Inefficiencies associated with online information search are amplifying in the current era of big data. Despite growing scholarly interest in studying Internet users’ information search behaviour, there is a paucity of theory-guided investigation in this regard. In this paper, we draw on the theory of anticipa-tory system as our theoretical foundation to articulate the relationships between two salient types of search controls, namely search anticipation and search efficiency. We empirically validate our re-search model by conducting a field survey with 77 university students on an online restaurant review website that is modelled after its actual counterpart and populated with real restaurant review data. Findings from this study suggest that both search determination control and search manipulation con-trol enhance search result anticipation, which in turn improves search efficiency. Theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.