For what its worth:
For years in my niche my site with loads of original content, 100s of pages and 1000s of natural links, none paid and only a few traded links with no black hat, tried to do it Googles way, was #1. Within the site I built my blue widgets service page that brought me personal paid services. I had enough business that I could refer business to friends that were in the same line of work.
In time friends wanted their own website so they could post their info with pictures and asked me if I would build it. I did, short 5 page sites that I still control.
When google started this mess my site dropped to #5 or 6 and top sites were very low content sites with few pages. So help me one is more of a link page to the guys facebook.
2 of my friends sites that I control were optimized in the manner I built the big main site. They were on page 2 before panda or whatever started, both of them small 5 page sites.
I lowered the content of these and replaced all but one or two keywords phrases with adverbs.
Now one is number 1 and the other is number 3.
I have read other say low to no content sites are ranking on top.
Is a lot of good content pages dead with google?
Should websites now look and read like a yellow page add?