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I was one of them that dropped the sitemaps. It didn't work. I never was able to get the traffic back from Google that they gave me before the drop happened.
Last night, I did up a new sitemap. If I'm not mistaken, I have noticed two major changes, and one minor change to Google sitemaps.
1. Last night, there was a little button at the top of the page, to report troubles dealing with the sitemaps. Interestingly, today, I cannot find it anywhere.
2. They have removed the generic address, that they established last year, and are now focused completely on the Google address for the XML content.
3. They have given me credit for links when others have stolen my words. When you go to the offenders pages, you see my words that I wrote years ago and posted, but there is no link on page. Yet, Google gives us credit for the link. (I've heard that it might happen, but I didn't believe that Google would bless me with credit for the original content).
These three changes makes me believe that maybe Google is aware that there are problems with the sitemaps, and that they are in the process of fixing them. I hope that since I added my sitemap, that the little button to report difficulties reappears. That would restore my confidence much more that I can trust that the problems with Google sitemaps are being taken seriously.