"What has you trusting that popularity doesn't bust this?"
It sounds to me as if you are directing your question to Jacob, not me, Matthew. I'll just share my take while we await his response.
Implicit in your question is a suggestion that investors are rational. If investors were rational, they would take note that certain strategies work better than others and bid up the companies that one needs to buy to participate in these strategies and thereby undermine the future success of the strategies. If most investing decisions are not rational ones but intensely emotional ones, none of this follows. If emotion rules, good strategies can remain good forever. My belief is that emotion is dominant in investing (some rationality does come into it too, of course).
John Walter Russell, the fellow who helped me develop my calculators until his death last year, was a believer in Dogs of the Dow. He was in general a big believer in buying companies that pay good dividends. I haven't focused on dividend-related strategies enough to offer informed comments. But I have noted that a good percentage of the people who I think of as being particularly smart about investing are drawn to dividend-payers. So I have a strong inclination to believe that they are onto something.