(Heh, Florida was the update that actually sent several of my sites to the top - where they still are)
I dunno how if or how much Google has changed. After trying a number of things, failing at a lot of them, succeeding at some of them, I'm still using the same litmus test I did in 2003 - "Objectively speaking, is there really a valid reason for this site to exist?" The ones I can legitimately answer 'yes' to, are still wildly successful. The rest, not so much.* But that speaks more to my overall business plan than search strategy.
*and yes, this means I essentially spent eight years arriving at the exactly same place I started. DON'T JUDGE ME.