It is estimated that about 70 million domains are currently under registration from ICANN. It is further estimated that there are virtually no one and very few two-word phrases left in the English dictionary. This means that web site owners are going to either need to come up with some very creative words, which are not real words, or they are going to need to come up with very long domain names, which may be difficult to spell or have a high risk of mistyping by a user.
What does all this mean to the web site owner who is concerned with getting traffic to their new site? It may require more SEO work and less traditional advertising to get users to come to your web site. Why is this? In the past you could create a brand around one word, such as Yahoo, or Boston, and with a good marketing effort, have users simply remember your web site, type in your domain name and go to the site. This is not going to be the case with newer sites, as the domains names are going to get longer, and the extensions are not going to be limited to .com, .net and .org, but rather a plethora of domain name extensions will be needed.
So what is a web site owner to do? The marketing of sites will now fall to developing great content, getting others to link to you, making sure the web sites are defined properly and not allowing for sloppy programming. There is also the avenue of paid search, where no single keyword or keyword phrase is owned by a single person in perpetuity, but rather many companies can bid for the same term and based on a variety of bid management techniques and better copyrighting, you can purchase web site clicks.
The world is changing, and we are quickly becoming more and more a wireless web-based society. As such, TV, radio and print commercials have less of an impact on how we find the web sites we want to visit, but it seems as though the large consumption of domain names over the past decade may move us into that new medium far quicker than some of us might like. On the other hand, if you are skilled at SEO and SEM, you may be positioned to be a leader in an industry that you simply could not have bought your way into just six years ago.