Bounce rate is affected more by the source of the traffic to your website than by the appearance of your site. Traffic sent from low quality sources (link exchanges, etc.) will have a drastically higher bounce rate than traffic sent from higher quality sources (type in search, etc.). When a low quality source sends a spike in traffic to your site, your bounce rate will appear to increase. The increase is accredited to the poor quality traffic and NOT the site design. Therefore, trying to optimize your site based on bounce rate often will not yield the results you expect.
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