By now many of you would have read Search quality highlights: 50 changes for March from Google, and there is much speculation about the following two paragraphs:
Tweaks to handling of anchor text. [launch codename "PC"] This month we turned off a classifier related to anchor text (the visible text appearing in links). Our experimental data suggested that other methods of anchor processing had greater success, so turning off this component made our scoring cleaner and more robust.
Better interpretation and use of anchor text. We’ve improved systems we use to interpret and use anchor text, and determine how relevant a given anchor might be for a given query and website.
There are two things I take from this:
- Nowhere does it say that anchor text has been turned off
- Anchor text is still being used as a signal by Google as a signal in some way, just not in exactly the same way that they used it before
My advice would be to ignore the inevitable ‘anchor text is dead’ hysteria, and test and observe things for yourself like all good SEOs always do.