My company basically has an affiliate system (ex. bob.widgets.com, joe.widgets.com, jane.widgets.com). Each of these subdomains looks almost identical in text and content, with the exception of a different logo and color scheme. Each of our affiliates (ex. Bobs-site.com) link to their affiliate pages, either the front page or an individual widget. Widgets.com is a general corporate site and you have to go three pages deep to get to any mention of the affiliate program (Affiliates > North America > Bob's Affiliate etc).
The problem we are having is promoting the affiliates as a whole. We have more traffic than our competitor across all the affiliates, but the competitor get more traffic than any individual affiliate, and as a result gets higher rankings. We are setting up ISAPI to rewrite the asp code and remove the?'s, which should improve the ranking some. We thought about using an alternative domain as a doorway page linking directly to all the affiliates, but the domain (widgetssurplus.com) is one letter off what our competitor uses (widgetsurplus.com) so that could get confusing. Right now the alternative domain redirects directly to Widgets.com, which as previously stated is all but useless.
Any suggestions on where we go from here to get our affiliates to show up in the search engines at all, let alone with high rankings? What more can we do?