Due to some dramatic ranking changes for nearly half of my major keywords this month, I've decided to throw caution into the wind and finally attempt to link more naturally. Not that I hadn't varied my anchor text here and there, but more specifically when I've asked for a link, I would try to have them link to my site with a certain anchor text. This is easier said than done of course, but I started wondering if for example, if I asked a site to link to a particular inner page on my site that is a category specific to a product where my keyword density for that product is just enough to let the search engines like Google know this page features these products of this keyword, then perhaps letting a site link the way they want to would still be a valuable link to help your rankings for your main keyword. So regardless if a site links to you via "red widgets" and links to you by your product's URL or the actual product name of the specific red widget instead, will that essentially help you rank for "red widgets"?
I would prefer to attain backlinks in this fashion, which happens out of my control at times of course, but I'm wondering about its effectiveness in ranking? Thank you for any and all insights.
Re linking to specific product pages, make sure it's a product that will never be discontinued. Otherwise you'll have a useless link once that product is replaced with a new model. With non-evergreen content it's best to link to a higher level hub.