Google can be pretty opaque and it's not always easy to follow their 'instructions' even when they're made clear.
We take the attitude that it's better to align a site with higher level Google goals.
Google wants to show quality, relevant sites in it's search results. The only way it can continue to be The Search King is to help it's users find the sites they are actually looking for. One of the key factors in doing this is to filter out irrelevant, spammy results.
So whatever you can do to help your website meet that criterion will be beneficial for SEO in the long term, regardless of the algorithm tweaks Google make that month.
So for example we try to ensure that sites are clear, user-friendly, customer focused, full of relevant information, fast loading and so on.
While pages and website areas can still target specific keywords, this should fit in as part of that larger strategy.