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Hey Jon, those ads are definitely fruitless endeavors. I know exactly what you’re referring to. They might be situationally beneficial – I’ve noticed people religiously scan the Warrior and Black Hat World forums for qualified traffic services – but that’s really for churn and burn sites.
If your goal is to build up an authoritative site and earn organic traffic/naturally increase pagerank, I would recommend content marketing and social media advertising. This requires a larger time investment, but it also means your traffic is full of real people with genuine interest in your site/service/product.
Look at it this way:
> $50 on 25,000 visits from robots to create an illusion of site popularity
> $150 on a longform guide and FB ads that earns 5,000 visits and generates 8 conversions. If you make $50 per conversion, that’s 166% ROI