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

Find Browse Nodes

The Product Advertising API offers several ways to find browse node IDs:

  • BrowseNodes response group — Use with the ItemLookup, ItemSearch, and SimilarityLookup operations.

  • BrowseNodeInfo response group — Use with the BrowseNodeLookup operation.

The BrowseNodes response group returns the browse node that an item belongs to and the ancestry of that browse node. The following example response shows the ancestral browse nodes of High School. As you navigate down the response, the browse nodes ascend the browse node hierarchy. The last browse node in the response (Books) 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>

However, when a node has more than one parent node, the BrowseNodes response group returns only one of the parents. There is no logic that determines which parent node is returned. Running the request multiple times can return a different set of ancestors for a node.

In the following example response, the BrowseNodeInfo response group returns browse node names, IDs, children, and parent browse nodes:

<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>

The 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, use the browse node IDs to refine your search until you find the browse node you want. For example, you can navigate down the tree to refine a search or retrieve the root browse node to return the top sellers in the product category. To do that, specify the ID of the root browse node found in the BrowseNodeInfo response as the value for the BrowseNode parameter in an ItemSearch request. In the request, you can 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 can use any of the browse node IDs to find more, related browse nodes with another BrowseNodeLookup request, or to focus an ItemSearch request.

Use the ItemSearch and ItemLookup operations and specify the BrowseNodes response group.

Find a browse node ID that is similar to the one you want and use the BrowseNodeLookup operation to investigate its child and ancestor browse nodes. For more information, see BrowseNodes.