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If I have a domain with the URL example.com/section-1/abc, should there also be a dedicated web page for example.com/section-1 from a SEO point of view?

Assume that there is no bread crumb navigation or any links to this page.

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    it is highly depending of the site nature and goals – Evgeniy Dec 13 '18 at 16:08
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Not necessarily. I have directories on almost every site I build that have empty index pages to prevent people from poking around. Example: 'localhost/mysite/images/' contains an index.php that will redirect them to 'localhost/mysite/'. It's a silly little thing, but SEO really doesn't need to sort through all of my images. And I certainly wouldn't want to give anyone access to a member directory, or one where I store my databases.

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Google recommends to “Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically”. So, for example, having such a URL example.com/news/astronomy/we-are-not-alone, for me it would be illogical not to have such pages as example.com/news/astronomy or example.com/news (personally, I quite often delete some parts of the URL to go to the parent directory). Also, in this case it would be a mistake not to receive some traffic for “News” or “Astronomy News” search queries.

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Users might expect a given sub-URL-path to resolve to a valid page, but search engines (SEO) have no reason to expect this. Search engines "discover" URLs by crawling, they are not in the habit of "guessing".

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    Google is most certainly in the habit of guessing URLs. It uses the most ridiculous heuristics including looking for Strings in JavaScript that look like they might be URLs. I believe Googlebot also tries to crawl parent directories. I often see it index directory listings even when there are no direct links to the directory itself, only to files within it. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 14 '18 at 2:43
  • I can see googlebot in my logs going to pages that it could only have gotten to by guessing – aris Jan 23 '19 at 2:53

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