Planet13 - 5:29 pm on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
...they tend to come with a huge variation of anchor text...
good point. when I look at the natural (unsolicited) links pointing to my site, most of the anchor text is similar to this:
domainname (without the www or the .com)
Click Here to visit
I really like these widgets
I wish someone would buy me these widgets
And, of course,
these are the ugliest widgets I have ever seen
I have no doubt that exact match anchor text is one of the quickest ways to get your site to rank well. Thus, I also have no doubt that google is keenly aware of that.
the only thing is, bouncing SERPs sounds more like an Algorithm issue than a penalty issue to me, but I (luckily) don't have any experience with penalties, so I can't really give any insight.