I recently came across an issue that one of my luxury retail clients were facing with their international SEO. They had correctly implemented Hreflang tags – used to inform search engines of their site’s geographic or language target. For an unknown reason, Google were not recognising these tags and so I set out to troubleshoot the issue.
The disavow file was introduced by Google after outcry from webmasters who simply couldn’t remove bad links from their profile, although not through want of trying. They were rightly worried that Google would penalize their website because of links obtained by previous SEOs / in-house marketers or by themselves but simply couldn’t get them removed.
If you’ve noticed that your website isn’t generating as much business as it once did or that your organic traffic is down considerably YoY, then it’s likely that Google has either reduced your online visibility algorithmically or taken manual action against your website.