CainIV - 12:09 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)
Is it possible that current spam-fighting parts of the algo (like detecting paid links, etc.) already knock out the sites gaming the anchor text?
My sense is that if Google was to discount that metric, then all other metrics above would be needed in the absence of link anchors in order to determine properly, at least at this time, accurate value of a link.
Over optimized anchor text [ internal and external ] is probably an irritant to Google and it's quality guidelines, since it is not natural linking.
Definitely agree. We have no real idea as to whether this applies to internal or external links, or all, seeing as they are both treated differently.
From what I gather part of Google's quest in link determination over the last few years has been about handing out less penalties and more about skipping, or discounting links that look to be trying to game the system.
Removing anchor text would only leave relevance and page quality / authority, and (perhaps soon) socials signals like authorship and community (which would likely de-clutter the data Google needs to save (in order to make room for more social signal analysis?).
It would further allow Google to not penalize pages that over optimize inbound anchors, since that would no longer be a factor in rankings.
Instead, those sites would simply not rank well anymore. or gradually fall off the map.
Just a theory :)