For a long time, keyword rankings were a staple part of any SEO campaign. In a lot of cases they were a primary metric used to judge performance.
Go back five or six years and we had so much more information on the keywords that users were searching for to reach our web content. All of this information was available transparently within Google Analytics, and you could get relatively accurate search volume estimates from within Google’s Keyword Tool.
The first major update that changed this was Google move to encrypted search and the dreaded appearance of “not provided” within Google Analytics.