I not sure how new this is, but something I only just noticed…
Google now (officially) offers to install Google Earth without the dreaded GoogleUpdate!
It’s only offered when clicking the small ‘advanced setup‘ link on the main Download Earth page. But I think that is ok, using the updater is probably a sensible default, most people will get along just fine with auto-updating. What I have long bemoaned is there was no official way to opt out for people needing or wishing to.
Here’s that link again just in case:
Thank You Google!