It helps me know my status in the ever-changing, highly competitive world of Google ranking. They made the rules in order to provide relevant results and provided webmonkies a method to guage their progress. When the guage is broken but the value of the measurement has not been diminished you have to expect people to be concerned.
That's part of the problem. Many of us have seen our white hat, by the book sites drop from page one to page one hundred for no obvious reason and found spammy irrelevant sites replace sites that actually had original content.
One of the tools we use to figure out how this could be and to find and learn from our mistakes is the backlink feature -currently pretty useless.