Time to share some good news to many of those who go after 'high quality' links, and bad news to shore who blast spam. This is a little something I picked up after a good bit of testing, which I welcome you to try for yourself. It started with a hypothesis. This was a simple test I did. Take two properties targeting two easy competition KWs. Put one with an anchor text, and one without. My theory was simple, anchor text does not matter. At least not how you think it does. These two alike properties were designed to point to a KW and see if both improved a KW equally. For my test I used a Web 2.0 on .Edu platforms. I then added the same amount of links pointing to each .Edu property. Shocking result, they both worked. The differences were not great. Both of the properties improved my target KW. The theory took a turn when I tried to replicate the test, but with crap content. The crap content was then pumped up by links without anchor text. Same as before. This time, the crap content property without anchor text did not help me much. I rinsed and repeated this process and rather than point naked URLs to my tier one properties, I used anchor text I wanted my money site to rank for. In this case, both posts with crap content improved my ranking. I recycled the process again on different KWs. The findings were the same in each test. So what does this all mean? Anchor Text Does Not Matter - Sometimes So my testing showed me something which will benefit newbies who have not done the testing themselves. 1. Google can figure out what your content is about - if your content is not shit. Contextually, google can figure out what your text is about if your text is of good quality. If it is easy to read, is key word or LSI rich, and is what most consider 'high quality', the Google algo can figure out your naked URL within your text about 'Best dolphin food' is really targeting 'dolphin food' without using an anchor text. 2. If you build links to your naked URL, google will figure out your naked URL is about the same thing. If you have 10 Blog Comments pointing to your site which are obviously not contextual, how does google know they are supposed to help your site about 'dolphin food'? Without stating the obvious, that because your site is about 'dolphin food' if you build links to the blog comment which do contain anchor text which is about 'dolphin food' google will figure out that your blog comment is about 'dolphin food.' What about other anchors? The only other anchor I will talk about specifically is 'branded' anchors. For example, if I want to link to blackhatworld.com, I would simply use Black Hat World as my anchor text. When testing many anchors I found that the same principle applied. Contextually or based on links pointing to the link Google would figure things out. I wanted to talk about 'branded anchors' because I found two camps on this subject: 1. Branded anchors are superior. 2. Branded anchors are pointless. What have I found? That it does not matter much either way. As in, branded anchors were not superior to naked url, or generic, or any other anchor you may used aside from exact match. My point of this section is, you should use branded anchor text. Most websites that mentioned wikipedia do not link link to https://www.wikipedia.org/ or Keyboard Cat, but link to wikipedia as Wikipedia. This is about doing what real websites do. Think less, not more. Drawing your own conclusion. Do not take my word for it. Test this yourself. If you have quality content which is easy to understand what the post is actually about then Google can figure it out. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less. I am only posting about this brief subject because I get a lot of questions about 'what links should I use my exact match anchor text on' a couple times a week and it drives me crazy. Do some testing yourself, draw your own conclusion for what works and what does not. Anchor text is one of the most straight forward things in SEO to test and figure out. So give it a spin.