Can you be penalized by Google without seeing it in Google search console

Yes, it is possible and it happened to me several times. Google does not send a message about every single penalty. For instance, once without knowing it one of my website provided a different content to googleBot and to the user, the incoming traffic sharply decreased in google search console. There were no messages in “manual actions”. I didn’t receive any emails from Google. Once I fixed the problem the traffic started to increase again.

Another time, I had many duplicate titles on a website. I could see that Google search console displayed “errors” in the HTML improvements section. However, I didn’t receive a message or I didn’t see a notification in Google search console.

That’s why it makes it difficult to investigate the root cause of a google penalty. Furthermore, webmasters should really carefully look into everything that could cause a drop of traffic coming from Google.