I monitor a lot of keywords, and the one thing I have noticed is that a LOT of sites have been tanked, even decent sites...What has taken over these sites?
Other spam links, I am noticing a lot of profile links as #1. I have noticed this a lot, profile urls on forums ranking number 1!
Authority sites...Google seem to be giving a LOT of weight to authority sites that have theirdomain.com/keyworkdhere.html with no backlinks but they are ranking VERY high over sites with backlinks and better onpage SEO.
I think the days of keyword tools are over, Google have changed completely, if it looks like an easy word to rank for chances are it's not if you don't have an authority domain.
In one way I can see why they have done this, from a selfish viewpoint the days of ranking for keywords easily are over from what I have observed.
Internet marketing from the 'quick easy money' viewpoint is over.
Just my opinion...What are you observations?