A recent article by Mike Grehan named Does Textbook SEO Really Work Anymore? sprung some interesting discussion at Cre8asite Forums. The article explains that basic optimization simply won't do it anymore. You need to look at "end-user behavior" on your site to increase site traffic and usage. This requires more "creative thinking and promotional efforts" to increase your site's true popularity. It has been the popular topic in most forums recently, traffic versus links.
I have always been a believe that the core of SEO will always remain the same. You need certain structural components of your Web site to be a certain way, to ensure your pages are fully indexed by a search engine and to ensure the search engine properly understands the unique value of each individual page on your Web site. But to gain rankings these days, you do need to think as more of a marketer than as a SEO, in terms of generating site buzz. Now many SEOs are good at generating buzz for a site, either naturally or artificially - so an SEO's job is now inclusive of marketing...
Ammon Johns, in the thread, says "I fully agree with Mike's actual point - that SEO today is not so much a code thing as a marketing thing." I love how Bill Slawski puts it;
I'm not sure that text book SEO is dead. Maybe instead, it's just one chapter in the book.
The thread has some really outstanding comments, in response to Mike's request for feedback on his article.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums. Worth a read, in my opinion.