TheOptimizationIdiot - 12:36 am on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)
I think I've been helped in seeing this by working with a wide variety of sites from the early days of the web.
I have had some "help" in a similar way myself.
One example is I had a site I knew a bunch of information for and sat down and wrote it all out on a huge page, then left it. I didn't "optimize" for anything or build any links to the page or site; I just let the information "speak for itself" and whatever it did, it did. I wasn't too concerned about it because I had a ton of other things going on.
What the page did, until I let the site go, was rank in the top 3 usually only behind the EMD domain I also wrote some of the content for, had a +90% bounce rate (for years) with an average time on page of over 6 minutes (for years).
In looking at the queries the bounce rate and time on page weren't due to people not engaging, it was due to them reading, because about the bounce rate % of the time what they searched for was answered in detail on the page. Good result for the visitor, Google and me. I didn't mind a bit.
That's definitely something I wouldn't likely know if I hadn't had those type experiences in my years online though.