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

Find Items with Browse Nodes

Browse nodes form an organizational hierarchy of items for sale. The hierarchy of nodes is designed to make it easy and fast to browse for items.

Each browse node has an ID (a positive integer) and a name. All items associated with a node are related to the name of the node. For example, a node name "Books about Ancient Greece" will include books about ancient Greece.

This hierarchy of nodes is dynamic, as are the items associated with each node; items can be added and removed from browse nodes at any time. Nodes be added or removed in the node hierarchy.

The value of the hierarchy is that it groups similar items and relates items in an intuitive way. As you move down the hierarchy, you move from parent to child nodes, where child nodes are subsets of the parent node's product category, as shown in the following figure.

As you move down the hierarchy, you refine the number of items that can be returned. In this example, the Shoes category has as a subset, "Women's Shoes". It has two child nodes, "Boots" and "Sneakers".

An item can be associated with more than one browse node, and that a browse node can be associated with more than one browse node.

ItemSearch returns all of the items associated with a node and all of the nodes below it. You can see that a search at the level of "Women's Shoes" will return all items related to "Women's Boots" and "Women's Sneakers". If the customer is only interested in women's boots, a more targeted search will specify the "Boots" browse node using ItemSearch's BrowseNode parameter. For example, if the browse node ID of "Women's Boots" is "123456", a targeted request will look like the following:

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http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml? Service=AWSECommerceService& AWSAccessKeyId=[AWS Access Key ID]& AssociateTag=[Associate Tag]& Operation=ItemSearch& Keywords=tall& SearchIndex=Apparel& BrowseNode=123456 &Timestamp=[YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ] &Signature=[Request Signature]

Find a Node to Start Your Search

In the US locale, there are over 120,000 nodes and they are constantly changing. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to find the browse node where you can start your search:

  • Many high level browse nodes are listed in Locale Reference for the Product Advertising API for each locale.

  • The BrowseNodes response group returns browse nodes. You can use this response group with the following operations: ItemSearch, and SimilarityLookup.

  • On Amazon.com, search for an item that is similar to the one you want and then copy the browse node from the URL.

For example, this request searches for item listings for a horse bridle. None of the top product categories (search indices) relate directly to horses. So, use ItemSearch and the BrowseNodes response groups to find a browse node that is associated with horse bridles.

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http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml? Service=AWSECommerceService& AWSAccessKeyId=[AWS Access Key ID]& AssociateTag=[Associate Tag]& Operation=ItemSearch& Keywords=horse,bridle& SearchIndex=PetSupplies,SportingGoods &Timestamp=[YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ] &Signature=[Request Signature]

This request looks in the PetSupplies and SportingGoods search indices for anything related to horses or bridles.

Related Topics

On this page:

    Traverse the Browse Node Hierarchy How to navigate and understand the browse node hierarchy. browse node traversing hierarchy traversing browse nodes You move down the hierarchy to refine your search. You might also move up the hierarchy to find a parent browse node or even the root category of a product. For example, if you have an item like a carving knife, you might find its node and go up the hierarchy to find the root product category of knives. In another request, use the TopSellers response group to return the top sellers in the product category. operation is the most direct way of traversing the browse node hierarchy. When you supply it a browse node ID, it returns the name of the browse node as well as its direct descendants and a lineage of ancestors. Look at the response to the following request. http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml? Service=AWSECommerceService& AWSAccessKeyId=[Access Key ID]& AssociateTag=[Associate Tag]& Operation=BrowseNodeLookup& BrowseNodeId=11232& ResponseGroup=BrowseNodeInfo &Timestamp=[YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ] &Signature=[Request Signature] A snippet of its response follows. <Item> <ASIN>0131856340</ASIN> <BrowseNodes> <BrowseNode> <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> </BrowseNodes> To move down the hierarchy, choose the browse node ID that is relevant and repeat the BrowseNodeLookup operation until you find to the appropriate browse node. Moving up the hierarchy is similar. Although the operation, by default, returns the complete ancestral lineage of the subject browse node, there is a limit. The request only returns one parent browse node for each node. If a node has more than one parent, the response will only show one of the parent nodes. The parent browse node returned is arbitrary. For that reason, you might want to move up the hierarchy one node level at a time. Related Topics
  • Find a Node to Start Your Search
  • Understand BrowseNode Results When Drilling Down Understand how to browse node results. browse node drilling down BrowseNodes are related in a hierarchy where one BrowseNode can have zero or more ancestor and child BrowseNodes, as shown in the following figure. This diagram shows five BrowseNodes and their hierarchy. Node A might be, for example, "Women". Node B might be "Shoes". Node C, a child of BrowseNodes A and B, might be "Women’s Shoes". The numbers represent the number of items in each BrowseNode. "Women's Shoes" is a subset of the two browse nodes, "Women" and "Shoes". It's possible that all 50 items in "Women's Shoes" are also in "Women." When ItemSearch searches "Women", the operation returns that the node has 200 total items. When ItemSearch is repeated with a BinParameter Name value that was returned in the first ItemSearch request, it is the same as running ItemSearch on a child node of "Women", which in this case is "Women's Shoes". By narrowing the search to only the values found in "Women's Shoes", ItemSearch returns only items in "Women" and "Women's Shoes". The number of common items is 35. As a result, ItemSearch returns the items from "Women", which has 35 items. The change in the item count in "Women" might be confusing, but understand that ItemSearch returns only the intersection of "Women" and "Women's Shoes", which explains why the number of items in "Women" changes. Note that the item counts in other BrowseNodes can also change. Because the number of items in BrowseNodes can change with each ItemSearch operation, the BrowseNodes with the greatest number of items can change dramatically. In the previous example, the number of items in "Women" changed from 200 to 35 after successive ItemSearch requests. Because ItemSearch returns only the top ten BrowseNodes that have the most items, the identity of the top ten BrowseNodes can change with each ItemSearch.