Product Advertising API
Developer Guide (API Version 2013-08-01)

Find Browse Nodes

Product Advertising API offers several means of finding browse node IDs:

  • BrowseNodes response group

    Used with the ItemLookup, ItemSearch, and SimilarityLookup operations.

  • BrowseNodeInfo response group

    Used with the BrowseNodeLookup operation.

The BrowseNodes response group returns the browse node that an item belongs to as well as the ancestry of that browse node. The following response shows the ancestral browse nodes of High School. As you read down the response, the browse nodes ascend the browse node hierarchy. The last browse node, Books, in the response is the root browse node.

<Item> <ASIN>0976925524</ASIN> <BrowseNodes> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>69825</BrowseNodeId> <Name>High School</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>10605</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Education</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>53</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Nonfiction</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>1000</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Subjects</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>283155</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Books</Name>

There is, however, one caveat. When a node has more than one parent node, the BrowseNodes response group only returns one of the parents. There is no logic that determines which of the parent nodes it follows up the ancestral tree. Running the request multiple times, therefore might return a different set of ancestors for a node.

The BrowseNodeInfo response group returns browse node names, IDs, children and parent browse nodes, as shown in the following response snippet.

<BrowseNodeId>11232</BrowseNodeId> <Name> Social Sciences</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>53</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Nonfiction</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>1000</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Subjects</Name> <Ancestors> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>283155</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Books</Name> </BrowseNode> </Ancestors> </BrowseNode> </Ancestors> </BrowseNode> </Ancestors> <Children> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>11233</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Anthropology</Name> </BrowseNode> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>11242</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Archaeology</Name> </BrowseNode> <BrowseNode> <BrowseNodeId>3048861</BrowseNodeId> <Name>Children's Studies</Name> </BrowseNode> </Children>

This response shows that the Social Sciences browse node has three child browse nodes: Anthropology, Archaeology, and Children's Studies, and an ancestry that starts with the parent node, Nonfiction and ends with the root browse node, Books.

Use BrowseNodeLookup to navigate the browse node tree. With every response, you use the browse node IDs returned to refine your search until you reach the desired browse node. You might, for example, navigate down the tree to refine a search or retrieve the root browse node to return, for example, the top sellers in the product category. To do that, you would use the ID of the root browse node found in the BrowseNodeInfo response as the value for the BrowseNode parameter in an ItemSearch request. That request would include the TopSellers response group so that the top sellers of the product category are returned.


If a browse node has multiple ancestors, only one of them is returned in the response.

In contrast, BrowseNodeLookup only returns child browse nodes that are the direct descendant of the browse node in the request. You could use any of the browse node IDs to either find additional, related browse nodes by using another BrowseNodeLookup request, or to focus an ItemSearch request.

Use ItemSearch and ItemLookup and specify the BrowseNodes response group.

Find a browse node ID that is similar to the one you want and use BrowseNodeLookup to investigate its child and ancestor browse nodes.

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