Leave it to Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). Apparently, the holiday season could be a rich opportunity to addict more users to Amazon's A9.com search engine if the Internet retailing giant gets its way.

Amazon's offering the 1.57% ("pi" divided by two) discount once again. And while I just discovered it today, this could have been active for a while, and it's certainly not unprecedented.

After all, back when Amazon officially launched A9.com in September, several days later it announced the token discount for Internet users who sampled A9.com for searches and clicked on over to Amazon from there.

Regardless, I paused over it today because the language in the pop-up box is different -- and interesting. This time around, Amazon's not fishing for people to simply be exposed to A9.com; it wants a little more proof that its customers are using it regularly.

(Question, from the site's info about the discount: "How often do I need to search using A9.com to get the A9.com Instant Reward?" Answer: "While we are not revealing the exact criteria, they are minimal. If this is your first time at A9.com, you will be eligible after a few days of use. If you are already eligible, as little as one search a week will keep you eligible. (We reserve the rights to change the eligibility criteria at any time.) The total number of searches is not important; your eligibility depends on your regular use of A9.com.")

It must be pretty difficult to unseat Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), after all. Not so long ago it knocked Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) off their pedestals even as it changed the face of search, among its other strokes of genius.

As I pointed out back in September, though, Amazon is a force to be reckoned with in e-commerce. (Just ask Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) whether they want it involved in online movie rentals.) Tying A9.com to its own Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) and subsequently the main Amazon e-commerce site still seems to me to be a stroke of genius.

That is, if its customers -- likely a thronging mass, given seasonality -- are willing to give up their Googling.

And that is the question. Amazon's smart, but is Google too addictive? Meanwhile, is there real potential for A9.com to skirmish with Yahoo! and Microsoft? As Amazon tries to push A9.com as a tool for e-commerce and search over the holidays, it's obvious there's no kissing under the mistletoe for these Internet giants.

Amazon and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Fools are discussing the issues surrounding Amazon on our Amazon.com discussion board.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.