I agree, and SEO has traditionally done just that - be more clever and cunning to exploit places where the Google algorithm is weak.
However, today I tend to go with Zivush's approach when he says "focus on the users/readers". I'm really beefing up my understanding of analytics software, including special adaptations to learn more about how users interact with each page. It's actually quite refreshing, because I'm looking more directly the actual visitor or customer and doing what's right for them.
It also appears that Google and Bing may be looking directly at that user data, too - so it's a double win. Not only that. but it's a lot easier to explain what I'm doing to others on a team.