tedster - 2:19 am on Jun 25, 2012 (gmt 0)
I'm saying I'm very relaxed about creating any kind of signals. I don't always avoid exact matches, but I don't intentionally create them either. Instead, I consider the context and purpose of the link and how the anchor text will read to the visitor.
My purpose for any link is to get the visitor to click, so I write anchor text (and surrounding text) to entice that click - to make it as attractive. Similarly, I know that the title element of a page is likely to appear in the search results. So I consider how attractive the title will be be in that very different context - different because it is competitive whereas on-page is all my site.
The whole thing is much more artful than it is rigidly technical, and I trust search engines today to wrap ALL the relevance signals they can find into one ranking decision. That's why I include "surrounding text" in my writing decisions. The surrounding text is also part of the link's influence on the target page - and it is clearly important to lead the visitor into clicking, too.
It's been years since we needed to scream our keywords at the top of our lungs just to make the point.