An odd Google+ occurrence: strategy or sloppy?

Yesterday I received an automated email notification from Google+. They wrote to inform me that one of my friends had "added me back on Google+." Perhaps this is something that's built into their system to make you feel better. It's Google's way of saying "Good news! So and so likes you again!" However, I don't think my friend had any idea Google had sent me this email alert. This feature seems like it could generate lots of unintended awkwardness, and potentially sour relationships.

The thing that was most troubling was that I initially misinterpreted the email alert. Here's how it played out:

1) I received an email alert on my smart phone.

2) Like all uninteresting generated emails, I simply glanced at it. My lack of attention led me to misinterpret the subject line. I thought Google+ was emailing to tell me that this person wanted to be my friend. I don't use Google+ very often, so I had totally forgotten that we had ever been friends on Google+ in the first place.

3) Later that night, I opened the email on my laptop, again misinterpreting the subject line as a friend request.

4) This is the most troubling part. After clicking on the link in the email, I was brought to a page that made no mention of my friend. It was a page promoting Circles.

I was lost. It took me a few minutes to figure out what had happened. I spent the majority of those few minutes trying to understand why a company as smart as Google would send me an email alert, and then direct me to a page that held zero information about the alert. In my book this is a major failing on their part. I'm not a regular Google+ user, and by generously humoring them by clicking on one of their generated emails, I felt punished instead of rewarded.

Question:

1) Was this email generated without my friend knowing, and if so, do you think this is strategic or slop-e-gic?