored" to identify links for which you have been paid
- rel="ugc" to identify user-generated content like forum posts or comments on a blog
But really: why would you want to link to a page that has content for which you're unwilling to vouch?
Keep in mind Google's Mission Statement, some key points of which are:
- Deliver the most relevant and reliable information available
- Maximize access to information
- Present information in the most useful way
- Protect [users'] privacy
The litmus test for linking to content of others should be: Does that content help users get the information they're looking for?