Catching a whiff of the ranking methodology in Yahoo smells something rotten in Santa Clara. Recent stirrings of greenbacks and "who you know on the inside" seem to be the biggest part of the algo. Want to rank well on Yahoo? Forget the title and description - try lunches, tee times, and company favors. One phone call is all it takes from a contact inside and boom... there you have it, top rankings. On the flip side, noticed a customer totally lose all his major keywords after being ranked in the directory for nearly two months. Seems a little odd because they were smaller company beating out the bigger ones on competitive keywords.
I hope all these "issues" at both Yahoo and ODP make it public someday, gets a little frustrating. Asking an insider to just get in or have a site at least reviewed is one thing, manipulation and sabotage are another.
Don't mean to start a witch hunt here but just a heads up...this truly can be a cutthroat industry.
I don't know if I can concur just yet, but there is absolutely no rhyme nor reason that I can discern behind the new ranking methods, so your theory may hold water. I used to laugh when people suggested that some were paying for rankings because a straightforward approach of a good title and description, both including the most important keyword(s), was the sure way to get listed and ranked.
Another note - the utter belligerence with which Yahoo! staff treat callers to their "customer care" line is amazing. Apparently, there is a specific e-mail address for each question you could ever possible have, but then when you try to reach them that way....forget it. Maybe it is time for a witch hunt.