Most SEO experts will tell you one of the best ways to rank highly in Google for your targeted keywords is to amass huge quantities of links to your site with your keywords as the anchor text. Something like this: Anchor Text Bullshit. I just moved up one slot in Google for a term nobody searches for-yea!
But using keyword anchor text links is total bullcrap and borderline spam. Yes it works to some extent but it’s the most unnatural “natural” links you can find. If you ever look in the comments of any of the make money online “gurus” (or any other sites on the web), you will find them just littered with other wannabe MMO bloggers putting every possible and improbable variation of the term “make money” as their anchor text. And it’s all a bunch of bull. It’s spam.
The real natural links to websites are not in the comments but in the articles themselves and the majority of writing this is legit copy (ie not written for search engines only *cough* squidoo *cough* article directories *cough* but for actual people) WILL NOT use a keyword but will use the SITE’S NAME as their anchor text. You know it, I know it, Matt Cutts knows it.
Think about it- if you were going to link to this article on your own SEO blog how would you do it? Odds are you would say something like “I read this article on Exposed SEO about anchor text lies” See what I did there? Other popular terms to use for the link would be things like “here”, “article”, “new post”, “interesting post”, etc. That is how a natural link happens most of the time.
Blogroll or sidebar links to other sites? Nobody in their right mind would link to a site using any text other than the site’s name unless they were getting paid for the links (or it’s another site owned by the same person as the site with the blogroll).
Now of course if your keywords are in your site title that’s a huge bonus for you because anyone who links to your site using the site’s title will be giving you extra keyword anchor text links. (and also why for example a name like Engadget is better than Gizmodo, it has gadget right in the title- yeah the other one has gizmo in the title but what the hell is a gizmo?)
But the big problem with keyword anchor text links is that they actually work to rank well in Google. This encourages comment spam, paid links, sploggers and others trying to take advantage of the system. People who build sites the old fashioned way, with quality original content, are getting screwed out of rankings by those who hire SEO firms to build keyword links for them.
It comes down to this: can Google differentiate between a true natural link and a “link-building” link with a keyword in the anchor text? Perhaps it’s some sort of factor in the SERPs but unfortunately at this time I don’t think Google really knows real from fake.