Maybe I am just a conspiracy theorist but in my humble opinion Google is just teassing and testing seo consultants. It is basic entrapment. I think they are intentionally creating confusing algos that might harm good sites in the short term but help them see the black hat seo patterns in the long run.
Just notice it, just after Matt Cutts announced that social signals might play a role you started seeing all kinds of bots spamming all imaginable social platforms. Google is looking at patterns to see what kind of signals are "genuine" and what are fake. Not all social accounts are created the same. An established facebook profile with hundreds of interactions and a long history might be hundreds of time more valuable than 1000 likes purchased in 5er.