incrediBILL - 3:43 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
I think that "keyword to the left" has become one of those SEO myths that just lives on and no one tests it.
Regardless of whether it appears to be a myth or not, I still wouldn't recommend people stuffing their company name and motto/slogan on the left of every page.
Why I say this is because in languages where PEOPLE read from left to right you're blocking people from getting to the useful information with all the branding crap. People assume the most important thing is at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph and get annoyed when they have to visually skip over stumbling blocks to get to the meat of the text.
Therefore, it makes sense that in the beginning a search engine *might* assume the left most part of a title is the most important, just like a human reader. However, years later, it might be safe to assume a search engine can also analyze the entire site and filter out the recurring branding theme from the text and index the real content with more dominance.
Then again, are we talking about Google, Bing, Ask or some other SE?
When you look at the "big picture", I'd recommend erring on the side of safety with leftmost title text just to make sure the less sophisticated search engines also properly understand your intent.