The search marketing community may or may not be worried about tomorrow being the rumored Judgment Day, but it should consider that high volumes of search and social traffic are going to sites that cover Rapture 2011.

If tomorrow is Judgment Day, it seems Americans will go down searching. News about Rapture 2011 is captivating U.S. online consumers, with phrases related to the speculated event dominating the top five Google searches at press time.

Today's hot searches are the culmination of Rapture-related searches that have been going on all week. On Monday, “May 21st Doomsday” was the No. 7 leading search. As the week went on, so did consumers' curiosity about this weekend's supposed Judgment Day.

By Tuesday, “end of the world May 21st” had made it to the No.4 search spot, and it jumped to the No. 2 spot on Thursday. As this article goes to press, “May 21 doomsday” is the leading search phrase, followed by “Rapture 2011” in second, “Harold Camping” in third and “Judgment Day May 21” is in fourth.

So what's all the fuss about? Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping has been warning the public that May 21, 2011, is Judgment Day. Rapture refers to a Biblical passage describing the time when Christians will meet their maker, and others will be left behind.

More than 12 million web results and 1,600 recent News results describe the predicted events, and marketers should take note that this content is being widely shared among searchers and social users. Google Realtime results reveal second-to-second updates for “Rapture 2011,” and #IfTheWorldEndsSaturday is the leading topic of Twitter conversation.

Some skeptics believe Doomsday 2011 is Camping's marketing hoax, and what tomorrow holds remains to be seen. In any case, today's searches demonstrate the very real power of Rapture as an online marketing tool to drive traffic.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.