@centralplumbing: that's actually a common issue. Big brands often don't follow best practices for SEO because they don't have to
. Yahoo News stories will get traffic without any particular SEO tactics. They're big, they're well known, they have tons of links pointing to them already (and get tons more every day) and they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on marketing through other channels.
So, yeah, you'll probably see a lot of big name websites that don't follow a number of the SEO tactics you'll see recommended here and elsewhere.
Unless your site is a big and well known and you have the same kind of marketing budget, though, it's dangerous to use a top tier site like Yahoo News as a role model.
@Pheno, including keywords in link anchor text isn't a "cheap trick." The SEs use it as an important indicator of what the target page is about... and it still works well when it's a legitimate link on a reasonably high-quality page.
The SEs may very well discount spammy anchor text "optimization," where a site acquires hundreds or thousands of links with identical keyword-stuffed anchor text from low quality sites (spam blog comments, spam forum signature links, site-wide links on made-for-search crap sites, etc.) - but that's due to keyword stuffing and low-quality linking pages. Doesn't really matter what the anchor text is on those links; they aren't going to count for much (if anything) anyway.
@numeric, you can still use "click here" as part
of the phrase if you want it as a call to action. "Click here to buy red lederhosen" (when the target phrase is "buy red lederhosen") or "How to clean lederhosen - click here" (targeting "how to clean lederhosen"), for instance. It's not going to have a significant impact on optimization and it could increase clickthroughs.
IMO, the best thing to do? Test it. Use something like Google website optimizer to test different link anchor text, see what works. We can theorize all day, but nothing will tell you better than actually testing it what works best for your audience on your website.