The serps are not wrecked at all. Google is becoming an all paid search engine. As webmasters are weaned from free Google traffic, they will explore many theories as to why they no longer get much traffic from Google. For many they will get caught up on recovering from panda, penguin or some other algo update when even a full recovery in the future would produce little traffic. People should accept the fact that the gravy train is over.
Anyone that thinks using a title and h1 tag is gaming the system is all wrong. Most wordpress templates, even the poorly coded ones, make use of these features. This is the first time I have heard anyone even propose such an idea.