I just finished to watch the following video from Google, where one of their experts clearly states that Google doesn't care if you use a standard compliant approach to your layouts or an old-fashioned tabular one.
So what's the point in this? Should we continue to follow a standard approach to web development or a relic of a dark age when any website showed a banner claiming that "this website works better on browser X"? I think that Google is actually following a backward-compatible approach to SEO and website indexing. But what about accessibility? And what about other users who surf the web with an alternate browser or device?
If we should draw a conclusion from this, we should probably admit that all the good things that have been said about CSS-based layouts (SEO friendly, better SEO optimization, better indexing, better ranking and so on) are all myths. It seems that Google doesn't care too much if you use CSS or tables, HTML 3.2 or HTML 5. However, this is not Google's fault, because the overwhelming majority of web documents are still written in an obsolete, non-standard way (not to say that most of them are basically tag soup).
So that's author's fault. I hope that new evangelizations will come in the next few years to amend this. In the meantime, the battle goes on.