I've been across one of the usual multi channel strategies necessary to compete in the SERP's and other channels, including direct brand access by visitors. It seems to go against the Google mantra " build sites for users".
To compete successfully in the SERP's the site concerned had to significantly alter it's UI in favour of elements deemed to comply with the Google's algo. The SERP strategy is pretty pretty clumsy and retro for users, but is the best compromise the site owners could come up with. Conversions suffered in pursuit of traffic.
On the other hand, to obtain better conversion rates, with pages harnessing traffic directly and external to the SERP's, the site had to rely on a streamlined approach. Most of the on page elements required for SERP success were deleted.
Maybe it's time we put this myth to bed that sites need to be built for users in the SERP's, if you want traffic via the SERP's. Popular sites with good UI don't always rank well because of it.
I can appreciate that some UI elements are great for visitors but not for rankings. A classic example comes from some AJAX implementations for interacting... although I can usually find a way to make them SEO friendly, the naive AJAX programmer often does not code that way by tendency.
One of the earliest areas on the web where user-oriented elements on a page could be terrible for ranking was using images of text to make things look god, rather than using straight text. Come to think of that, even with advanced OCR that is available today, that can still be problematic!