On January 26, 2016, Google streamed live one of their Google Webmaster hangouts. On this conversation at the 19 minute 53 second mark, Google said that "links from your site to other people’s sites isn’t specifically a ranking factor. But it can bring value to your content and that in turn can be relevant for us in search."
In addition, it was said that having a clear linking structure is important, because without it Google can’t properly crawl your site.
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