Ya- client seo can be a bitch huh. Funny thing about anchors. Overall a weak factor, and G devalued it a while back but STILL has some effect (onpage MUCH more). Neg seo’s know it- and blackhatters too. Look at payday and pharma serps- they don’t dilute. It’s not a real time algo- so until G updates, those who game are fine.
For the rest of us, as you showcased in great detail, just mirror natural growth and you will be fine. Always entertaining when the casual wannabe seo takes predigested seo crap rumors and try to force it down the pro’s throats, when we live and breath around the serps like swimming in the ocean. Those who don’t listed to what others spew but fact find for themselves know the REAL serp and not the bs that 90% that others blog about: <insert anchor text, duplicate content will crush you, content marketing is the new seo, and all the other crap here>