lucy24 - 9:29 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
That's where the cms and auto-generated pages come in. Once upon a time, pages either existed or they did not. But now we've got the potential for two entirely different and unrelated things:
--what the human sees, as in the posted example
instead of listing the available articles (there are none) it says "no articles for Alaska yet"
--what the machine receives, i.e. the bare number 200 or 404. (Or 301 or 206 or 403 or...)
My position is that a page which says, very nicely, "I'm devastated to have to tell you that we don't currently have any articles about the particular subject you're interested in", surrounded by helpful navigation links, is effectively a very high quality 404 page. But it's not a page that you would want anyone to index or link to or include in the site's page count or do any of the other things you do with pages.