Haven't been in SEO game for a while but last time I was and discussed traffic analytics topic, I remember how everyone claimed that webmasters should avoid Google Analytics. They said it helps Google to get insight into your website which helps them to stay on top of their game against SEOs who turn to manipulative practices.
However these days I see Google Analytics as recommended tool for analyzing website traffic and conversions. What changed exactly? Why is it the most recommended analytics tool and are there tools that compare to it?