There is a lot of rumbling going through the SEO community around a statement Gary Illyes of Google said while on stage at PubCon this week. Reports are saying he said “If you do not have a manual action then you do not need to submit a disavow.” There are many accounts of him saying this from people in the audience.
In short, with Penguin 4.0 which devalues and no longer demotes – there is no algorithmic reason to use the disavow file. But for manual actions, where you can see a demotion for links, there may be a reason to use the disavow file.
This is literally a topic that was hot a year ago – I covered it in detail there.
So I guess now there are no other link algorithms that would benefit you if you use the disavow.
Gary has been downplaying the disavow file a lot recently and this is him doing that again.
— Brian McDowell (@brian_mcdowell) November 8, 2017
There is a discussion around this going on at WebmasterWorld and other social networks.
Personally, I have never used the disavow file, ever.