I think you are misinterpreting Google search results.
I am not interpreting the Google search results, I am making an observation that has been mentioned by others who have done much more formalized research and also found a correlation between social signals and rankings. In case I was not clear, I was using that observation to make the point that correlation is not causation and that it is very hard to isolate and identify the specific direct influences on rankings.
Let's also be careful to not waste time complaining about Google since complaining does not help any of us to increase our website profits.
Now let's get back to the main focus - What signals count for Google rankings whether directly, indirectly or just have a high coincidental correlation?