Well, we should probably know better. When it was suggested back in May by Google that we would not see any more updates to pageRank this year, and that the metric would likely be phased out completely, we should have known better. We should have realized that either the metric would be kept, or it would be replaced with something even better.
For a long time, it was standard practice as part of any good SEO strategy to seek out links on other websites to your own. The ideal link was one where the text of the link included great keywords that related to your site and business. This use of keywords in link building is referred to as Anchor Text and was a very effective means for improving your site ranking in Google.