Hmmmm... I wasn't intending to imply that the GA glitch was actually _related_ to the disturbances in the SERPS, but that is an interesting idea to be sure.
As has been pointed out before, GA data can't be a direct part of the algo because it could not be applied to sites without GA. However, suppose they use GA data as a quality check on the algo -- there are plenty of good "signals of quality" available from GA that would help to test whether algo tweaks are really returning higher quality results. If the quality check was automated, you might get some sort of cross-mojonation.