Sgt_Kickaxe - 5:59 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
It is crystal clear. I was able to yank the sitemap, keyword meta, description meta, rss feed and various other 'core' features from a site recently without losing ANY traffic (2 weeks and counting).
Google stopped believing anything we add manually, unless it's a feature (ie:map with kml file etc).
SEO is on the out, but not something you want to ignore completely. Your site needs to be a contender for any given keyword or it won't rank, SEO'd or not. That's been Google's goal all along. I just hate that we are seeing mega sites regurgitating small site content to get top rankings, it's not good on any level.