Squilookal - 4:50 pm on Jun 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
In your example indyank one could consider editorials that link using some sort of call to action like “buy widget” or “get widget” as great but only in moderation. These days I’d probably be happier with a higher percentage of links that are something like “there are some great widgets around at the moment, this site has a good selection” with “this site” being the anchor and hoping G can interpret the text wrapping it and the other elements on the page as providing the context.
Personally I think that anything that either is, or closely mimics natural/wider anchor text diversity is now much more important. Writers giving the genuine editorial links Google wants to use as a basis for ranking sites have a lot of ways of linking at their disposal and it is my belief that Google’s algo now puts greater weight in the overall context of the site and page the link is in rather than the anchor text. I think they have started to do this now because they’ve got better at the bigger picture interpretation than was once the case and anchor text was the “easy” and less resource intensive way of doing it.
To get the general weight of relevance concentrated more directly to our target keywords I still think keyword anchors are also necessary to guide Google but in a lower percentage than we would have aimed for in the past. I will probably be aiming for the 50% mark as an absolute max as I feel this is still below penalty levels but as realmaverick says, this is still unnaturally high. The sites that are doing best in the keyword space I monitor have a very low actual keyword anchor text proportion and most links have random anchors that come from highly relevant pages. In most cases these are still all paid links or from in house networks but they are just not hammering keyword anchor text so aggressively.