Missing Persons asked the question, What Are Words For? in the early 80s, and it seems we're still asking. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The answer is, words are for human communication.
I hope you'll forgive me when the question "is content still king??" makes me roll my eyes and spew sarcastic sound bites. Such as, well, you only need content...if you want to communicate.
Full disclosure: I'm a writer who just laid off from a company (Viacom) that recently hired a half-dozen (more) SEO/Social Media Marketing gurus.
Sour grapes? No!
We need SEO that works. We don't live to search, we live to find. And what we're looking for - in a gazillion different forms - is content. Ergo, good SEO is pointless without good content.
Content, of course, can be a picture, a game, a form, a joke, King Lear or step-by-step instructions on hotwiring a car.
I think we've heard the "reading is dead" argument enough over the centuries (Plato?) to realize it's not. I think content is still king as long as SEO marketing firm Best Rank (and others) say it is. True, content has taken a hit in accounting. But even as stately old newspapers are disappearing others are starting to ask the right questions, like: what about distribution? and how can the print product add value to the web product? Aha! Now we're getting somewhere!
(But where? It's hard to say. Just keep reading.)