Wow, I get several dubious e-mail link exchange requests a day. Lots of Zeus farmers for one. Lots of people wanting me to join a link farm. Lots of people wanting me to trade links with their package of eight or ten sites at once. Then there's the ones saying in a UCE they want to exchange links with me but I have to put up their link first (yeah, right, and they probably sell retirement lots in the Everglades too).
It's got so bad I'm probably throwing out a few legitimate requests with the spam.
What's everyone else's experience with the link request spammers?
Ignore it, ignore it, ignore it. There is one form of link building that makes sense for publishers such as yourself-- it is the ORGANIC (grass roots) process of link building. As a publisher the issue is not about how many links you can obtain, it is about high quality links on relevant sites. Identify your most important keyword phrases register in the major directories like DMOZ, and begin an on-going (never-ending) process to carefully find and negotiate links with quality sites that also target your keywords and that have a high PR (page rank). If you haven't downloaded Google's toolbar - do it.
I am frustrated by this spam to-- what irritates me even more is the proliferation of keyword companies selling innocent publishers "exclusive" access to keywords. I have had a dozen plus clients in the last few weeks alone try to tell me how cool this is --OUCH!
We continue to receive these types of requests [webmasterworld.com] as well. I'd hate to delete a legitimate request and miss an opportunity, so I try to glance over most of them. You can usually tell it's junk after reading the first sentence or two, so it doesn't take too much of my time.
Do you think that this is affecting your own link development? I wonder if some of our link requests are getting tossed as well.