Sometimes in SEO, people can get a little obsessive over details. This question is a good example of that. However, it also gives us clarification which is nice to have in a field where it can be hard to know definite answers. In this Google webmaster video, Matt Cutt’s head of webspam at Google, comments on ranking positions and SEO. Essentially, he is responding to a question, “Are results in different positions ranked by different algorithms?”
There is no question that this is an interesting concept. It should be noted that various verticals do have different algorithms that evaluate them. For example, Pay Day Loan and Adult sites have extra filters to ensure the content in those sectors is quality. See Matt’s answer to this ranking positions and SEO question below. All in all, it appears this might be a case of someone over thinking things a bit.