I’ve seen this come up a lot on sites like Quora, and it’s usually not in the form of a question, but as a remark. “Well yeah [XYZ fact] is true. After all, Google hates SEOs for what they do.”
There’s an assumption about what SEO is that goes into this view, I think. For black hat tactics that are gaming Google’s algorithm, sure. Low quality content that ranks anyway pollutes the internet, which is why search engines are always changing their algorithms to better filter it out.
I like to think of a well-intentioned SEO’s efforts as giving Google what it wants. They’re not tricking anything, but simply ensuring that worthy websites have a fair shake at reaching visitors. And they do this by earning it — proving to Google that the content is worthy.
Definitely follow that link if you’re curious. Rand does a great job of explaining ways Google determines quality pages/content, and it’s more sophisticated than you might think. But what it also does is make it clear that Google likes helpful, well-structured content.
Why would Google hate anyone that is helping more websites create good content that actually helps people?