I tested Google page 1 results for a specific type of business. My findings suggest that a key to top ranking is using Google+.
People who need search traffic to support their business will get fed up with the uncertainty of organic Google. So they will turn to paid traffic. In other words, Pay Per Click (PPC).
Back in olden times, before there was SEO, I wrote for people and I stuck to the subject. Apparently I was ahead of my time by a decade or two because it appears that those two practices are fundamental to current SEO.