I was listening to the SEO 101 podcast on WebMastersRadio.fm, an episode on Raven Tools, and the hosts said that Google is now blocking keyword tracking, considers it spammy, and even the major SEO tools for keyword tracking are not being supported.

I know that SEOs use proxy generators to try to bypass Google's blocking of high speed keyword tracking across multiple keyword queries, using CAPTCHAS to impede bots, but has this situation escalated?

Is keyword tracking (analyzing how a website is ranking for specific keyword queries) going the way of white text on white backgrounds? Has it been moved into the black hat realm now?

Are there any white hat tools that can accomplish keyword tracking -- or should we just educate our clients that keyword optimization is a low value metric, not worth the effort, and is now getting impossible to do?