This photo has been viewed more often (over 200 times) on flickr than any of my other photos. The image search engines love it for some reason – it’s the 6th result for orange salamander on the Yahoo image search for example. It get hits from Google and Bing too.
I think this attention is due to a couple of factors – even though I researched carefully what this animal is called – the red-spotted newt – at first I labeled it “Orange Salamander”. So I kept both names in the title of the image – not many people seeing this in the wild would know that it’s called a red-spotted newt – instead, I assumed they’d search on “orange salamander”. Second, this is a clear image that survives being converted to the thumbnail size which shows up on image searches, I assume the search engines are keeping track of click-throughs, and this clarity in the thumbnail makes this image more-likely to be clicked on, thus raising it higher on the search results page.
Still, it’s odd to me that such a quick, unthoughtout snap would be the one people look at the most. I guess this says I should be careful about posting the best photos I can, no matter how unimportant they seem to me.