A very helpful WebmasterWorld thread shares insights from a long time SEO who decided to pin two sites, competing in the same industry, with each other. He took two different strategies for each site. One site was pushed using old school SEO tactics, including doorway pages, paid and reciprocal links, content development and so on. The other site was to build a site with no paid links, unique content, no doorway pages, but add videos, blogs, rss feeds, Twitter integration and so on.
Let's call the first site the "SEO'ed Site" and the second site the "Quality Site." Guess which one is earning money and getting quality Google traffic? You got it, the "SEO'ed Site."
The member said:
Site 1 (AKA "SEO'ed Site"): after just 3 months it was skyrocketing past some pretty hefty competition with traffic increasing well each month. The site was making £10,000+ a month for the last six months we had it and just sold for a rather nice figure.
Site 2 (AKA "Quality Site"): has struggled to rank anywhere, even for it's own name, and traffic has been stagnant since the outset - it made a loss for the first 8 months and made just under £3000 in it's best month which was last month.
So what is a webmaster to do? Of course, this is just one single case study. To see exactly what tactics were used on each site, see the WebmasterWorld thread.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.