Absolutely - but you benefit by doing both detailed writing and keyword research. I try to think of who I want my information to benefit and then when I form my titles and content I try to include phrases and words that would match what they are searching for.
After this, I work hard to develop content that is meaningful and has purpose. I tend to stick to subjects I know a lot about and I always focus on what can people actually use and be compelled to share.
My two best performing hubs are very extensive - very detailed, but broken down into workable steps. My hub on how to restore an image in Photoshop is a good example of something keyword researched and written to be meaningful - the best of both worlds and it has had many views and was also a hub of the day.
I believe we are getting to a place where Google and other search engines are valuing and able to sniff out higher quality content. Keyword stuffing never works - if your writing isn't convincing or engaging people aren't going to stick around long enough for it to pay off.