Users choose Google because it's innovative and 'helpful' — not because there's no competition. At least, that's the message company executives tried to show viewers in a live-streamed event about its search product Thursday.
The company announced a burst of small updates to its core search product, including the ability to detect songs from humming and new tools to help students with homework.
Google's head of search Prabhakar Raghavan opened the pre-recorded public event with a 15-minute monologue discussing all the ways Google's search products are "helpful" to consumers while attempting to play up its competition.
"There are more ways than ever to find information: news on Twitter, flights on Kayak and Expedia, restaurants on OpenTable, recommendations on Instagram and Pinterest and many others," said Raghavan, who took over search and several other products as part of a June reorganization.
"There's never been more choice in competition than the ways people access information so we're humbled and honored that people continue to use Google because they find us helpful."
The event comes ahead of an imminent antitrust lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is expected to drop this month after more than a year of investigation into the company's search market power and business practices. The House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust recently released its own expansive investigation findings, which alleged Google "overwhelmingly" dominates the search market, and "abused its gatekeeper power." In its response, Google accused lawmakers of looking more at helping competitors than consumers.
Thursday's showcase, which in previous years were held privately with media, also comes as Google parent-company Alphabet aims to rebound its association to innovation and its core business after experiencing its first quarterly year-over-year revenue decline.
Here are some of the updates the company announced at the event: