I have 4 affiliate sites that are all in the same niche and I have bought the domain names mainly because they are frequently searched for terms in google. However to update all four daily would take more time than I have, so I am considering doing a 301 redirect from two of the sites, so I only have two to update.
From a search engine perspective is this sensible? I have not built the sites yet or started building links, but say I built links to one of the ones that I will redirect, will Google punish this site as it is being redirected to another site, even though the names are pretty similar?
If the loss of traffic will be minimal then I will do it, but if I have two sites that are essentially useless in terms of search engine traffic then I won't do the 301 redirects. I do not have much experience of this so any advice is welcome.