mslina2002 - 7:14 pm on Oct 3, 2011 (gmt 0)
Bounce rate soared on August 12th
That seems odd. Daniweb experienced the same thing on Aug 12th where she also mentioned that her bounce rate increased on that day too.
Then, bounce rate increased by 10% on August 12th for no apparent reason -- I did not make any changes immediately before and could find no evidence of an algorithm updating happening that day -- and has been stuck at the higher value ever since. Additionally, average time on site decreased by nearly 50% exactly on August 12th. Again, I cannot figure out what was special about that day. The fact that we were hit by Panda now is most likely a reaction to what Google discovered on that fateful day in August.
Was your bounce rate increase for that one day or did it stay there?
I have also experienced this at times where traffic is higher than normal but conversions are just lousy. So I agree, almost as if they are testing different markets to see how they respond to your site.
It is almost as though Google has decided not just to send me less traffic but also to make sure they send me more folks who are less likely to want to buy from me.