Microdata has an itemref attribute to solve exactly this kind of
problem, see http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/links.html#attr-itemref
I took the source of http://www.2gc.co.uk/a2gc-people and massaged it
until it was both valid HTML and seems to express what you probably
intended. There were many small errors which would have caused the
wrong data to be extracted (at least per spec, which I assume is what
the sponsors are implementing).
<div id="bd" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
<p itemprop="description"><span itemprop="name">2GC Active
Management</span> is a professional services firm - the quality of
our work relies on the quality of our people. 2GC has assembled a
team of highly experienced performance management experts, and
together we are able to bring truly world-class knowledge and
practical expertise to bear for our clients.</p>
<link itemprop="url" href="#">
<meta itemprop="foundingDate" content="1999-04-19">
<div class="photoitem" id="div_GL" itemprop="employees"
itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person" itemref="GL">
<img itemprop="image" src="/images/GJGL.jpg"
alt="Gavin Lawrie - Managing Director">
<div class="name" itemprop="name">Gavin Lawrie</div>
<div class="title" itemprop="jobTitle">Founder &
<div id="bio-display" itemscope>
<div class="bio-text" id="GL"><dl>
<dt>Gavin Lawrie: Founder & Managing Director</dt>
<dd itemprop="description">Gavin is both a
classically trained and experienced strategic management consultant,
and one of the UK’s leading experts on the Balanced Scorecard
and the consulting processes needed to support its design. His
Balanced Scorecard expertise derives from his leadership of projects
to develop Balanced Scorecard designs for major corporations across
three continents and a wide range of industries, and from working on
the development of Balanced Scorecards with both David Norton and
Robert Kaplan (creators of the Balanced Scorecard concept). </dd>
<dd itemprop="description">Prior to founding 2GC in
April 1999, Gavin was a leading member of the International Balanced
Scorecard Practice of Renaissance Worldwide.</dd>
<dd itemprop="description">Gavin holds an MBA degree
from <span itemprop="alumniOf">London Business School</span>, and a
BEng Degree from the <span itemprop="alumniOf">University of
London</span>. He is a member of the <span
itemprop="affiliation">Chartered Institute of Marketing</span>, and
the <span itemprop="affiliation">Strategic Planning Society</span>.
Gavin has spoken widely at conferences and seminars on issues
surrounding the development and implementation of Balanced
> Second: currently all the people appear as 'employees' of the
> organization - so Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool shows all the
> information on the page within a single "item". Is this correct? I
> can't see how else to structure the data and still show they are
> employees of the firm - but maybe I'm missing something...
This is because you weren't making each employee its own item, see above.
There are a few things to note here. Obviously, itemref allows you to
link in properties from elsewhere in the page. However, since that
part of the page is still a descendant of your Organization item, you
need to do something to ensure that the properties don't end up on the
Organization as well. I did by putting a dummy itemscope on <div
id="bio-display" itemscope>. This is a bit of a hack, because you will
still get a type-less item with these properties in, but it's probably
a lot better than accidentally stating that you organization has
"affiliation" with "Strategic Planning Society" etc.
May I use your markup as an example to illustrate this particular
problem with itemref to the WHATWG? Perhaps some spec improvement
could be made here.
Try pasing the code into http://foolip.org/microdatajs/live/ to see
the results live.
Organization has 3 Person-properties: employees, founders and members.
Using any of those would be linking a person to an organization.
I sent feedback about this and Hixie has answered, search for "This
solution is not really a solution" in
I'm not sure if this helps you with your concrete problem. If you
spend some time adding wrapping <div>s and id's you can always link
things together with itemref without the bogus itemscope attribute I