tedster - 7:51 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Hello kheadley, and welcome to the forums.
I'm betting all my work on something like this being in play for social media - and I think it will be getting tuned up as time goes on. After all, the big social sites already have some safeguards against dummy accounts, or phony "likes" and so on. Google is highly aware that people try to game social media sites, even their own Google+.