Every day bloggers and members of the media are looking for stories to talk about. If you are afraid to be associated with and talk about your own projects how can you expect others to talk about it? How can you get people to talk about you as much as they talk about competing channels if you are anonymous? For a long time it was easy to be fake. You could find a few non-competitive markets, buy a decent domain name, buy a custom site design, do good research, get a few good links here or there, etc...but it is getting much harder to do that today.
Savvy webmasters are rarely interested in link exchanges with new anonymous sites (especially because they have been getting bombarded with link trade requests for years), webmasters who own sites that have AdSense on them tell you that they won't sell links, and if you buy too many link based advertisements or do other things that fall outside the norm you risk your site getting nuked for being too aggressive.
As more people get online you have to connect with or influence more people to achieve the same goals. Each connection takes both time and money. Buying a half dozen trusted on topic links could be a couple day project, whereas a smartly launched content as marketing idea could garner hundreds of natural organic links faster, cheaper, and with less risk.
People manipulate search engines because they are trying to get around creating what the engines want. The goal of search engines is not to make manipulation impossible, but to make the cost and complexity of manipulation prohibitive to where it is cheaper to rank by winning the hearts and minds of other webmasters.
Search engines show you some data points (like PageRank) but they don't show you which votes don't count, if they are using phrased based semantic relationships, how old sites or links are, how fast things have grown, etc. etc. etc. As relevancy criteria moves to things you can't see it is going to be hard to be fake and amass enough trust to rank without tripping over some filter or penalty.
If you have to hide your identity or be something fake your number of profitable days online are numbered, and you will be missing out on publicity that your competitors use to eat your market position. And there is an even worse factor that plays into the demise of anonymous sites. Those who are getting publicity can be more aggressive with their link buys and other forms of marketing without needing to worry too much about how the engines will perceive it. Google is more concerned with your ratio of legitimate marketing to shady stuff, and it is getting hard to have enough power to get to the top of the results while staying above board if you do it anonymously.
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