Simsi - 10:19 pm on Feb 2, 2013 (gmt 0)
I doubt very much that Google would use GA numbers to affect ranking when they cannot use the same numbers consistently across all sites they need to rank, thus comparing "apples to apples"
Just to play Devil's advocate for a moment...
What if Google used GA as a verification tool rather than an outright ranking tool. For example, if it's algos already "suspected" that a site was good or bad and that site had GA installed, why not look at the traffic to confirm the algo's suspicions?
One might also apply the approach to social media too: rather than take a factor into account that not every site integrates with, use it as a confirmation tool where a site uses it.
If I ran a search engine and analytics service, the temptation to use analytics to refine the service would be way too much to ignore.