It strikes me from the chatter about your reputation... maybe Google wants sites to start with them, but then develop beyond them? What I mean is: whenever I launch a new site, unless I arrange another traffic source, Google is always a huge percentage of my traffic initially - almost inevitably, due to their dominance. But what if the big signal Google is looking for is that I've developed other traffic sources, that I've got people talking, that I've gone beyond Google in some way. Maybe they're beginning to think sites that just sit back and rely on them for traffic can't be good sites.
I'm not saying this is good or bad. It just strikes me as one way to interpret what they're saying.