How Much is a Single Blog Link Worth?

I get emails asking me for links, both free and for-pay, just about every day from folks looking for a little PageRank love. Here’s an example of one I got today:

________

Hello,

I ran across your page on

http://blog.ericgoldman.org/

and would like to purchase a link in one of your individual posts. This is for a site related to [ABC].

My budget is $100 for a permanent link and can pay via PayPal. Here are some of the details of the link:

(1) We’d add one or two sentences into the post with a link to the [ABC] site. Since there are many [ABCs] offered, making the sentences seem relevant to your post is not difficult.

(2) There would also be one more link, to a .gov, .edu or scholarly reference site that relate to your original post topic. This way both links look normal and not out of place. If you had a post about [XYZ], then we’d find a .gov or .edu link giving [XYZ] advice.

Let me know if you are interested and I’ll send over the rest of the details and give you the site we’d link to.

________

I said no to this, as I do to all such requests. However, it does boggle the mind that a single link might be worth $100 from a relatively obscure/low traffic site like mine. To contextualize this, it’s 2.5-3x as much as I make from AdSense in a month from across my entire website and blogs (i.e., many thousands of pages). Of course, that could say something about how badly AdSense performs for me…