Robert_Charlton - 6:39 pm on Aug 21, 2011 (gmt 0)
...based on what I see in Google/Bing/Yahoo - it does seem to be a major factor.
What are you seeing? The highlighting in the serps is done after ranking. This highlighting is for display purposes only, but it does attract eyeballs. It may or may not reflect elements of structure in a site which do help with SEO.
I myself would not restructure a site simply to add a keyword in the url, though. On Google, at least, I think the ranking benefits of a keyword in the url are miniscule.
(Note that a keyword in a url is not the same as a keyword in the domain or company name. Domain/company name keywords are very often included in inbound anchor text, which is where I think the benefit is. Keywords in urls seldom appear in anchor text.)
There are also potential downsides to implementing sitewide redirects... roughly a 15% loss in PR to redirected pages, and lots of places to mess up.
That said, if the addition of the keyword in the pathname corresponded to an actual reorganization of the site structure that made your navigation more strategic and clearer to users and to Google, that is a direction worth pursuing. The example you post and the way you phrase your question isn't suggesting that this is the case.