In an article entitled "Google’s New Update - Is Google Bombing You?" by Martin Lemieux discusses the poor situation with SEO specialists and the agressive use of the TITLE attribute.
Lemieux states, "Anchor text is the "explanation" that pops-up when you put your cursor over a link."
Regrettably this is incorrect.
Source for above quote.The title attribute may be set for both A and LINK to add information about the nature of a link. This information may be spoken by a user agent, rendered as a tool tip, cause a change in cursor image, etc.
Source for the above anchor definitionIn the example that follows, the A element defines a link. The source anchor is the text "W3C Web site" and the destination anchor is "http://www.w3.org/":
For more information about W3C, please consult the
W3C Web site.
Source for the above anchor definition...text before the anchor...
<A name="anchor-one">This is the location of anchor one.</A>
...text after the anchor...
This creates an anchor around the text "This is the location of anchor one.". Usually, the contents of A are not rendered in any special way when A defines an anchor only.
In either case the end result is the text between the opening and closing anchor tags is called the source text or the anchor text. Nowhere is the anchor text defined as the TITLE attribute.
I hope this clears up any confusion brought by a misconception.
I will agree that the title attribute is frowned upon. However, it is only frowned upon when the SEO consultant uses the attribute as a repository for additional keywords. Using the TITLE attribute as well as any other tag or attribute according to HTML/XHTML standards is not frowned upon.