Text link with background and text-indent

I want to put a small image banner leading to a site on another website.

It has to be an image so I thought that the easy way would be to have something like that:

<a href=“http://www.site.com” style=“display:block; width:88px; height:31px; background:url(bannerimage-88x31.gif) no-repeat 0 0; text-indent:-9999px;”>Keyword phrase</a>

Basically I want a keyword phrase text link to the site that looks like it’s an image banner.
After a bit of googling I found that it might not be considered a good SEO tactics because search engines don’t like hidden text.

I’m a bit concerned about that. Any thoughts?

An alternative might be adding alt text to the image. I think text links and image links both have advantages, and it just depends on how you want to use them. You could also put a small text link under the image.

First of all, you should get rid of the inline styles! I always use the following method: Image Replacement with link. Paul OB explains how it works

that’s what i am not sure about, as far as i know text links are better