I don’t believe keywords are deprecated. I think they are critical for SEO, only better used.
“I want to know how to apply SEO to my site as an Editor”, I asked an engineer three years ago. I was having a hard time connecting journalism to high technology and I thought SEO could be it. “First, you need to work on a list of keywords that define your content. The keywords you choose should match those your audience will choose when looking for the content you provide”.
As an editor, I try to understand SEO so my content can compete in the online world. And everything about SEO seemed pretty easy to grab so far. Until I heard the word “Algorithms”… tha one seemed to push me back, reminding me that I am not a geek and I do not belong in the geek world. So one day I sat at my desk determined to conquer the concept. I was ready to go back to Math and deep dive in Algorithms, whatever those might be.