Well yes, but there are perhaps dozens of companies around the world named Number One Auto Repair. They can't all be at that domain name (unless they all agreed to share that domain name and use it as a further pointer, and how often have you seen that happen?). If I know of a real company by that name in my local area and I type that in, there is no assurance it will be the same one. Further, should I then try number1autorepair.com or numberoneautorepair.net or now numberoneautorepair.info (the addition of these new gTLDs solved nothing, .museum, .aero, etc. are, I think, one route to go, but even if ICANN were to do it quickly, and do it right, and those are huge ifs, it doesn't entirely solve the problems) or... should I just give up and go to Google, type in the name and my location and hey presto, there it is, and it can be at:|
for all I care. It can even be at one address one day and a completely different one the next.
What's more, if I try number1autorepair and it is actually numberoneautorepair, Google is sophisticated enough to prompt me with a question: Did you mean this? If so, click here. If I try that with the DNS I may get a different site, and I may not be aware at first, or even at all, that it is a different site, or I may get an error, or I may get a Microsoft Search page, or I may even get to a typosquatter site. Far handier to use something that, if I make a typo, it suggests alternatives. I don't have to retype, I click and go.
What's still more, with my browser I don't even have to go to Google in the sense of first having to type in their URL. Although I don't use it, Google has a toolbar for use with the browser used by about 90% of the online population (no flames please). Typing a search string in that field is often far more useful than typing a domain name in the URL field. I normally use the multi-OS Opera browser which does the same thing without need of a toolbar. One simply types the search string in the URL field and prefaces it with 'g' and a space, gets the first page of Google's search results very quickly, and goes from there. This is often far more useful, functional, and user-friendly than using domain names.
The use of subdomains allows for some kind of sanity, eg: numberoneautorepair.london.co.uk, but it rarely is used this way because some think typing an additional few letters will bring the wheels of commerce grinding to a halt. If there had never been a comnetorg, or if they had also maintained a more hierarchical structure, things probably wouldn't have turned out near as badly as they have, though one would still have the problem of often having to do a certain amount of guesswork. Well, Google is far better than I am at guessing.
What could have been the approximate equivalent of a telephone book:
first level: white, blue, yellow pages
second level: yellow(commercial)/autorepair
third level: yellow/autorepair/numberoneautorepair
which then provides the number, and perhaps additional information, instead has become a mess, as though one has taken a telephone book and scrambled much of the data. Thankfully it is in electronic format so one can use tools to search through it.
What could have been a logical, intuitive directory system, instead became illogical and even counter-intuitive (particularily now with the online pr0n industry snapping up expired names and using them for other than their first or apparent purpose). What we increasingly have is a misdirectory system. I'd call that pretty close to broken, and in need of fixing or replacement (both of which would be non-trivial to near the point of impossibility), or enhancement (which is also non-trivial, but far less so than the other options). But those enhancements better come quickly as more and more will say to hell with the DNS and use a tool like Google, which is also continuing to enhance itself. Indeed, if I use Google I not only get the company, I may also get other information about the company that I didn't know and perhaps that the company didn't want me to know. This is what I find rather funny about the whole situation. By attempting to over-control the DNS, business interests are pushing users towards a tool that is far more likely to damage them than someone registering numberoneautorepairsucks.com. -g