"Focusing just on your content / features, etc. does not work anymore."
Undisputable now. I've been talking to so many of the people hit by this. We may have fallen for the 'content over SEO' line a little too easily.
Ironically: I recently saw a site with 0 backlinks, 0 content, 1 empty G+ profile - hit the top 10 on a extremely competitive phrase: [webmasterworld.com...]
- Maybe that's what they meant? 0 SEO, 0 Content - we just got mixed up. /s (sorry, being smug now)