goodroi - 9:56 am on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: goodroi at 4:15 pm (utc) on Aug 9, 2013]
Anything is possible but before we jump to conclusions may I suggest we take a moment to look at the bigger picture.
Why would Google waste time with Google Analytics which is limited to a domain when it can look at data from Chrome users who visits hundreds of domains? Chrome has roughly 40% market share of all internet users (depending on which report you look at).
Ok, so now you are thinking that Google is probably using the data from Chrome. Why would Google bother using Chrome data when they can theoretically buy the data logs straight form the ISPs and get 100% of the internet users?
Bottom line there are many ways for Google to gain access to real usage data. I expect Google to slowly de-emphasize backlinks and emphasize usage signals in their secret formula since real usage is much harder to manipulate. Handicapping yourself by not using a quality free analytics tool that can help you to make smart improvements to your site is not wise IMHO.
[edited by: goodroi at 4:15 pm (utc) on Aug 9, 2013]