It does indeed seem that the domain name itself plays a small role in that scenario. What I mean is that the domain name doesn’t really mean much unless there is some information about how it applies to the situation.
What I need is a referral.
It can be a referral from “past me” to “future me” (bookmark/petname), or from an outside source (search result/emailed link). But the fact that navigation is typically done based on referrals means that they can only mean something once the referral is received.
In other words, the domain name is meaningless without the context of the why. Now - with that context - mapping personal context of why onto the domain name becomes important.
But when you visit that site you’re familiar with - by going straight to the domain - you’re forced to utilize the domain name that someone else chose (a referral with a global name), instead of being able to denotate the site as what it would mean to you. You’re forced to remember both the why as well as the what, instead of combining the two into one namespace.
- For example, here it’s
safenetforum.org, while my bookmark for this site - what I type in my browser to get here - is just
safe (my local referral). But it’s the only
safe that I have for myself; it only points here - and nowhere else. 
In this example, it’s more of a referral from my past self, and it only applies to me, locally. I could have also denotated it as
safe#decentralizetheinternet, or anything else that would make sense to me - I could have come up with my own scheme for myself (based on the domain name or not).
Likewise, when I receive a referral from an outside source - a search result, or an emailed link - I’m still forced to utilize the domain name that someone else chose, but I don’t have to remember it, it’s just a referral. I don’t have to worry about the domain name in that context.
- However, if I wanted to remember a site page for future viewing, I would prefer to bookmark it as
PythonListOfLists instead of
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11487049/python-list-of-lists. If I don’t, there’s no harm done in seeing the location of that information as that long, unwieldy URL.
So in any given namespace system, does the relevance come from the domain name? Or does it come from the why (the “why I want to visit this site”) - with the global name (the what) as a “suggestion”?
 For more information on why bookmarks only solve half of the problem though, see the section “Browser Bookmarks” here.
P.S. I want to remain on the subject of “The What and the Why” for at least another back-and-forth, but to address the rating system (which is a tangent of what we’re discussing) you can refer to the first paragraph of the “More Detail, and Interactions” section of the link above.
Basically, while that may be true (paying to push up ratings), if you create search engines that are centered around the why of the search, the domain name itself becomes more and more irrelevant.