Hi Jeremy, we are not talking about relevancy but total number of results. A search using inverted commas is obviously more restrictive and should ALWAYS return less results that a query without them. This was not the case when I posted the message. I have just run a test with 15 terms and it seems to make sense again...
By the way, if you want to get the number of sites that have both blue and widgets in the anchor text of links pointing to them I don't think that you have to do:
You should do:
inanchor is meant to be used in conjuction with other terms whereas allinanchor is meant to be used standing alone.
If you start your query with allinanchor:, Google restricts results to pages containing all query terms you specify in the anchor text on links to the page. For example, [ allinanchor: best museums sydney ] will return only pages in which the anchor text on links to the pages contain the words "best","museums" and "sydney".
Anchor text is the text on a page that is linked to another web page or a different place on the current page. When you click on anchor text, you will be taken to the page or place on the page to which it is linked. When using allinanchor: in your query, do not include any other search operators. The functionality of allinanchor: is also available through the Advanced Web Search page, under Occurrences.
If you include inanchor: in your query, Google will restrict the results to pages containing the query terms you specify in the anchor text or links to the page. For example, [ restaurants inanchor:gourmet ] will return pages in which the anchor text on links to the pages contain the word "gourmet" and the page contains the word "restaurants".