This report at Covario, SEO is not dead yet seems to indicate that keywords are still important. Only, now, they have to be more sophisticated.
Two recent developments made keyword optimization more difficult.
First, Google changed their search algorithm to depend less on keywords and more on a site's incoming links and content.
Second, two new search tools, Google Instant and Google Wonder Wheel give people the option of choosing detailed results for their searches.
Recent studies show that this is exactly what people are doing. Instead of searching for Movies, someone might search for: Movies, horror, werewolf, in London.
If your website is about werewolf movies, a keyword like "movies" or "Werewolf" is not enough. Now you need specific keywords like "American Werewolf in London."
For best SEO the keywords should also appear in the content of the website.