the keyword phrase almost has to be in the title tag for it to make sense.
I'm so glad someone said this. The idea of not including a real "key" word in the title element has always seemed completely whack-o to me.
I did some preliminary reviews of half of my file names and a surprising number are ranking very well with the repetitious keyword phrase at the end of the title tag. I don't think that's the issue.
This also makes sense to me. Many content management systems will automatically repeat the title words as the URL. Google just has to see this pattern and not penalize for it. At the same time, I no longer think "keyword in URL" is a very strong ranking signal. It's certainly not what it was in the past.