This strategy is a work in progress, and everyone can contribute:
GitLab currently supports Advanced Global Search for Self-Managed instances. This provides users with a faster and more complete search across the GitLab instance and within the code. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to bring these features to GitLab.com users. Our goal is to systematically roll out Advanced Global Search, beginning with the GitLab.org Group and then to the rest of GitLab.com.
One of the primary benefits of continuing to expand our Advanced Global Search to Gitlab.com is the ability to provide cross project code search to users of GitLab.com. By enabling cross project searching users will be better equipped to discover solutions in other parts of their own organization that might be solving or thinking about the same things they are.
We've also written a blog post on the lessons from our journey as we continue to work towards enabling Elasticsearch on GitLab.com.
In Progress: Elastic Search on GitLab.com MVC - Currently we're working on enabling Elasticsearch for the GitLab.org Group on GitLab.com. This will help to enable advanced code search for the GitLab project and further support our dogfooding principles.
Next: Elasticsearch admin controls - After Elasticsearch has been enabled for the GitLab.org Group we need to continue improving administrative control of the Elasticsearch index and related tasks. These are important for GitLab to manage the large scale of the deployment for GitLab.com and for administrators working in large self-managed instances.
Next: Get Elasticsearch working on GitLab.com - Once we've enabled Elasticsearch for the GitLab.org Group we'll continue to work on bringing these features to the rest of GitLab.com. Making code search work is an important feature and we understand the need and value this will provide.
Both GitHub and BitBucket provide a more comprehensive and complete search for users; particularly in their ability to deeply search code and surface those results to users. While GitLab's Advanced Global Search is available to self-managed users it hasn't reached GitLab.com.