Recently, trends in domain name registration have been surprising. For the first time in the history of the Internet, there has been a statistically significant reduction in the number of registered domain names. Many doomsayers proclaim that the reason such a trend occurred is the popping of the Internet bubble, the death of E-Commerce, the burning of Silicon Valley, the Y2K bug, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Such is not the case; to the contrary, there is one obvious over-arching cause that does not suggest the imminent or recent doom of the online world, but rather its gradual redemption.
That cause is Google. Never before has there been such an effective and seemingly foolproof search engine on the Internet. Webmasters no longer find it necessary to register every possible mutation or misspelling of the site's name with Internic. Previously, in the ages of less-effective search engines, simply typing "www.some_company_name.com" in as a URL and crossing your fingers was not that much less viable than taking the trouble to sort through thousands of false Yahoo results to find the true company site on the eighteenth page of results.
Now, however, the most prominent search engine on the Web, Google, is eerily accurate at knowing what you want and where to find it. It is no longer necessary or even advisable to register extraneous domain names in the hopes of capturing a shot-in-the-dark visitor. Doing so means dividing other peoples' links to you among all of your different DNS entries, which, due to the mechanics of Google's PageRank algorithm, translates to a counter-intuitive reduction in your site's priority on Google. Because the number of users who use Google to find a given site far outweighs the number who use the out-of-date aforementioned shot-in-the-dark method, it is wise to choose to cater to the Google crowd. Google has succeeded in superimposing the best interests of a site's owner with the best interests of the public, and the result is a cleaner, more efficient Internet.