Second, and more important, it serves a useful placebo function, i.e., when someone says, "I just made my first website, how do I get it in Google?" it's easier to send them to a form instead of explaining about linkage, etc.
Bingo! My brother told me he had just started a new business, got a domain and his son was going to build the website.
I offered help via a few links from sites to get it crawled quickly, and he responded with "No worries. Google has this page where you submit your site and then you're good to go. I would have thought you knew about that."