diberry - 3:20 pm on Sep 1, 2012 (gmt 0)
They understand it's hard work - they've watched me put in 80+ hours a week for 10 years. The problem is, for example, when I started out in this white hats were advising you submit sites to directories. Now that's considered entirely manipulative - back then, they considered it good marketing. (See also: buying links. It was done online, BEFORE Google existed, to build traffic, not pagerank. Now it's considered a bad thing according to Google, but big media sites get away with it because it has ALWAYS been done in print media - people would buy citations or mentions in news reports.)
There isn't an amount of reading you can actually do to avoid making honest mistakes. The line between SEO and good marketing is fuzzy, and it's not like Google has a specific good/bad list of marketing techniques. You can easily get bad advice that READS like really good quality advice online and make mistakes.
I never said Google is out to get anyone. I said it SEEMS like they're more focused on keeping the algo beyond anyone's understanding than in providing good SERPs, and yet that would be a stupid business move, so I can't figure out what they're playing at.